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Just Following Orders?

Reader comment on item: [The Gaza Withdrawal:] A Democracy Killing Itself

Submitted by orange yonason (United States), Aug 16, 2005 at 02:06

BS"D

It is unbelievable, given our history, that any Jew would make the argument that every soldier must follow any order given in the military.

"The Vietnam War presented the United States military courts with more cases of the "I was only following orders" defense than any previous conflict. The decisions during these cases reaffirmed that following manifestly illegal orders is NOT A VIABLE DEFENSE from criminal prosecution. In United States v. Keenan, the accused (Keenan) was found guilty of murder after he obeyed in order to shoot and kill an elderly Vietnamese citizen. The Court of Military Appeals held that 'the justification for acts done pursuant to orders does not exist if the order was of such a nature that a man of ordinary sense and understanding would know it to be illegal.' " [my emphasis]
http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/militarylaw1/a/obeyingorders.htm

When I was in the US Navy boot camp, one thing we were taught was how to deal with orders that were at odds with our moral values.

The fact that the majority of Halachik authorities are issuing rulings AGAINST these orders means they are manifestly immoral by Torah standards, and so MUST be disobeyed. And THAT's an order we CANNOT refuse. Please G-d enough soldiers hearts will be moved to comply with what our Rabbis instruct them, as they are indeed required to.
Submitting....

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