Conscientious Objectors

I have just been flicking between 'Foyle's War' and Band of Brothers (was riveted by it so much first time round) and am getting bored with the undemanding subjects under discussion.

Would you support anyone's right to register themselves as Conscientious Objectors if we went to war with Iraq? If not, why not?

Would like some thoughtful contributions.

Am of the " don't agree with your point of view but would die to protect your right to express it" point of view myself.
Not wishing to sound all sentimental, given the time of year, but was that not the reason why so many gave life and limb in the first place, to defend our freedom of thought and belief and that of each citizen of the country.   If a person is a conscientious objector then so be it.   But why should a country which has a volunteer Army, Air Force & Navy, really be concerned with conscientious objectors?

We would only experience this issue if we conscripted.  As a point of interest, the Germans have a system for dealing with conscientious objectors (no, not like that they had in '39 - '45), they employ them for the length of their 'conscription', with an emergency service, the TKW I think it's called (don't ask what it stands for), they charge about in big blue trucks dealing with floods, train crashes, chemical spillages and a multitude of other 'disasters'.   I think that they employ them abroad as well.  Apparently this is seen by the objectors as a favourable manner in which to 'do their time'.   A bit of a win/win situation really.    They risk their lives to help others, but are not put into a position where they may have to take life.



Speaking about war in Iraq.  Their may not be concientious objector but what about all these reservists that may be getting called up!  Think about it they have been on civi street where cannibis is now legal.  So will the army still allow them to be called up.  If so then its a case of double standards.  And if not then those that don't want to be called up can say they have been smoking the weed.  Am I right or am i right?!!
Still think its a class B controlled drug.

Would be an easy out for anyone though, agree with MA_ and that with a proffessional army we don't need to turn to our long haired unhygenic chums in the hostels and univercities for help in toppling a clown like uncle saddam.

If thats the case in germany with that TKW thing, cracking idea
Agree with Ma_S, issue only really applicable with concription. German system sounds good (typical German efficiency).

If one is able to tolerate Cons Objs in a wartime situation, how do you feel about Peace protestors exercising their democratic right to campaign against a war before it happens?
Let the have their say.  Our Parents and Grandparents fought for them to have that right.  Britain takes a hell of a knocking from it's critics (both within and without), but when it comes right down to it.........we are the most free nation in the world and that includes the individuals right to demonstrate (peacefully of course!)  I can a name a few countries where conscientious objectors and peace campaigners keep their opinions 'under wraps'! ..........Wales for one!
Just a thought, how about if we had national service, could we not have a peace corps?  

Send the tree huggers/war dodgers out to far flung places and get them to build schools, hospitals, wells etc..... It's character building for them, and it also keeps them busy and not worrying about the north birmingham relief road!

By the way, I fully support peoples right to peaceful protest - just couldn't understand what the Socialist Worker Movement had to do at a redbrick university!


In Switzerland , if you are called for National Service you can be a Concientious Objector-you go in front of a magistrate and state your case.  he then sends you to jail for 28 days to think about it-this process is repeated EVERY 28 DAYS until you agree to do your stint ad infinitum-now thats is the best way of dealing with them (apart from the obvious)


War Hero
Not exactly about conscientious objectors but

I read a newspaper article some time ago which featured the comments of an American Vietnam War veteran.

He said that he had no problem with people who ran away to Canada, or Europe, to avoid being conscripted - he felt they were fairly honest, in that they did not try to hide the reason for their action. However, he had a rather different attitude towards the perpetual student types, who spent the entire war studying to avoid conscription, but claimed then, and later, to support the war.

Of course, because most Americans feel the same way as him,  today it is impossible for such people to hold political office in the USA.  :)


War Hero

If anyone joins the Regular Army OR the TA then they are subject to the same drugs regulations.  OK, there is unlikely to be the same CDT or other preventative deterence, but the regulations are the same.  I would think that there are drug takers in the TA in much the same proportions as in the Regs, maybe a tad more.

Conscientious Objectors are not merely the product a of conscripted force.  Prior to the Gulf Conflict, there were 2 people who refused to soldier, a Capt in the R SIGNALS in GE, and a Cpl in the RCT (Log).  They were both discharged pronto and quietly.

Not against anyone who may be conscripted yet who wouldn't fight in a conflict, but if they are currently serving then I'd send them to 'sing sing' for a long time.


Mighty doh nut
Still think its a class B controlled drug.
Not here in Holland it`s not. While I don`t partake myself it is perfectly legal here to smoke cannabis so it begs the question of whether it will make a difference to those reservists who may be called up if they do spend weekends in Amsterdam smoking in the coffee shops.

If anyone joins the Regular Army OR the TA then they are subject to the same drugs regulations.  
I think the point was about reservists being called up rather than regulars and TA who are subject to military drugs laws at the moment. Reservists will only become subject to military drugs policies again if they are called up.

There are many things, which are forbidden to serving soldiers and officers but not to ex-military. This throws up some very difficult questions if there is a call up. Members of political parties for one.

We might find the answer very soon
Shagging a 14 yr old girl is also not frowned on over there but we dont do it here.
If people are daft/ weak/ gullable enough to use drugs thats up to them, but do we have to tolerate amongst any part of the forces.


While I don`t have such a narrow view of the world (on the cannabis thing anyway) I don`t necessarily disagree with you. But where are all the reservists going to come from to help fight the war? I suspect most will tell the MoD to go swivel if the call comes and use excuses like smoking cannabis at weekends. I don`t know what the answer is either.

With upto 19,000 troops required for Op Fresco (which looks like a definite commitment now) and all the other commitments how are you going to fight good old sadam? The cupboard is bare methinks. Looks like the entire cost cutting, ignorance of retention problems and general malaise towards the military is about the bite the government in the arrse. Just hope nobody ends up dying before they notice you can`t continue to do more with less.

I always thought it was 16 here the same as the UK. Will have to ask someone.


War Hero
I always thought it was 16 here the same as the UK. Will have to ask someone.

A responsible adult, one hopes.  :)
Hows about getting all of the Conscientious Objectors to sign up for a none confrontational conscript service that is a none combatant part of the military?

Something like, lets have a think, the Fire Brigade! Yep, lets militarise the Fire Brigade!

Put them on the same pay as Joe Squaddy, the same rank structure and the same retention times.

How many problems would that solve?


I don't know of any conscientious objectors, but am pretty certain that if it came to the crunch we would have to look at conscription or national service to fight a war which could end up on a global scale.  

Conscious of political correctness, Britain is now a multi-cultural society, there may be one or two conscientious objectors to be found amonst them?


As a sad example One guy made it to week 9 of RAOC basic training then was informed he might be posted to a unit in the gulf (shows my age I know) got scared and promptly left the army!
What the f**k did he think the job was all about? Of course you might go to active OP areas, this isn't the RAF you know!

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