Sunday, February 8, 2009

Soldiers Who Refuse To Fight Topic On Paltalk


There have been a number of recent instances of U.S. service members refusing to report for combat duty because they have felt morally incapable of taking another human life.

A recent case is that of Pfc. Daniel Marble of Seaside Heights, NJ, who refused to return to base following approved leave and was declared AWOL for two years. Local police, acting on a military warrant, eventually arrested him and sent him on orders of the Army to Fort Bragg, NC for probable deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Marble has said that he is prepared to face punishment for going AWOL but cannot take another human life.

He spent several days before reporting back for duty as ordered at the Quaker House in Fayetteville, NC, where soldiers who are struggling with their conscience sometimes go for assistance.

Joining us on News Talk Online on Thursday February 12 to discuss the issue of service members who resist orders to deploy to theater of combat will be the director of Quaker House, Chuck Fager.

Quaker House helps GIs who declare themselves Conscientious Objectors with discharge procedures and regulations. It also helps those who sign up for the Army's delayed enlistment program get out of their obligation and counsels those GIs who go AWOL.

Fager was raised in a military family on Air Force bases. In the fall of 1964 he went to Atlanta where he was hired as a staff member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He worked for SCLC in Selma, Alabama, during and after the historic civil rights campaign there which culminated in the Selma-to-Montgomery March and passage of the Voting Rights Act. During this campaign he was arrested three times, once spending the night in a cell with Martin Luther King Jr. His experiences are chronicled in a book, Selma 1965: The March That Changed The South, and a memoir, Eating Dr. King's Dinner.

A Conscientious Objector, Fager joined the staff of Friends World College in 1965 as a junior faculty member and became a "convinced Friend." It was during this time that he wrote his first book, White Reflections On Black Power.

To talk to Fager at 5 PM New York time Thursday Feburary 12 CLICK HERE.

Paltalk is the largest multimedia interactive program on the Internet with more than 4 million unique users.

News Talk Online is also syndicated by CRN Digital Talk Radio to an additional 12 million households.


THE LonesomeDove said...

As the widow of a career Marine, I spent many years in the military environment so have some base of knowledge. I'm also not entirely unsympathetic to consciencious objectors. What I don't understand is why these young people don't file to obtain CO status prior to going AWOL and taking the chance of ruining their entire life.

I wish I could participate or have the opportunity to hear a discussion on this very poignant topic; however, I'll have to read your blog to learn what your guest has to say.

Anonymous said...

Great comment, THE LonesomeDove. You are a hard act to follow.

However, I do have a question. We do not have a draft in this country so I am a bit confused.

If these soldiers are conscientious objectors why join the military in the first place? It is voluntary, after all.