The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
Hello again. I forwarded a message a few days ago encouraging people to call press conferences to call on British and American soldiers to refuse orders to bomb Iraq. I did not realize at the time the potentially very serious consequences, or I would have made it known. The consequences for soldiers refusing to follow orders is obviously very serious, but, as I've learned, so is advocating such refusal. In Britain, there is a specific law against inciting mutiny, and a law against conspiring to break the law. From my correspondence with someone who is familiar with British law, I was left with the impression that these are considered serious crimes. It is also a crime in the United States, falling under "sedition", and not protected by First Amendment rights. I presume the consequences are potentially serious as well. Having said that, one correspondent argued that because the appeal was phrased so that it encouraged refusal to cooperate in violations of international law (citing Nuremburg), it might be difficult for a prosecution to make sedition charges stick - after all, soldiers have the obligation to refuse orders under certain circumstances, which means charges may not stick when the case is borderline. I also note that prosecuting rebellious soldiers or people who incite them would probably be a really bad move for the States or Britain, given that they need to keep a low profile if the public is to allow the bombing to continue. Nonetheless, I urge everyone to take the legal reality very seriously. I still think that if soldiers started to refuse orders it might hasten the end of the war, as it did in Vietnam. But please weigh the potential benefits against the potential consequences before you or your organization do anything. Uri PS Please forward this message as widely as you feel is appropriate. _________________________________________________________ DO YOU YAHOO!? Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html