Friends III: “Soldiers of Conscience”

Gary Weimberg, the guy with whom I had endless conversations about what everything in the world means when we were both very young, grew up to be a producer of documentaries. He and his partner Catherine Ryan have produced a film called Soldiers of Conscience, about American soldiers who went to Iraq to fight for a cause they thought was right – and reached the difficult conclusion that no cause justified killing. The film is showing tonight in America on PBS. If you are in the land where PBS broadcasts, you can click here to find out when the show will air where you live. There will be a chat on the PBS site tomorrow.

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War Ethics: And When They Do Know the Consequences?

Haim, I agree that soldiers are often cogs in a machine, unable to evaluate the full consequences of their actions. That’s why Israelis are rightly angered by the “Sentry Syndrome” – the all-too-common outcome of investigations of military errors – ethical, tactical and strategic – in which lower ranks are blamed for the mistakes of their superiors.

Nonetheless, I think that in your last post you too easily placed Michael Walzer‘s Just and Unjust Wars in the category of the theoretical.

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