Friday, September 19, 2008

Civilian Control and Military Accountability

It's not up to me to assume that I can speak to the guilt or innocence of a soldier accused of killing four unarmed Iraqi prisoners. But it is fair to say that it would be hard to commend some juror's logic that because civilians don't fight in wars, then they are unqualified to judge soldier accused of war crimes. That seems to give a special judicial privilege to a certain group of people that others don't have. How far would they extend that special exception?

And I'll tell you what. If civilians who never served in the military are not qualified to judge the behavior of the enlisted, then they are also not qualified to judge some as heroic, either. On that score, Bill Hobbs is not qualified to call John McCain an "authentic national war hero," because he never served. So, take away the right to judge the worst and we lose the right to acclaim the best.

1 comment:

  1. Your point in this case is valid. But it also extends to those who think only women should have a say in the abortion debate, and home schoolers who have an opinion on public school matters.