Soldiers of Conscience (www.socfilm.com) is a feature-length documentary on conscientious objection. I am featured in the film as one of the people who argue for the moral permissibility of participating in war. The producers, Gary Weimberg Catherine Ryan of Luna Productions, did an admirable job of interviewing people on both sides of the CO issue, but I have to admit that the COs they feature are exceptionally articulate.
That makes sense. The COs are folks who had to argue their way out of military service. They can articulate their position. I am really the only person on the "killing in war can be moral" side who had given the issue the thought it deserves, and it showed.
Soldiers of Conscience is a film that will challenge your beliefs. I'm still confident in mine, but I know other military folks who were disturbed by the questions the film raised in their own consciences. For me, this is just more evidence that we in the military profession have to do a lot of hard thinking to think through and to articulate to our members the moral justification for killing in war.
SOC is still on the film-festival circuit, looking for a good distribution deal. It has won awards at the Hamptons and Rhode Island film festivals, and had a week-long run in Seattle, but it still hasn't made the leap to a mass audience.
If you get the opportunity to see the film, I recommend it. It is unbiased (rare for the genre) and very interesting.
I am a retired Army officer who believes in the moral standing of the profession of arms, yet recognizes its shortcomings. I served in the Army from 1984-2017, mostly in the infantry and on the faculty at West Point. As a researcher of combat leadership and ethics, I interviewed hundreds of Army leaders in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003-2011. Welcome to this online space for thinking about war, morality, and the profession of arms. Follow me @combat_ethics
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The documentary is now being shown on Russia's 24-hours news channel.
See the link here:
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