July 2015

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Clearly a distinction has to be made between diferent wars, especially between defensive and aggressive actions. It is a pity that these issues are mostly addressed during wartime because it would help to get sorted on basic principles during more relaxed times. The Vietnam debate revealed that the Australian law on conscientious objection to military
service was very bad, requiring (a) religious belief as a ground for objection and (b) objection to ALL wars. Secular patriots had no
legitimate ground to object. This has been fixed after a long process of review under the previous Labor administration. I wonder if they dragged their feet for fear that improvement in that law would prompt renewed challenges to compulsory labor union membership (a form of conscription)in some jobs.

What is the US law on conscientious objection these days?

FYI: My own original letter, an excerpt from which was printed in the WSJ along with Mario Rizzo's letter and two others on July 30.


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