Sushan wrote: ↑March 10th, 2022, 4:02 am
The famous boxing player, late Muhammad Ali also refused to go to war saying,
"I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong."
The author of this book too seemingly had second thoughts about the decision of his country.
Smart people, like Ali, had first thoughts. It was an idiotic and costly decision. The US lost a lot of people, a lot of ordnance, a generation of patriots, the war and face in the international community.
Did these two betray their country by going against the decision of the state?
There is no such decision-making entity as "the state". Some elected officials make a decision for whatever reason; some elected officials vote for it, for whatever reason; some elected officials vote against it for whatever reason. The winning political faction then goes on to make a war. That doesn't mean the whole nation is making a war. Most of the people have have no idea what's going on or why. Most of the people usually just go along and do what they're told. When there is conscription, most of the young men (and now also women) go when they're called, suffer what they are required to suffer, kill whomever they are commanded to kill, come home if they're still alive, endure their nightmares and social ostracism, without ever having any idea what it was all for: they were just doing their duty. The ones who did some thinking beforehand chose, instead, to flee the country or accept a prison sentence, and kill nobody and have a clear conscience, at the cost of their status as nationalists.
There was no betrayal in either position - just a stand on principles.
What should a true patriot do in such a situation; take side with the state or be true to your own beliefs?
Does anyone know what 'a patriot' is? Someone who has concern for their country might think about what a war does to a country in the long term, and particularly what an ill-conceived, badly conducted war might do their own country. But most patriots are not given enough information or smart enough to collate that information into a sound decision. So they're reduced to going with their instinct.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire