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Military conscription, cowardice, and refugees.

  • 31-05-2022 4:00pm

    The Ukrainian refugee thread has raised this quite a few times, with some posters expressing condemnation of the Ukrainian men who didn't stay to fight. Ukraine had conscription of a large section of age groups for males. However, Ukraine is neither in the EU, nor has Ireland ever encouraged the concept of conscription being ab acceptable practice. In addition there was the claim that men who didn't fight should operate in the logistical aspect of the war effort, but there was no similar suggestion that women do the same. (I'd also be of the opinion that a woman could fire a rifle just aswell as a man, but I guess similar equality in such respects is highly unlikely)

    Now, personally, I don't agree with conscription, and believe that it runs counter to the freedoms that we are so proud of in the West. Also, we don't know the individual circumstances of those who come to Ireland, and so, males should be accepted equally with females. Some of the men might be parents whose significant other stayed in Ukraine as part of the logistical support, or perhaps they're widowers/single parents. Or perhaps they have some kind of disability that excludes them from service. And then, there are those who simply don't want to fight in a war. I wouldn't consider that to be cowardice, but simply a choice to be made. TBH I'd probably avoid a war myself unless I had no real option otherwise. I do think most westerners who have never been trained in the military or aren't particularly fit physically, would likely be the same.

    I've seen a lot of grandiose claims online from posters about what they would do in such a situation. Stepping up to fight if their country was under attack, but in reality, it's all hot air, because Ireland is unlikely, if ever, to face such a situation.

    Lacking any State policy/decision made public that Ireland would enforce the conscription of Ukrainians, and return males to Ukraine to fight or face "justice", why shouldn't Ukrainian males make the same journey as females to come here for sanctuary and support?

    At the same time, I'd like to expand this beyond the Ukrainian conflict.. With the Syrian conflict, we saw very large numbers of young males enter Europe as refugees, but there's wasn't (at least from what I've seen) the same condemnation for their refusal to fight in their war. Same with Ethiopia or a dozen other conflicts across the world, where people (both male and female) have left as refugees, and accepted here as such. Is the only difference that Ukraine employed conscription, and that justifies the condemnation of those males fleeing? Or is it because Ukraine is seen {now} as being European, and so a higher standard is extended to them, that isn't applied to those from the M.East or Africa?

    I'd be curious to see what kind of discussion we could have about this. Not simply about Ukraine, because then the thread would be merged with existing threads (or shut down), but also the case of other conflicts around the world. And what about the future? What about when/if China goes to war over Taiwan, should we exclude both Taiwanese and Chinese males from seeking refugee status, as you can be certain both countries will have conscription as part of their policies..?

    And later, if/when the EU creates a coalition military, how would you feel about conscription should the EU face a major war? In all honesty, without the posturing common on the internet, would you step up to fight, welcome conscription of yourself and others, or be against it? And if you would be against it, how does that apply to other conflicts and other nationalities?



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,060 ✭✭✭✭ BattleCorp

    I don't know how I'd react in that situation to be honest. I'm not really in favour of conscription as it's someone else deciding whether or not to throw you into a meat grinder. I'd like to think I'd be willing to put up a fight but if you were facing overwhelming odds against coming out alive, I think I mightn't be so inclined to volunteer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,242 ✭✭✭ brokenangel

    Someone sitting at home/office in a nice safe country on a device is complaining about people not staying and fighting.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,670 ✭✭✭ Padre_Pio

    I take it you won't be answering the phone when Micheál Martin calls you up to fight for your homeland.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,246 ✭✭✭✭ Dyr

    I will in the hope whoever has invaded will geolocate the **** from the call and drop some heavy ordinance on him.🙂

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,186 Mod ✭✭✭✭ riffmongous

    I remember seeing plenty here on boards say the same thing about male Syrian and Afghan refugees.

    Conscription itself is a pretty awful concept in most cases anyway

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  • Posts: 0 Meadow Bald Steam

    I love that the argument is basically, "why won't you stay and kill a bunch of people, you monsters?"

  • Registered Users Posts: 687 ✭✭✭ Subzero3

    Fighting for Putin is no different to fighting for Leo.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,256 ✭✭✭✭ osarusan

    "Some posters" are just contrarians full of absolute shyte and relentless grinding negativity though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,242 ✭✭✭✭ breezy1985

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,527 ✭✭✭✭ whisky_galore

    Needs a gender quota...

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,692 ✭✭✭ jam_mac_jam

    I don't think either should be forced to serve. Only people who want to fight men or women should fight. I don't blame anyone especially if they have children to not want to fight.

    Conscription is horrible and has no place in a modern country.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,601 ✭✭✭ mikethecop

    i m sure there will be an interesting dynamic when the war is over between those who stayed and fought and those who didn't.

    Ukrainian standards and attitude's are not Irish or even western Europe and attitude's and standerds

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,177 ✭✭✭ Fandymo

    If you won’t fight for your country, why should anyone help you or those who can’t fight? Put up the white flag, take whatever shit your conquerors land on you and shut up. Why expect others to do what you won’t??

    Deserters should face full sanctions for leaving their country when under martial law.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Ireland today is a nation of cowards who present their cowardice as moral and superior and sanctimonious. This country has no business praising Ukraine: we are utterly incapable of their spirit, ferocity, military organisation and self respect. We should all just stfu.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,339 ✭✭✭ Feisar

    On average men make better soldiers. Discrimination would be treating the same people differently, men and women are different.

    First they came for the socialists...

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  • i m sure there will be an interesting dynamic when the war is over between those who stayed and fought and those who didn't.

    I vaguely remember an old movie from decades ago which showed the condemnation by those who served during WW2 (in the US) vs those who remained at home working in the factories, or whatever. I guess it's something that comes up regardless of which war it is.. although I suspect it's stronger in a culture like America which is so heavily invested in the military and patriotism

    That's more to do with the political corruption, black markets, and shutting down of personal freedoms done by the State, though. Ukrainian democracy has always been paper thin.

    Deserters should face full sanctions for leaving their country when under martial law.

    Deserters would have had to serve first, in order to desert. If you're a civilian facing conscription, but have avoided it, you're not deserting anything. You're simply avoiding a government order, no different from Americans who dodged the draft during the Vietnam war. They'd be breaking a law.. which makes them criminals, but not deserters.

    If you won’t fight for your country, why should anyone help you or those who can’t fight? Put up the white flag, take whatever shit your conquerors land on you and shut up. Why expect others to do what you won’t??

    Are they expecting others to do what they won't? Have you seen such opinions expressed by Ukrainians or others who refused to fight? I suspect you're making quite a leap here...

    As for the rest, the vast majority of Ukrainians called up for conscription have served, so we're only really talking about a relatively small number (maybe 10-15k out of a population of 18 odd million (males)). So, this extreme reaction of yours is rather extreme.

  • On average, that takes into account all aspects of being a soldier, including the upper body strength to pick up/carry a wounded companion over long distances. However, most battles in Ukraine have been urban, and many of the general requirements for being an optimum soldier becomes less of a factor.

    Oh, and in the case of guerrilla warfare, South American rebel groups have shown time and time again that women are perfectly capable of soldiering and having the brutality required for such tactics. Tactics that would suit urban combat. The same was shown with the German invasion of the Soviet union, where many women served on the front lines. The problem with the soldier debate is that the modern professional soldier carries a lot on a daily basis, so physical strength becomes a major factor. However, in a defensive, or urban setting, you've got lesser distances to travel and greater opportunities to work from established bases or supply zones.

    Men and women are different.. but so too are different kinds of combat. Women are perfectly capable of engaging in a wide range of military operations... It's just that the best kind of soldiers have the capabilities for a broader range of situations.

  • We only have to look at the 1916 rising, where women in the Irish Citizens army took an active part,

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,339 ✭✭✭ Feisar

    Yup on average and agreed women are just as capable in a lot of rolls. Then we also need to look at pandering to men who do not like seeing women being blown up in conflict. It's funny we will rape the enemies women but lose morale when our own get blown up. So is it worth having women in the front line if their losses demoralise the men?

    First they came for the socialists...

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,898 ✭✭✭✭ Richard Hillman

    I am pretty sure Ukrainian men with 2-3+ kids were allowed to leave the country and avoid conscription.

    If you are single, with no obligations I feel it is your duty to defend the motherland. Even if you are actively against the government of the day. If there is an active threat of your nationhood being erased, then you must put your individuality aside and be a cog in the defence of the motherland.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,426 ✭✭✭✭ Muahahaha

    yeah and especially in the context of Syria, like who or what would you be fighting for at this stage? You have Russia and Iran in there on one side, then Turkey, Saudi and Israel on the other. And then at various stages the US, UK and France getting involved too. But if your group were funded by them they soon pulled their support so your left there with in your Toyota Hilux and an AK47 trying to fight against air strikes from the Russian airforce, best of luck with that

    I doubt any Syrian who stayed to fight Assads forces really knows what they are fighting for anymore. Its just one giant proxy war and then a whole load of other factions like Hezbollah, ISIS, Al-Queda in on the ruck as well. The notion of fighting for democracy or any kind of statehood is long since gone, the Syrian war is 11 years old and 500,000 dead at this stage. Those who got out did the smart thing becasue the country is just a play thing of much more powerful nations at this point. There is absolutely nothing to be won by staying there and fighting yet posters on Boards ask why they dont.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,177 ✭✭✭ Fandymo

    They deserted their country. Anything else is semantics.

  • That simple logic could be applied to everyone who left, male or female, regardless of their individual circumstances. Hell, you could apply that to teenagers too. After all, it's all semantics.

    Rape has been a convictable offense in most modern conflicts, and socially/culturally unacceptable in most cases. There have been very few western conflicts where the rape of women (or men) in wartime was tolerated.

    And TBH I'm not so sure that women being killed would demoralise the men any more than seeing their own male comrades getting blown up. There's a lot of assumptions when it comes to these things, probably because women generally haven't fought in western wars, except as civilian casualties. Israel seems to manage pretty well with having active frontline female soldiers who run the real risk of being shot or blown up. So.. how much of it is intentional conditioning to encourage westerners to believe that such losses would demoralise men? (as opposed to actual fact that it was the case)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,013 ✭✭✭✭ blanch152