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Before a person is admitted into the military, he/she swears to uphold two major things: to protect the American Constitution against foreign or domestic enemies and to obey the orders of the President and the military officer in charge (Powers, 2011). The obedience to the military rule should be in strict accordance to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. According to the uniform Code of Military Justice, it is a crime to disobey any lawful order. In war conditions, disobedience to the officer’s orders could carry a death sentence (Powers, 2011). Notable is the fact that the officer is the only to obey lawful orders. In fact, it is a crime to obey an unlawful order. Defense is not available if the order assumed a nature, which would seem illegal to a reasonable man.
Shooting or killing an unarmed prisoner of war is a war crime, therefore illegal (Norman, 2005). In this scenario, the officer is ordering the shooting of an unarmed prisoner. Although military law says that disobedience to an officer’s order is a crime according to the military law, an exception lies in cases where the order is illegal. Shooting an unarmed prisoner is therefore illegal. I would therefore advise the officer in my unit not to obey the order. I would point to the fact that obeying an illegal order is a crime in itself, which could result in criminal prosecution. On the other hand, disobedience of the unlawful command, as is the case here, would not result in any legal liability in his part.
The law of conflict is responsible for instilling ethics in the military. At the same time, the unit commander’s word can prejudice a soldier against commission of a war crime. For instance, in the case of an officer ordering a military man in our unit to shoot an unarmed prisoner of war is a breach of ethical conduct and furthermore, the act itself qualifies as a war crime. Governments of the world have a condition to demand for the protection of combatants and civilians in order to appeal to follow international standards of accountability in war. If investigations are to be opened against the incident, it is highly likely that the officer and the militant would end up in prison for abrogating the laws that protect civilians and military during wartime.
Instance of civilian exploitation during wars has always been highlighted in the mainstream media as the main instances that dainty the military profession. Shooting of unarmed civilians is a cold blood murder. Yet, instances of such crimes are increasing because of lack of ethical education to boost military knowledge on how to handle prisoners of war. Inadequate food supply and possible malnutrition due to the lack of rations as a consequence of war is perceived as a crime in the international community. Poor prison facilities particularly the kind that expose prisoners to adverse conditions that cause injury and possible death are classified under notorious war crimes against humanity. Therefore, the order by the officer to a fellow military to shoot a civilian is contrary to the laws protecting human life in the cases of war.
Your boyfriend/girlfriend is accused of a crime, and asks you to provide an alibi for them by saying you were with him/her at the time it was committed.
The society and particularly the family expect that since I am constantly seen with my girlfriend, I am expected to give an alibi to cover up her crime in order to save our love. Yet, if the crime affects my integrity and dignity of my work and relationship with other important people, well then I would sacrifice to tell the truth both to my girlfriend and the court. Therefore, the main principle governing whether I cover up for my girlfriend or not depends on the degree of the crime and consequences of crime committed. Whereas religion acts as a source of moral direction, for my case, the church would be the last options since the decision affect only my private life. Social beliefs and tradition could help to reach a decision by looking at different similar cases and how various people have dealt with such happenings without hurting social order and individual integrity.
Contrary, obstruction of justice is a crime; therefore, I would hire a legal expert to advise me appropriately on how to protect and defend my girlfriend. Similarly, the motive behind the crime ought to be quite clear before my judgment in order to know exactly how the crime took place and what caused and motivated my girlfriend to find herself in a desperate position since I ought to know her character. However, if the girlfriend is of the habit of making petty crimes, then I would stand out clearly and deny any association with her during the proposed date of the alibi. Thus, the character of my girlfriend will determine a lot if I stand in for her alibi or forfeit the favour in case she has been convicted already of a related crime before.
In conclusion, human rights activist and critics of war assert that the military have a duty to protect and preserve human life and enhance transition from conflict to peaceful co-existence to avoid commission of crimes against humanity.