********************  POSTING RULES & NOTES  ********************
#1 YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
#2 This mail-list, like most, is publicly & permanently archived.
#3 Subscribe and post under an alias if #2 is a concern.

Best regards,
Andrew Stewart 

Begin forwarded message:

> From: H-Net Staff <revh...@mail.h-net.msu.edu>
> Date: September 28, 2018 at 5:58:43 AM EDT
> To: h-rev...@lists.h-net.org
> Subject: H-Net Review [H-Socialisms]:  Firmin on Lynd and  Lynd, 'Moral 
> Injury and Nonviolent Resistance: Breaking the Cycle of Violence in the 
> Military and Behind Bars'
> Reply-To: H-Net Staff <revh...@mail.h-net.msu.edu>
> Alice Lynd, Staughton Lynd.  Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance:
> Breaking the Cycle of Violence in the Military and Behind Bars.
> Oakland  PM Press, 2017.  192 pp.  $17.95 (paper), ISBN
> 978-1-62963-379-4.
> Reviewed by Titus Firmin (University of New Orleans)
> Published on H-Socialisms (September, 2018)
> Commissioned by Gary Roth
> Resistance to Military and Prison Violence
> _Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance: Breaking the Cycle of
> Violence in the Military and Behind Bars_ is the work of Alice and
> Staughton Lynd, lifelong activists of social justice and the civil
> rights, antiwar, labor, and prison reform movements in the United
> States. In 1966, Alice Lynd published her experiences as a military
> noncombatant draft counselor in _We Won't Go_. Staughton is best
> known for his 1968 historiographical work, _Intellectual Origins of
> American Radicalism_. Staughton taught at Yale but was forced to
> leave after he was denied tenure because he visited Hanoi during the
> Vietnam War. He later graduated from the University of Chicago law
> school and practiced as a lawyer in Youngstown, Ohio. After
> relocating to Youngstown, the Lynds became involved politically with
> the prison reform movement. _Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance_
> is a product of Alice and Staughton Lynd's cumulative life's work as
> activists for social justice.
> The organization of _Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance_ is
> straightforward, divided into two parts: "In the Military" and
> "Behind Bars." The book examines the intersections between the
> military and prisons, and describes their connection to moral injury
> and nonviolent resistance. In part 1, "In the Military" the Lynds
> survey servicemembers and conscientious objectors in the United
> States and Israel who suffered moral injury in the line of duty.
> _Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance_ defines moral injury as when
> a person believes they committed, witnessed, or failed to prevent
> something that "you know in your heart is wrong." The book also
> suggests that moral injury contributes to post-traumatic stress
> disorder (PTSD). Interestingly, while the Lynds resisted the military
> draft during the Vietnam War, they point out that the lack of a draft
> during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has created new forms of moral
> inequality within the all-volunteer military. The burden of military
> service is carried by less than 1 percent of the US population,
> personnel who are deployed repeatedly and experience moral injury
> because of these repeated tours.
> The Lynds discuss the connection between volunteerism and moral
> injury with examples from a select group of Vietnam veterans who, in
> contrast to most soldiers of this war, volunteered for service. The
> National Council of Disability estimates that between 320,000 and
> 640,000 veterans of the all-volunteer force (AVF) in Iraq and
> Afghanistan suffer from invisible wounds.[1] Seventeen years of war
> have created invisible injuries within the US military that only
> received high-profile attention after an unprecedented spike in
> suicides. From 2005 to 2015, veterans were twice as likely to commit
> suicide than nonveterans.[2] The book draws attention to the many
> mental health issues that servicemembers face, such as moral injury,
> PTSD, postdeployment readjustment, self-harm, and suicide.
> _Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance_ is also in conversation with
> scholars who explore the invisible wounds and experiences of war,
> such as Michael Bess, Jennifer Keene, David Kieran, and Lisa M.
> Mundey. The book points out that military training, especially
> initial or basic combat training, is intended to desensitize
> individuals in preparation for war and transform the citizen into a
> member of the armed forces. Many of the examples of moral injury come
> from veterans of the Vietnam War, whereas the conscientious objectors
> mentioned in the book are all from the nation's most recent, longest
> war. "In the Military" explores in depth the legal aspects of war
> crimes in international law and US policy toward conscientious
> objectors in the military. The section also broaches the legitimacy
> of detention and enhanced interrogation of unlawful combatants.
> Since the introduction of the all-volunteer force, those who join do
> so without compulsion, although there is an argument to be made that
> the current volunteer system is a form of economic conscription.
> Nonetheless, volunteers are assumed to know what they are getting
> into when they sign their service contracts. It is difficult, if not
> impossible, for US servicemembers to later change their
> classification to noncombatant pacifist or conscientious objector. If
> a servicemember desires to amend their status as a noncombatant, they
> must prove that by "religious training and belief" they should be
> classified as a conscientious objector. In addition, conscientious
> objector status does not exclude a servicemember from service in the
> military. Ultimately there is slim recourse for servicemembers who
> experience a moral crisis after they join the AVF.
> The Lynds interviewed several former US servicemembers who claimed
> conscientious objector status during the wars in Iraq and
> Afghanistan. Several servicemembers requested objector status on the
> premise that the US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan was unjust
> and illegal. Most of the ex-servicemembers interviewed wanted no
> role, combatant or noncombatant, in the US military and desired to
> quit the military altogether. After the US invasion in 2003, some
> servicemembers never applied for conscientious objector status, went
> absent without leave (AWOL), and fled to Canada. Servicemembers who
> failed to request objector status and went AWOL breached their
> legally binding service contract with the government. Still, not a
> single servicemember who applied for objector status received it.
> Most of them were placed into noncombatant roles for the remainder of
> their enlistment period.
> _Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance_ underscores the general lack
> of knowledge regarding the laws of war. Typically, most volunteers
> are not aware of the nuances of international law unless they are a
> member of the Judge Adjutant General (JAG). Even if servicemembers
> believe the US military has broken international law, legal
> technicalities exist that establish the supremacy of US over
> international law.[3] The book also makes clear that volunteers have
> few, if any, legal alternatives if they believe their military
> service constitutes a moral or legal violation. Further thickening
> the fog of war, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars grapple
> with the battlefield reality of an enemy that operates without regard
> to international law. In Israel servicemembers have greater means of
> resistance, since all citizens are conscripted for military service.
> Israeli "Refuseniks" have enjoyed some success voicing their
> opposition. Conscripts have petitioned their commanders over
> operations against Palestinians they deemed immoral and illegal. The
> success of the "Refuseniks" highlights a key difference between the
> moral intervention of conscripts in the Israeli military and
> volunteers of the US volunteer military.
> Part 2, "Behind Bars" examines moral injury and nonviolent resistance
> of US prisoners in Ohio, Illinois, and California, as well as
> Palestinian prisoners in Israel. Prisons are sites for dehumanization
> and punishment rather than rehabilitation of inmates. _Moral Injury
> and Nonviolent Resistance_ contends that servicemembers and inmates
> are linked by their dual roles as both victims and perpetrators of
> violence. As of 2018, there are 1,266,000 inmates in US prisons, with
> around 90,000 in solitary confinement.[4] Prolonged solitary
> confinement has effects analogous to torture that are deleterious to
> a person's mental health. The Lynds suggest that the military and
> prisons similarly dehumanize individuals and perpetuate cycles of
> violence that result in moral injuries and a host of other invisible
> wounds. Where prisoners find success that servicemembers do not is
> through nonviolent resistance. Inmates have conducted hunger strikes
> to advocate better treatment and conditions in jails and prisons. The
> book also describes the ideological processes that some inmates
> undergo that lead them to protest through hunger strikes instead of
> prison riots.
> In the concluding chapter the Lynds widen their historical
> perspective to compare the successes and failures of prison hunger
> strikes with the civil rights and the labor movements. The labor
> movement is examined from 1930 to WWII and then leaps forward to the
> $15 minimum wage movement to highlight examples of nonviolent direct
> action. _Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance_ argues that
> individuals who peacefully resist illegal and immoral authority
> communicate more effectively than their opposition because of their
> seriousness, boldness, and the risk involved in their resistance. The
> Lynds recommend to activists a combined strategy of nonviolent
> protest and legal recourse.
> _Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance_ is a fine work that
> illuminates the issue of morality within two of society's most
> violent institutions: prison and the military. When prisoners and
> servicemembers are forced to participate in circumstances that
> affront their notions of right and wrong, they experience moral
> injury. Individuals are further confused by vague interpretations of
> international law. The Lynds identify direct action and nonviolent
> resistance as crucial to both preventing moral injury and insisting
> on humane treatment. Significant change is possible through peaceful,
> nonthreatening resistance.
> The sources used by the authors are oral histories, personal
> statements, interviews, newspapers articles, and their own personal
> experiences as activists working with prisoners and servicemembers.
> The few weaknesses of _Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance_ are
> predominantly minor. The book misses several opportunities to
> intersect with other, related societal issues--for example, the
> economic side of the military and prison-industrial complexes that
> perpetuates the cycles of violence within prisons and the military,
> the history of law enforcement and the courts, and the
> constitutionality of executive war powers. Regrettably, the book
> suffers from minor typographical errors, though the most obvious is
> the misspelling of "resistance" on the front cover. Another cause for
> concern is the work's citation, albeit sparing, of Wikipedia
> articles. The Lynds could have addressed the case of Private Chelsea
> Manning and whether her actions may be viewed as an act of nonviolent
> resistance. However, the book that the Lynds have presented is a
> unique work appropriate for both scholars and activists.
> Overall, _Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance_ is an inspiring
> study that advocates social justice. The Lynds utilize case studies
> from their own personal experiences in some of the major social
> justice movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The
> book skillfully examines the shared cyclic cultures of shame and
> violence that affect individuals in the military and in prison. This
> work goes beyond a simple indictment of societal issues and presents
> a pathway to enact meaningful change.
> Notes
> [1]. National Council on Disability, _Invisible Wounds: Serving
> Service Members and Veterans with PTSD and TBI_, accessed August 14,
> 2018,   https://www.ncd.gov/publications/2009/March042009/.
> [2]. Kent Allen, "Veteran Suicide Rates Rose in Recent Decade,"
> Veterans, Military, and their Families, AARP website, June 19, 2018,
> accessed August 14, 2018,
> https://www.aarp.org/home-family/voices/veterans/info-2018/veteran-suicide-rate-rise.html.
> [3]. Department of Defense, Office of General Counsel, _Law of War
> Manual_, June 2015, accessed August 14, 2018,
> https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/Law-of-War-Manual-june-2015.pdf.
> [4]. John Gramlich, "The Gap Between the Number of Blacks and Whites
> in Prison is Shrinking," Pew Research Center, January 12, 2018,
> accessed August 14, 2018,
> http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/12/shrinking-gap-between-number-of-blacks-and-whites-in-prison/.
> Citation: Titus Firmin. Review of Lynd, Alice; Lynd, Staughton,
> _Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance: Breaking the Cycle of
> Violence in the Military and Behind Bars_. H-Socialisms, H-Net
> Reviews. September, 2018.
> URL: https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=51172
> This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
> Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States
> License.
> --
Full posting guidelines at: http://www.marxmail.org/sub.htm
Set your options at: 

Reply via email to