Guards at Concentration Camps Were Just Doing Their Jobs

The lamest, most ignorant, and most intellectually lazy excuse given to justify the actions of U.S. soldiers (and sailors, airmen, and Marines) is that they are just doing their job.

Of all the things I have been told over the years by apologists for the military, that soldiers are just doing their jobs is overwhelmingly the thing I am told the majority of the time.

Even as U.S. troops return to Iraq, some critics of further military action will still say that we need to support the troops because they are just following orders, they didn’t ask to go back to Iraq, they didn’t write their job description, they joined the military because they were patriotic, they are just serving their country, they had no choice but to join the military because they were unemployed, and, of course, they are just doing their jobs.

Because I am weary of repeating myself over and over and over again, instead of referring people to my LRC articles on soldiers being responsible for their actions, writing a lengthy e-mail trying to explain the culpability of soldiers, or referring people to my books War, Christianity, and the State and War, Empire, and the Military, from now on I intend to just give a simple nine-word reply. War, Empire, and the M... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $5.98 Buy New $9.95 (as of 09:40 EDT - Details)

Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

The horrendous treatment accorded to inmates by the guards at concentration camps before, during, and after World War II is well known.

Anyone who today tried to defend those who “worked” (that is, killed, starved, beat, gassed, and worked inmates to death) as a guard at concentration camps by saying that they were just doing their jobs would be dismissed at once as a madman.

And that is precisely why my reply to supporters, apologists, and defenders of the military will simply be that guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

So, in what follows I will not only state the evils that soldiers do when they do their “jobs,” but also my response to those who excuse their actions because, after all, soldiers are just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they bomb, maim, and kill for the state. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs. War, Christianity, and... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $4.05 Buy New $9.95 (as of 09:10 EDT - Details)

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they “accidentally” kill civilians. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they function as the president’s personal attack force. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they help to carry out a reckless, belligerent, and meddling U.S. foreign policy. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they invade another county. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they enforce UN resolutions. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they fight senseless foreign wars. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs. The War on Drugs Is a ... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $3.27 Buy New $5.95 (as of 08:55 EDT - Details)

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they make war without a constitutional declaration of war. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they occupy some foreign country. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they undertake “regime change.” Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they kill “terrorists” remotely via drone. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they help establish democracy at the point of a gun. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they work as recruiters and lie to impressionable young men. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

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Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they practice gunboat diplomacy. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they undertake “nation building.” Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they carry out assassinations. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they torture “terrorists” to get information. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they serve as policemen, firemen, security guards, social workers, guardians, babysitters, and overseers of the world. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they join the Army, travel the world, meet interesting people, and kill them. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Soldiers are just doing their jobs when they do everything but actually defend the United States. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs. King James, His Bible,... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $6.33 Buy New $56.00 (as of 09:00 EDT - Details)

But it is not just the actions of soldiers that many Americans attempt to justify with lame, ignorant, and intellectually lazy excuses. They make apologies for cops as well.

So, again, in what follows I will not only state the evils that cops do when they do their “jobs,” but also my response to those who excuse their actions because, after all, cops are just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they issue tickets for not wearing a seat belt. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they perform “no-knock” raids. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they hide at the bottom of a hill to give unsuspecting drivers a speeding ticket. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they arrest people for victimless crimes. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they forcibly extract DNA, urine, and blood from “suspects.” Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs. Against the State: An ... Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. Best Price: $12.99 Buy New $8.96 (as of 10:00 EDT - Details)

Cops are just doing their jobs when they arrest people for possessing a plant the government doesn’t approve of. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they go online and pretend to be a hooker trying to prostitute her 12-year-old daughter. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they perform strip-searches. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they arm themselves to the hilt with surplus military weapons. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they employ tactics designed for the battlefield and war zones. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they shoot people who try to defend themselves from police brutality. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they crack down on dissent using paramilitary tactics. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs. Social Insecurity Laurence M. Vance Buy New $5.19 (as of 01:20 EDT - Details)

Cops are just doing their jobs when they seize property and cash from people who have not been charged or convicted of a crime. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they kick down your door in the middle of the night because they were told you had drugs in the house. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they have to meet their monthly ticket quotas. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they go undercover and lie in order to entice people to commit crimes. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they enter homes without search warrants. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Cops are just doing their jobs when they “stop and frisk” people without probable cause or reasonable suspicion. Guards at concentration camps were just doing their jobs.

Perhaps it is time for soldiers and cops who are Christians, libertarians, have moral scruples, want a clean conscience, have respect for individual liberty and private property, or want a free society to get another job. After all, you can’t have a war without soldiers, and you can’t have a police state without police.