Pope Condemns “Blind Violence”

Tuesday, March 22, AD 2016

d7cd8eb175ed342fe2cd8b5cfe8e9c66

But be true shepherds, with your crooks always in your hands. Do not go to sleep, but guard on all sides the flock committed to you. For if through your carelessness or negligence a wolf carries away one of your sheep, you will surely lose the reward laid up for you with God. And after you have been bitterly scourged with remorse for your faults, you will be fiercely overwhelmed in hell, the abode of death.

Pope Urban II, Speech at Council of Clermont, 1095

 

The latest atrocity by ISIS brought a predictable response from the Pope:

 

 

 

Pope Francis, he said, “again condemns the blind violence which has caused so much suffering, and he implores God for the gift of peace, invoking upon the grieving families and on all Belgians the benefit of divine blessings.”

The Pope’s prayers come after at least 34 people were killed and 170 more injured in March 22 attacks at Brussels Zaventem international airport and a city metro station near buildings belonging to the E.U.

Twin blasts hit the airport around 8 a.m. local time, tearing through the departure section. The BBC reports that a Belgian prosecutor said the blasts were likely caused by “a suicide bomber.”

According to reports, shots and shouts in Arabic could be heard before the blasts, and an undetonated suicide belt was found after the attacks.

Continue reading...

26 Responses to Pope Condemns “Blind Violence”

  • “… wars are almost always the product of basic conflicts between two or more
    groups over land, ideology, religion, etc.”

    .
    The only peaceful resolution to Europe’s increasing violence surrounding its
    recently imported islamist underclass is for most of those immigrants to become
    Christians and assimilate. Unfortunately, Europe’s elites, our current Pope
    included, take a dim view of proselytizing, and instead make an idol of
    “diversity”. I get the sneaking feeling that the elites of the EU fear a population
    of newly converted, committed Christians more than they fear the increasingly
    violent islamist underclass.

  • Pope Francis …EYES WIDE SHUT…that’s about the description of this Papacy

  • Note that “blind violence” reduces Mahommedans to the status of unreasoning beasts: like a rabid dog, they simply attack without knowing why.

    It’s often the little things with this pope. Could anyone possessing the Catholic faith really speak of “blind violence”, as if they’d never heard of sin? This is the way liberals speak. Lacking a theology of sin and rejecting the concepts of human nature and objective truth, they are intellectually disarmed before the brute fact of iniquity.

  • Evangelii Gaudium, paragraph 253.

  • Murray-
    It just as easily is a continuation of the long-standing Church condemnation of indiscriminate violence, going all the way back to the attempt to ban crossbowmen and archers, supposedly because they were used in a rather scatter-shot way rather than the way it’s hard to accidentally hit a random person with a sword.
    Blind violence, as opposed to specific and targeted violence; ‘spray and pray’ vs a sniper.
    ****
    Part of why bombs are especially horrific is because they are so random, as opposed to someone with a handgun shooting specific people. The people setting these don’t care who dies, so long as death comes.

  • He threatened the mafia with hell and excommunicated them in June of 2014 during a speech. Ecumenism placed at the level of the ten commandments apparently prevented him and his predecessors from using the world media to threaten jihadists with hell. Popes may think they are local…but as vicar of Christ, they really can warn any non Catholic religionist about hell….not as to skipping Mass….but as to especially crimes against humanity….the obvious natural law things.

  • The full quote for the image at top:
    Fourth question, by an Egyptian boy. “Dear Pope, we are from countries that are poor and at war. The school cares for us. Why don’t powerful people help the school?”

    Why don’t powerful people help the school? We can also broaden the question a bit: why is it that so many powerful people don’t want peace? Because they live on war! The arms industry: this is grave! The powerful, some of the powerful, profit from the production of arms and they sell arms to this country which is against that one, and then they sell them to the one that goes against this one. It is the industry of death! And they profit. You know, greed does us so much harm: the desire to have more, more and more money. When we see that everything revolves around money — the economic system revolves around money and not around the person, around man, around woman, but around money — so much is sacrificed and war is made to protect the money. And because of this, many people don’t want peace. There is more profit with war! Money is earned, but lives are lost, culture is lost, education is lost, so many things are lost. This is why they don’t want it. An elderly priest that I met years ago used to say this: the devil enters through the pocketbook, through greed. This is why they don’t want peace!
    http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2015/may/documents/papa-francesco_20150511_bambini-la-fabbrica-della-pace.html

  • Except that this is specific and targeted violence; that is, targeted specifically at ordinary Europeans innocently going about their business, in order to convey the message that no public area is safe. They are specific and targeted in exactly the same way as the 9/11 attacks were, albeit of two lower orders of magnitude. So far.
    .
    Following your logic, we should apparently regard terrorist attacks carried out with handguns (or scimitars, etc.) as being of a lower order of evil. Take the Bataclan, for instance, where the Mahommedan savages got to execute their victims up close and personal, man to man. We might even say, paraphrasing Pope Benedict XVI, that those terrorists who use hand weapons may be taking the first step in respecting the life of another even if the evil of [terrorism] remains in all its gravity.

  • ..and I really don’t see how the full quote mitigates things; if anything, it’s even more obtuse and ignorant than the excerpt.
    .
    Keep in mind that the pope neglects to answer the child’s question, preferring instead to launch into a completely unrelated (and entirely loopy) disquisition on arms merchants. After all, we all know how the Australian Aborigines, lacking arms merchants, lived in an almost Edenic paradise of peace and harmony with each other.

  • Murray –
    before you try to follow someone’s logic, you should check that you actually understand it.
    The equivocation with the word “specific and targeted” would be a clever segue to a point of your own; unfortunately you treated it as a point in itself and neglected to make any sort of argument against what I said.
    ****
    ..and I really don’t see how the full quote mitigates things; if anything, it’s even more obtuse and ignorant than the excerpt.
    Then perhaps you should go find out something about the situation in Egypt, specifically how their military works. I’d suggest Bryan Suits of KFI, if you have decent tolerance for an Army guy’s radio-edited phrasing.
    America isn’t the whole world, and the whole world isn’t Christian. The Middle East and China especially do not share most of our assumptions, yet people insist on reading everything the Pope says as if he’s talking about American conservatives, the USA and Europe. *sigh*

  • By the by, the full quote was provided because I like facts, not to “mitigate” something.
    Gasp, someone on line is giving links to sources– start making assumptions about their motivation! Rather than, y’know, considering that it may be a long-standing habit because I don’t like unsourced graphics.

  • Foxfier,
    .
    To the contrary, I understood you and answered you. You imposed your own preferred Catholic meaning onto the pope’s words, choosing to believe that by “blind violence” he really meant to invoke a specific point of Church teaching against indiscriminate violence as opposed to specific and targeted violence. The only trouble with your interpretation is that it makes no logical sense, it is invoked in the wrong context, and it has monstrous implications. Look again at what he is reported to have said:
    .
    [Pope Francis] again condemns the blind violence which has caused so much suffering, and he implores God for the gift of peace, invoking upon the grieving families and on all Belgians the benefit of divine blessings.
    .
    According to your interpretation, the Holy Father is merely condemning the indiscriminacy of the murders; to follow your logic to its conclusion, he is deploring the fact that the barbarians did not individually walk up to their victims and shoot them. This is actually a far less charitable reading of his remarks than mine. I believe he was merely mouthing the required liberal pieties about evil being mystifying, or “hard to understand“. Do you think he would have preferred them to use “specific and targeted” violence instead?
    .
    Furthermore, we know that the pope condemned terrorism in similarly befuddled terms after the Paris attacks, which did involve specific and targeted violence; that is, individual attackers selecting specific individuals and shooting them. How likely is it that he is merely condemning the indiscriminate nature of the means in this case, rather than the violence itself?
    .
    Finally, on this point, the teaching you cite applies primarily to lawful combatants operating in a theater of war; combatants, moreover, whom it assumes are susceptible to moral suasion on the moral means that may be used in warfare. And it worked, to a large extent: most nations formally agree to abide by certain laws of warfare in order to place limits on the suffering of non-combatants. But it simply does not apply to unlawful combatants whose entire aim is to maximize the suffering of innocents by any and all means available.

  • Murray –
    To the contrary, I understood you and answered you.
    You’re welcome to your own views, but not your own facts. Other than noting that your next sentence is some weapons grade projection, I can see no reason to spend any more time trying to communicate with you.

  • I’m going to take that as an implicit concession, Foxfier. Otherwise,
    .
    Then perhaps you should go find out something about the situation in Egypt, specifically how their military works. I’d suggest Bryan Suits of KFI, if you have decent tolerance for an Army guy’s radio-edited phrasing.
    America isn’t the whole world, and the whole world isn’t Christian. The Middle East and China especially do not share most of our assumptions, yet people insist on reading everything the Pope says as if he’s talking about American conservatives, the USA and Europe. *sigh*

    I’m actually not a conservative, and really couldn’t care less about the pope attacking conservatives, as he is wont to do. But who here claimed he was talking about conservatives? I expect a great many arms manufacturers are good liberals, operating as they do in the highest reaches of the liberal state.
    .
    Otherwise, I honestly have no idea what you’re trying to say. The pope made a broad factual claim about the causes of war. The question therefore is, Is this claim true? Its truth value is entirely independent of the situation in Egypt, America, China, or the Middle East, whether anyone is Christian, or what assumptions you start from.
    .
    I contend that not only is his claim not true, but that it betrays a mindset that is dangerously ignorant of human nature and our propensity to sin. For instance, World War I started when Germany backed Austria-Hungary’s rejection of the Serbian response to the Franz Ferdinand assassination, Russia backed Serbia, France backed Russia, Germany invaded Belgium to defeat the French before the Russians could mobilize, Britain intervened on behalf of Belgium and France, and the rest is history. Where were the arms manufacturers? Did greedy capitalists persuade Genghis Khan to attempt to conquer Europe and the Middle East? Did Saul wipe out the Amalekites because of the enticements of avaricious spear manufacturers? Was there an arms dealer whispering in Cain’s ear?
    .
    We could certainly inquire into the role of weapons manufacturers and bankers in prolonging or intensifying wars, and I’m certain we’d find tons of fascinating material, but the pope made a far more sweeping claim than that. And once again, the only important question is, Is it true? No.

  • May the souls of the murdered victims rest in peace, may the injured and the loved ones of those murdered be consoled and healed, may the terrorists who did this be brought to eternal justice, may Islam be cast into hell to burn forever, and may the Pope repent of his ludicrous idiocy or failing that, be deposed and anathematized.

  • “He has faith in dialogue and a strong instinct that if the West only ramps up economic assistance to the Middle East and takes in an unlimited amount of Middle Eastern “refugees”, all will be well. ”
    .
    I’m not so sure I totally believe he believes that. It isn’t as if the Vatican or diocesan offices and the like are taking in a multitude of these “refugees,” nor offering massive amounts of their “own” monies from the Church coffers.

  • I’d like to know the size of the homemade bomb industry and its market capitalization. And who are these arms merchants supplying rice cooker bombs?

    Bishops should stick to speaking about matters of which they have a charism and proven expertise. Otherwise they cast doubt on their authority to speak competently about anything.

  • It isn’t as if the Vatican or diocesan offices and the like are taking in a multitude of these “refugees,”
    DJH

    Perhaps you fail to realize that when Vatican City State with its population of less than 1,000 citizens takes in one refugee family that is proportional to the USA with its population of 300 million citizens taking in 300,000 refugee families. There’s your multitude.

  • Interesting that pope Francis offers specific recommendations to fight climate change along with a list of condemned culprits while, in the case of Islamic terror, talks in meaningless generalities.

    Here’s Ann Barnhardt’s recommendation:
    http://www.barnhardt.biz/2016/03/22/furthermore-i-consider-that-islam-must-be-destroyed/

    If only the spirit of Pope Pius V would inhabit our dear pontiff.

  • “Bishops should stick to speaking about matters of which they have a charism and proven expertise.”

    That would exclude some of them speaking about Christ.

  • The spiritually blind pope condemning blind violence is a perfect irony. For those of us who have family members in the line of advance of the coming Caliphate, history will be severe in judging his, and our episcopal leaders’, smiling accomodationist approval of the mass invasion..

    To wit, my daughter who lives with her husband and my granddaughter about 40 miles s. of Brussels, fortunately in the countryside which is still Catholic, fairly traditional, and opposed to the dimwits running the country, checked in with this report by e-mail:

    ” It’s been a rough day today. There’s this sort of surreal atmosphere. I guess people really thought it would never happen here (despite the Paris attacks). They’re not sure if its in retaliation for capturing Abdesalam, or if they were afraid Abdesalam would talk and expose their plans so they bumped them up to today, but intel has recently released that their investigation suggests he was supposed to take part in today’s attacks.

    The media here isn’t censored, and I watched it since very soon after the first bombings in Zaventem, around 9am, and caught it in time to see Maalbeek happen.. In all, I’d say Belgian authorities were (suspiciously?) well prepared for the attack. and that idiot Jambon [Jan Jambon, deputy minister for “security”) (pm. French word for “Ham”, which is what he is…) said, “What we had feared has happened.” Sigh.

    Makes me wonder if intel knew something was up but wanted to try to catch the perps before the attacks. Who knows. The hall where we last saw each other is gutted. People died in front of the check-in counter where we’ve stood many, many times.. The ceiling panels fell and injured many. Almost all the front windows have been blown out, from the nail bombs and force of the blast. The authorities had said from the beginning the bombs were different from regular explosives because of the blast damage.. We always thought it dangerous that one could just walk up into the airport hall from the street. If you know your way around, it’s easy to get in without much fuss, as you probably remember. And now London is on high alert, as they expect a similar multi-phased attack imminently. Needless to say, we’ll have to change our Brussels/Heathrow/LA flight plans ha.

    So that’s the quick recap of today.. It’s been a long, sad day here…”

    I also saw the photos of the check-in counter on Drudgereport, and what she is referring to is that we have stood at the counter very near by where British Airways is located, many, many times. People had their legs blown off (at least 5) and bled to death instantly. Witnesses said the floors ran with blood.
    ….

    Thank you, P Francis, Card Kasper, and many others, for your perfectly useless leadership.

  • Oh the pity! God bless your daughter Steve and all who are caught in this maelstrom.
    The human suffering while ideologues blinded by ideology do what blind guides do. May God send us help from heaven.

  • Dale Price- your quote Evangelii Gaudium, paragraph 253 is a bullseye, –
    what mularkey, and from a supreme pontiff no less

  • Micha- It is also no doubt easier to carefully vet one refugee family than 300,000.

  • ” I believe he was merely mouthing the required liberal pieties about evil being mystifying, or “hard to understand“. Do you think he would have preferred them to use “specific and targeted” violence instead?
    .
    Furthermore, we know that the pope condemned terrorism in similarly befuddled terms after the Paris attacks, which did involve specific and targeted violence; that is, individual attackers selecting specific individuals and shooting them. How likely is it that he is merely condemning the indiscriminate nature of the means in this case, rather than the violence itself?”

    It has been my experience that since Leftists don’t believe in absolutes that they are generally unable to define evil, accept that people as individuals are evil and/or individually accountable for it. One cannot take effective action against something one cannot accurately define or even correctly name.

    If there is a definition of evil to the Leftist, it seems to be the free expression and/or action taken upon ideas with which the Leftists does not agree, politically.

Quotes Suitable for Framing: GK Chesterton

Wednesday, August 26, AD 2015

War is an ugly thing

 

 

I cannot see how we can literally end War unless we can end Will. I cannot think that war will ever be utterly impossible; and I say so not because I am what these people call a militarist, but rather because I am a revolutionist. Absolutely to forbid fighting is to forbid what our fathers called “the sacred right of insurrection.” Against some decisions no self-respecting men can be prevented from appealing to fortune and to death.

GK Chesterton

Eagle on gravestone

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: GK Chesterton

  • “I say so not because I am what these people call a militarist, but rather because I am a revolutionist.”

    As the Declaration of the Rights of Man & the Citizen puts it, “The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.”

    Without the right of resistence, the rest are written in sand.

  • I never thought that I could agree with anything that John Stuart Mills wrote after his lifeboat theory of survival. Let Mills be the first to be cast overboard. The good will of man allowed seven men to survive a number of days lost at sea in a lifeboat built to four, here in the state of Delaware, proving Mills’ lifeboat theory WRONG.

  • Above comment: “Without the right of resistance, the rest are written in sand.” Ergo, the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. As in “a rifle behind very blade of grass”. It’s the motivation of the left’s deceitful, perennial thrust to confiscate your property, your liberty, and your life.
    .
    Post-modern politics are essentially deceit and coercion; translated bu!!s#!+, money and TV. Now, government is simply the crimes/sins we commit together. The group or oligarchs have usurped individual liberties. E.G., an Enlightenment leader’s campaign slogan would be, ‘Yes you can!” not Dear Leader’s “Yes we can.”

  • “I cannot see how we can literally end War unless we can end Will. ”
    Concerning our right to resist oppression- the current mode seems to be not Ending Will, but co- opting it or neutralizing it with all the freebies the state can provide, encouraging drug use as in Colorado and some other places already, discouraging Religion, dumbing down the education of the masses, etcetera etcetera

Making Mock of Uniforms

Sunday, November 9, AD 2014

 Honor

 

 

A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.

John Stuart Mill

 

 

Just in time for Veterans Day!  David Masciotra at Salon has a piece that perfectly encapsulates the contempt and hate many on the left have for those who serve in our military.  The opening paragraph is a treasure trove of the pre-occupations of leftists in this country:

 

 

Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.” The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible.

 

1.  Anti-white racism?  Check.

2.  Contempt for American culture?  Check.

3.  Hatred of patriotism?  Check.

4.  Paranoia about authoritarianism and/or totalitarianism for those who do not share the political views of the left?  Check.

Continue reading...

26 Responses to Making Mock of Uniforms

  • http://davidmasciotra.com/biography/

    He’s an admirer of Jesse Jackson, Cornell West, and Noam Chomsky, in other words he fancies the ersatz and the sinister. He’s employed as a columnist by the Indianapolis Star. The college he attended has hired this 30 year old man with no scholarly chops to teach. He seems a fine example of the articulateness that Th. Sowell’s has remarked the Anointed confuse with intelligence.

  • Ehhhh I just read his article….and it seems WAY more complicated than that. He is not saying “all soldiers/police suck”. He is not even saying patriotism is bad per se. Its just more “being a patriot and being willing to fight and die for freedom does not mean we never question US policy nor assume that every single US solider or cop is a saint”. Its about nuance, is what he is saying.

    I do take some issue with what he said about Iraq and Afghanistan. Even if we take the position that the wars had nothing to do with our freedom (which I don’t buy) fighting for Afghani and Iraqi freedom was and is worthwhile for its own sake. But the specific problems and abuses he mentioned were correct.

  • Also, I think anti-white racism is a stretch. To me, it reads more like:

    Years of subtle messages from movies, tv shows, politicians, media, and the stories we tell ourselves, combined perhaps with evolutionary instincts to favor those who look like us (white people), have conditioned us to experience biochemical reactions in our brains that make seeing a white man in uniform and with a gun less threatening at some level than someone who is not white.

  • Nah, his comment is simply reflecting the casual anti-white racism in fashion currently on the left. Additionally there is no nuance in what he wrote. The stub under the title says it all: “It’s been 70 years since we fought a war about freedom. Forced troop worship and compulsory patriotism must end.” The last justified war he can see is WW2. He then accuses the nation of imposing forced troop worship and compulsory patriotism which is an “Alice through the looking glass” departure from the reality in this country, especially for most denizens of the left in this nation, always ready to spit on the troops and ever ready to engage in hatriotism for this country.

  • I’m a white man of liberal leanings on certain issues, and I certainty don’t feel racist towards myself :). All joking aside, white male liberals seem to do just fine in liberal circles, so they are hardly an excluded group. Somewhat related, I must ask…..do you deny the argument I describe earlier, about the prevalence of, for lack of a better term, subconscious racism?

    Also, in terms of subtly, he does say that there are heroes (Or at least good guys. I disagree with his characterizations of all soldiers being victims, but that’s a far cry from calling them all brutes). When it comes to war, he seems to belong to that school that says we should only fight when our freedom and safety is more obviously at risk than it has seemed in the post World War 2 conflicts. I do disagree with his assessment, but credit must be given where it is due.

  • I am also not sure what you mean by his statement about pressuring people not to question to military/US government policy being “an ‘Alice through the looking glass’ departure from the reality in this country”. Even if liberals have cultural space to question these things, frankly, it seems like many people immediately jump down their throats for doing so. I think hes referring to the tenancy to call the questioners weak, which does really exist.

  • “All joking aside, white male liberals seem to do just fine in liberal circles, so they are hardly an excluded group.”
    Of course not. Liberals are always good about excluding themselves from their fulminations against white people. That is why Ted Kennedy was able to be a champion of busing while making certain his kids were educated at elite private schools. When it comes to race and the left in this country, the hypocrisy is a given.

    “prevalence of, for lack of a better term, subconscious racism?”

    Racism, by definition, has to be a conscious act. Accusing others of unconscious anything is a good way of making an argument without the need of providing proof to sustain it.

    “When it comes to war, he seems to belong to that school that says we should only fight when our freedom and safety is more obviously at risk than it has seemed in the post World War 2 conflicts.”

    That cannot be the argument he is making or else he would have supported our efforts post 9-11, and the efforts of such entities as Strategic Air Command during the Cold War that ensured that a Soviet nuclear first strike never was possible.

  • “Even if liberals have cultural space to question these things, frankly, it seems like many people immediately jump down their throats for doing so.”

    That is called freedom of speech. As a pro-lifer I am accustomed to having pro-aborts chime in against my arguments. I understand that most contemporary liberals tend to be very intolerant of people who hold views that differ from theirs.

    Additionally, liberals, when it comes to their anti-military stance embraced by the majority of them, have academia and the entertainment industry on their side. Consider how many money losing anti-Iraq war pictures were made by Hollywood. The idea that there is a compulsory patriotism and worship of troops stance in this country could only be argued by someone disconnected from the actual history of this nation over the past five decades.

  • Without being fully aware of what they are doing, white people step to the other side of the street, clutch their bags, etc when confronted particularity with non-white youths. I could relate at least two stories that I know of regarding African American gentlemen dressed in suits who were treated less equally than white individuals standing next to them. Being scared of things non white youths do, even when white youths do the same things? Police officers automatically being suspicious? The welfare queen myth, when instances of fraud are actually very rare, (AND the whole system is so messed up it actually punishes people for saving money or making just a tiny bit above certain thresholds)? These things are real.

  • “Without being fully aware of what they are doing, white people step to the other side of the street, clutch their bags, etc when confronted particularity with non-white youths.”

    “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved…. After all we have been through. Just to think we can’t walk down our own streets, how humiliating.”

    Jesse Jackson, November 29, 1993

  • And yet, adults and youths who try and “play the game”, experience this treatment as well. Whats more, there maybe a perception regarding youth, but 9 out of 10 times you can walk past and you would be fine. And I emphasize, a white kid in a hoddie won’t turn heads.

    We do make snap decisions without thinking about whether there is a real threat or we simply have been conditioned to perceive a threat. All we who consider ourselves “liberal” on this issue simply hold that we need to be aware of these actions and where they come from, and force ourselves to not follow (or at least question) our instincts.

  • “And yet, adults and youths who try and “play the game”, experience this treatment as well.”

    Hardly. Getting back to the military, who is going to feel threatened by a black 20 year old male who is walking down the street in Marine dress blues? Of course this is all a red herring and has nothing to do with the anti-military screed of the Salon writer. He threw in his anti-white throw away line because it is an all purpose no proof argument when leftists are decrying the broader American culture.

  • “Greet them ever with grateful hearts.”

    Was in the North Woods since Wednesday. Tramped out yesterday, Sunday.

    We sometimes meet other hunters, and less often “sneaker people” hikers, who we’ve seen exercise their divine powers to trash hunters tents and supplies b/c they regard it a mortal sin to hunt Bambi’s great-great-great-grandsons.

    We met two younger men who came out of their deer camp and of course we compared notes. When I suggested eating MRE’s rather than carrying heavier loads of real food, one man said he had had enougn MRE in the USMC. Then, he told me of his couisn (who should have been there on that hunt) was in KIA with the 101st and didn’t make it back to hunt deer ever again. That came up when I told him my son is in the 101.

    Simply stated, there is an insufficient supply of ammunition in comparison to the over-supply of liberals.

    watcher7689: Dulce Africanus inexpertis.

  • In Europe, both the Left and the Right have traditionally regarded universal conscription as the counterpart to universal suffrage. It was Léon Blum, after all, who declared that “no citizen should be denied the right, nor relieved of the responsibility, of defending the nation under arms” and always insisted on an army of “citizens in uniform.”
    It is worth recalling Rousseau’s warning, “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall. When it is necessary to march out to war, they pay troops and stay at home: when it is necessary to meet in council, they name deputies and stay at home. By reason of idleness and money, they end by having soldiers to enslave their country and representatives to sell it.”
    “Those who serve in our military have no greater say about our international policies than the rest of us.” In fact, they have rather less. The army, with its tradition of not getting involved in politics, is not known as « La grand muette » [The big mute] for nothing.

  • Before returning to the article at hand, I wish to throw out a couple of more points. First, regarding what you said about the Marine, you’d be surprised.
    Secondly, I guarantee a relatively quick search will show numerous examples of the scenarios I described.

    But on to the article. We both agree that saying there were no justified conflicts between WW2 and now is a gross exaggeration. But hatred of our country and armed forces is a lot different then naivete. And, I must reiterate, he did say individuals Were heroes. Acknowledging both is just common sense. And many liberals would disagree with his no just war since WW2 theory anyway. The whole charge of disloyalty and hatred seems both wrong and dismissive of any criticisms that might be fair.

  • In Europe, both the Left and the Right have traditionally regarded universal conscription as the counterpart to universal suffrage.

    Bully for them. Absent a general mobilization, it was only in effect in this country from March 1948 to January 1973, and at times (e.g. the year my father enlisted), draft calls were minimal. Most in the age group subject preferred to enlist rather than wait for a draft notice (something true of nearly all of our Presidential candidates born between 1926 and 1954 who served, to take one set of examples).

  • Its just more “being a patriot and being willing to fight and die for freedom does not mean we never question US policy nor assume that every single US solider or cop is a saint”.

    That is called a “strawman.” It mischaraterizes the other side to make the side he’s defending seem more reasonable. It works, which is why it’s used so much, but it’s still a fallacy which needs to be called out.

    Without being fully aware of what they are doing, white people step to the other side of the street, clutch their bags, etc when confronted particularity with non-white youths.
    A favorite actor of mine reinforced that when you search for racism, you will find it.
    Avery Brooks told a story about how a woman didn’t enter an elevator, alone, with him.
    He assumed it was because he’s black.
    Not because he’s a guy with an epic scowl that’s over six foot tall, and it’s stupid to get in an elevator alone with a guy. (Which he should know, he’s got kids.)
    Likewise, an honest reporter who is black noticed that people weren’t sitting next to his son on the bus unless there was no option.
    He got one of his son’s friends (who isn’t) to come and sit on the bus, and discovered that nobody sits next to a teenage boy on the bus unless there’s no other option.
    People avoid sitting near anybody at all if there’s an option, barring special situations.

  • People will never know how many wars and crimes are prevented by the Armed Forces and by the peace keeping officers, who are the police, by their very presence and by their very willingness to lay down their lives for their neighbor, us.
    .
    The liberals, in their arrogance, refuse to be grateful for the freedom they take for granted and the blood they refuse to acknowledge, spilled for their right to criticise and condemn.
    .
    How really sad for the liberals never to have experienced love of country.

  • Foxfier: I am studying both your and Donald McClarey’s comments.
    .
    “People avoid sitting near anybody at all if there’s an option, barring special situations.”
    .
    Excellent take down. It is called “personal space” and is included in body language and is a right of privacy. It is what our men and women in uniform fight to protect: our freedom.

  • Wall Street Journal letters to editor printed years ago:

    “Where do we find these young men? They grow here, somehow unchanged by the skeptics and cynics all around them. In an instant they make decisions of such gravity that all else seems irrelevant and minimized. How do we deserve these young men? We support them. We honor them. We remember their sacrifice. We win this war.”
    Jim Gribbel
    Freeport, Maine
    .

    “Our society worships so many false heroes, including our politicians, who get where they are by convincing us that all they care about is us, when what they really care about is themselves. Comparing our politicians and our military personnel is comparing the most selfish to the most selfless.

    .

    “It is beyond sad and tragic that, in the main, our media fail to tell the story of the real heroes in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world, who have kept us safe from various evils risking all and, sometimes, giving their lives.
    .

    “God bless the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and shame on those who don’t know who the real heroes are.”
    John L. Sorg
    McCordsville, Ind.

  • FOxtIErR: The stories you reported don’t disprove my main point, but rather exist alongside them. Yes people might be uncomfortable in the situations described, yet what I described happens as well and is fairly well documented.

    I also would argue that a strawman Argument was used about the author when he was said to hate both America and the military despite saying specifically he thought individual soldiers were heroic.

    Mary: I am a liberal AND patriotic. Whats more There are countless liberals who serve. Finally, those who critique would argue trying to make sure something is the best it,can be is a high form of love.

  • I apologize for the misspelling. Computer not being helpful.

  • I also would argue that a strawman Argument was used about the author when he was said to hate both America and the military despite saying specifically he thought individual soldiers were heroic.

    Finding individuals heroic does not rule out hating the US and the military, and in fact from what I’ve seen it’s pretty common, both sincerely and as a rhetorical defense– a variation on the “no true scotsman” but in reverse. All good traits are handed to individuals, all bad to the targeted group(s).
    So that is not a strawman, nor a mischaracterization.

    Yes people might be uncomfortable in the situations described, yet what I described happens as well and is fairly well documented.

    Correction: the accusation is leveled extremely often. Support for the issue being racial, rather than something much more basic and obvious, is rather lacking. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence against racism being involved, people still insist that they can read the hearts of those accused.

  • I apologize for the misspelling. Computer not being helpful.

    Considering the reasons and ways my name is usually misspelled, it’s a delight to run into someone who just goes “oops.” 🙂

  • Watcher 7689, are you a liberal and patriotic enough to protect the newly begotten sovereign person, our constitutional posterity from being destroyed in the womb? If you are not, you and I do not speak the same language, even your criticisms do not uplift.

  • It was Léon Blum, after all, who declared that “no citizen should be denied the right, nor relieved of the responsibility, of defending the nation under arms”…
    –Michael Paterson-Seymour

    MSP, you left out the part in which Léon Blum declared that females aren’t citizens.
    Ha ha.

Ten Easy Steps to Lose a War

Thursday, August 1, AD 2013

Blood n' Guts Obama

Many volumes have been written on how to win wars.  Zenpundit at the Chicago Boyz blog gives us ten steps to lose a war:

1. War is the Continuation of Domestic Politics:

The point of politics is to acquire, hold and enjoy using power. When we lose sight of this fact due to romantic notions of “national interest” or “duty” and spend too much attention prosecuting a war against foreign armies then our real enemies – the political opposition – can take advantage. What good is overseeing a global victory over an epochal tyranny if the result is you get immediately voted out of office like some hapless loser? While on the surface, it might seem wise during a war to staff a government with able statesmen, experienced generals, capable diplomats and other experts, the truth is that if you do so you will have very few plum jobs left with which to reward the cronies, ideologues, campaign consultants, activists, wealthy grafters and partisan hacks who got you into power in the first place. Without their continued support, you will not be long for political office.

The fact is that the nation can survive many lost wars far longer than your career will survive lost elections.  Once you view the war solely through the prism of how any action might impact your fortune in domestic politics, you will have a marvelous clarity that the war is the best pretext upon which to expand your power at the expense of the opposition and the people.

2. Policy is the True Fog of War:

Having a clearly defined, coherently articulated policy based upon vital interests and empirical facts that sets a few realistic objectives in a way that makes possible shared understanding and broad political support is no way to go about losing wars.

Keeping in mind #1, the point of war policy is to generate a set of politically compelling slogans that remain ill-defined enough to serve as an umbrella  under which many contradictory and competing agendas can cohabit until some of them can be opportunistically realized. These agendas may not be realistic – in fact, it is easier to put them forward as attractive fantasies for the public if your administration is unburdened with officials with genuine expertise in warfare, economics, foreign cultures, history and other inconvenient information that the media and the political opposition will only be too happy to seize upon. The more abstractly and arcanely expressed the policy the harder it is for critics to demolish and the  better it is for losing wars. “Unconditional surrender” for example, is bad because it is too concrete and easily evaluated – either an enemy is totally defeated and in your power or he is not. “Make the world safe for Democracy” by contrast,  is better as it is more ill-defined and subjective, permitting a larger range of politically tolerable bad outcomes.  ”Responsibility to Protect” and “War on Terror” are even more abstract, being essentially unlimited, open-ended, process goals that do not have any point of “victory” whatsoever and can thus not only potentially bring about not only losing wars but very long ones.

3.  Strategy is a Constraint to be Avoided:

Strategy is about lining up Ends-Ways-Means to construct a theory of victory. While that might give us hope of prevailing over an enemy in an armed conflict, forging a strategy – any strategy -comes with a severe cost: namely the discipline of the government adhering to a strategy requires choices be made about the use of limited resources rather than keeping “all options open” to react  to transient and trivial political concerns on a moment’s notice. Strategy for the nation equates with diminished political flexibility and mobility for the politician.

In other words, having a strategy might require elected officials expend their precious political capital in order to pursue it without getting anything in return that might expand their powers or further their personal careers.  Doing strategy would mean prioritizing winning the war over other possible objectives and putting key decision-makers in the uncomfortable position of having to say “No” or “Not now” to powerful and influential people or factions. Worse, having a strategy also implies that the results can be quantified and evaluated for success, costs, failure and ultimately, personal accountability for leaders.

Obviously locking ourselves into a strategy is something to be avoided if we wish to stay in power, so “strategy” is only invoked rhetorically to mean a wide and confusing array of other non-strategy things – tactics, goals, operational art, planning,  public relations, nation-building,  diplomacy, policy, routine procedures, withdrawal dates, theories, fantastical pipe dreams and so on.  When “strategy” means anything and everything it ultimately means nothing.

4. All Lost Wars are based on Self-Deception: 

It is not enough to avoid strategy, there must also be a collective political determination to avoid reality enforced from the inception until the bitter end.

Wars have real and physically destructive consequences for the people who fight them, but unless you are engaged in a desperate struggle to repel a foreign invader, chances are the battlefield is far away from your home territory. This gives political leaders wiggle room to manipulate perceptions – most importantly their own – to political advantage by controlling information about the war and shaping the ideological boundaries of acceptable public discourse. This will eventually lead to a vicious cycle of bad decisions as misinformation and deceit corrupts the OODA Loop, but political leaders will maintain their political advantage over their critics, at least until the day of reckoning arrives.

Here we must begin with an insistence of a position of firmly held ignorance regarding the prospective enemy, their military capabilities, economic resources, the geographic characteristics, their cultural attitudes toward conflict and their history as a people. Should such information become widely known, it might result in popular skepticism about the wisdom of the entire enterprise, the difficulties that might be encountered and the prospects for success. If you wish to lose a war ignominiously, the less you know the better.

Likewise, once war has begun, the initial jingoistic overconfidence that greeted the war will quickly fade unless actively sustained by preventing an honest analysis of  events and providing a steady stream of rationalizations for the gullible public. It would be a good idea to ban discussion that accurately characterizes the form of warfare  or the nature of the enemy, though these things alone will not be sufficient. The intelligence process itself should be corrupted when possible to provide the “right” answers and censored or circumvented when it is not; while public assessments should use irrelevant metrics divorced from their  context so that they will not have to be gamed later.  Critics, truth-tellers, whistleblowers and those not towing the party-line should be retired, fired, demonized and punished.

5. Isolate the War and those Fighting it from the People: 

A war forgotten by the folks at home is a war that is much easier to quietly lose.

At the outset of the war, ask no sacrifice of the people because that will give them too much of a stake in a victorious outcome and raise expectations about your own leadership. Neither raise their taxes (at least not for the war at any rate) nor conscript their sons. Do not even issue a national call to the colors for volunteers, instead encourage people to be at ease and go about their business. Supplement your small regular army that increasingly feels itself a caste apart with highly paid mercenaries and foreign paramilitaries while neglecting the needs of your own troops. Speaking of the troops, always lavish the soldiers with superficial public pieties about service, sacrifice and heroism, but cynically break faith when it comes to your obligations to look after their interests.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Ten Easy Steps to Lose a War

  • Pingback: Why Do We Care About Beautiful Things? - BigPulpit.com
  • Frederick the Great once remarked that “Ideally my people should not even know that I am at war.”

    Britain’s wars of the 18th & 19th centuries had little impact at home. Even the Press gangs tended to operate at sea, in the thames and Severn estuaries, taking men from homeward-bound merchant ships and many of the volunteers and Yeomanry regiments, even in the Napoleonic Wars were fencibles, bound only to serve at home.

    The same was true of Italy under the Julian Emperors.

    Louis XIV’s armies never exceeded 150,000. It was the levee en masse, especially under Carnot, that increased the French army to 700,000

  • “Frederick the Great once remarked that “Ideally my people should not even know that I am at war.””

    Considering the devastation wreaked on Prussia during the Seven Years War, I’d say that Old Fritz failed in that ambition!

  • Pingback: How to Lose a War | Almost Chosen People

Very Few Atheists in Fox Holes

Tuesday, May 28, AD 2013

The blog Science 2.0 repeats something that most combat soldiers have always known:  there are few atheists in fox holes:

But does war really transform people, or does it simply make the fleetingly religious more so for a short time? A recent analysis of archived surveys of Army Infantry soldiers after a battle –  Samuel Stouffer’s “The American Soldier” World War II  research (1) – found self-reported reliance on prayer rose from 42% to 72% as that battle got more intense.
“The question is whether that reliance on faith lasts over time,” said Craig Wansink, author and Professor of Religion at Virginia Wesleyan College, who did the analysis and co-wrote the paper with his brother Brian Wansink, food marketing expert and Professor of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. The World War II generation is a good one for analysis because the interest was religiosity long-term and young people in the 1940s were more religious overall than more recent generations.

A second analysis of survey results from 1,123 World War II veterans showed that 50 or more years after combat, most soldiers still exhibited religious behavior, though it varied by their war experience. Those facing heavy combat (versus no combat) attended church 21% more often if they claimed their war experience was negative, but those who claimed their experience was positive attended 26% less often.
The more a veteran disliked the war, the more religious they were 50 years later. 

Continue reading...

2 Responses to Very Few Atheists in Fox Holes

Drone Killings and the Slippery Slope

Monday, October 24, AD 2011

There have been worries expressed on both sides of the political spectrum about the use of drone killings against Al Qaeda, and more especially so as it’s come out that the Obama Administration has a secret “kill list” which even includes American citizens who are working with Al Qaeda overseas (as was the recently killed Anwar al-Awlaki).

It seems to be that there is a legitimate worry here. In a sense, drones are the modern American equivalent of pillars of the Victorian British Empire such as Charles “Chinese” Gordon — gallivanting about the world to put down disturbances wherever they occur. However, they’re also relative unobtrusive and cheap. Thus, I would imagine that there is more danger of them being used to embroil us in conflicts that we really don’t want to be in. (Which, come to that, is more or less what Gordon managed to do for the British Empire on an occasion or two.) While I think that US hegemonic power, like that of others such as the British and Romans in the past, is generally a positive force in the world, power is often a temptation to over reaching. Putting international intervention only a joystick away, without any need for congressional approval or oversight, seems to put just a bit too much power in the hands of an already imperial presidency.

Continue reading...

5 Responses to Drone Killings and the Slippery Slope

  • I would have to agree. After all, political assassination has been around a lot longer than drones, and assassination (at least in the literal sense) of political opponents has not been a regular feature of American domestic politics. I don’t see how drones, which would be very easily traceable to the occupant of the White House as he is the only one with access to them, would make assassinating political opponents more attractive.

  • Now for the brighter side. I’m amazed that some defense corporation has not come up with an armed mini helicopter ( based on the toys one sees e.g. at Brookstone stores) that could enter a building prior to infantry doing so and do room to room fighting before humans risked ambush. Cost per shot down mini drones is probably the reason in battle. But such could be used by police in high crime areas with stun gun technology attached. The precinct sees a mugging or rape….they swoop in remotely. The prescence of surveilling mini helicopters itself would reduce crime due to photos stored of faces and cars involved. Imagine such a cop copter buzzing a heavy drug corner.

  • Pingback: TUESDAY MORNING EDITION | ThePulp.it
  • Sabelius says she is @ war with the pro-lifers. I don’t know…perhaps she has the president’s ear when it comes to sidewalk counselors.

  • Oh the irony. John Walker Lindh is one lucky dude that he was captured during Bush’s tenure.

Chavez Threatens War With Colombia

Monday, November 16, AD 2009

Tensions are mounting in Central America as Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez masses troops on the border with Columbia and tells his military to “prepare for war”.

The Venezuelan ambassador to Bogota, Gustavo Marquez, said that the seriousness of the situation could not be overstated and that “there is a pre-war situation in the entire region”.

Diplomatic relations between the South American neighbours are frozen and on Saturday President Chavez escalated the war of words with President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia by saying there was no chance of dialogue.

While those who are committed Chavez fans, convinced that he wants only what is best for his people and the region, may accept his claim that this escalation is necessary because Columbia has invited the US to set up military bases in their country, which Chavez sees as presaging a US invasion of Venezuela, most will see this as evidence that Chavez is seeking to establish a national enemy in order to distract his people’s attention from the economic problems the Chavez regime has inflicted on them. His ability to use Venezuelan oil revenues to buy support at home and abroad is suffering because his government-run oil companies have failed to invest in infrastructure and thus have experienced declining output over the last several years.

Continue reading...

30 Responses to Chavez Threatens War With Colombia

  • To be accurate, Venezuela and Colombia are in South America, not Central (actually , Central America does not exist as a separate continent – it is a geopolitical designation like the Middle East).

  • Good point.. Politically, I’d tend to think of Venezuela and Columbia as being part of the Central American sphere, but that may be my own hang-up.

  • Colombia is thrice as populous as Venezuela and has a working military, albeit one occupied in counter-insurgency operations rather than conventional war. Col. Chavez has been (per news reports) been cashiering officers on political criteria. One can easily imagine this will end badly for Venezuela if they come to blows.

  • While I have nothing but contempt for Chavez and his corrupt and near-despotic government, I believe it to be a tragic mistake for Colombia to allow the US to build any military facility in their country. The influence of the US is every bit as malignant as that of Chavez and his ilk.

    I can only hope the people of Colombia will knock some sense into the heads of their leaders and tell them to keep the American rattlesnake at arm’s length.

  • Dan,
    The American rattlesnake’s support for Uribe (and Pastrana before) through Plan Colombia has given the Colombian government the chance to defeat the FARC and ELN sufficiently so that many more people there live in peace than was the case 10 years ago. US extradition is the threat whereby Colombia was able to convince the AUC right wing paramilitary to stand down. It seems the snake has mostly bitten the rabid dogs.

  • It’s not the first time Chávez threatens to do something like this. If my memory serves me well, the last time there were rumours that he wouldn’t be obeyed if he ordered the Armed Forces something crazy.

    The problem with this kind of people is that you get used to see them posing as personae and parroting a ludicrous jargon (all that “Bolivarian” and “21st-century socialism” stuff which, by the way, is pure plagiarism from Peron’s “20-century socialism”, to the extent that it’s fair to say that Chávez is a Peronist) and you start taking them less and less seriously, until one day they mean it.

  • If you are not even aware of the location of Venezuela, I’m not sure we can trust your commentary on it.

  • Michael,

    Glad to see you continue to show up whenever you have something particularly deep to say.

    Given that basically all the commentary here comes from the UK Telegraph, I’m not sure what exactly of mine you think should be discounted. Perhaps my suggestion that we all pray that Chavez not allow his militarism to run away with him and lead his country into an unnecessary and unjust war?

    As for my referring to Columbia and Venezuala as being in Central American — it would have been more precise for me to speak of “Latin America” or simply of “South America”. Arguing about whether Columia is in “Central America” is (given that Central America is not actually a continent, but rather a term used for the most southern reaches of North America) rather like arguing whether Pakistan and Afghanistan are part of the “Middle East”. I’m not going to bother with it — but if you think it’s the most interesting thing about Chavez’s brinksmanship, feel free to enlighten us.

    (I considered correcting the wording in the article as soon as it was mentioned, since I realized I’d simply been sloppy in writing it quickly, but I figured since someone had pointed out the issue via a comment it was more honest to leave it as is.)

  • Politically…part of the Central American sphere

    An argument can be made for that, particularly Venezuela with its Carribean influence.

  • In fact, if you look at it from the point of view whether a Venezuelan-Colombian fracas would be more disruptive to neighbors to the north or those to the south, I would venture to say to the north. The closest southern (really, more southeastern) neighbor would be Brazil, and given the relative size and stability, it would be less impacted than say, Panama, to the north. Perhaps Paraguay, Bolivia or Ecuador would feel it more like Panama, but assuming most of it would occur along the Col-Ven border, they would seem more physically removed.

  • As for my referring to Columbia and Venezuala as being in Central American…

    Ah yes, you finally get around to responding to my comment at this point.

    …it would have been more precise for me to speak of “Latin America” or simply of “South America”.

    Yes. Precisely my point.

    Arguing about whether Columia is in “Central America” is (given that Central America is not actually a continent, but rather a term used for the most southern reaches of North America) rather like arguing whether Pakistan and Afghanistan are part of the “Middle East”.

    No, it’s not. It’s quite obvious what “Central America” refers to, especially to folks who actually care about the region and do not simply make reference to it in order to do some pro-Amerikkka posturing.

  • Michael,

    If you are so incredibly concerned about the region, I’m a bit confused as to whether you’ve posted twice about a mistake I made in terminology, but seem to have no particular concern about Columbia potentially being invaded by Chavez for no very good reason.

    Personally, I have a couple friends who live in Columbia, and I certainly wouldn’t want the delusions of the left’s favorite South American strongman to result in their country being invaded. Is that “pro-Amerikka posturing”?

    Maybe if Chavez had spent some time at the School of the Americas or was considered “right wing” you too could bring yourself to care about Columbia?

  • Yeah. I just don’t care about Colombia. I care enough about it to spell it correctly! (And I know it’s not in Central America.)

  • pro-Amerikkka posturing

    Ah yes – thanks for the few seconds of distraction and enertainment. This typically juvenile behavior is more notable than much of rest, however, given the very significant amount of ideological gymnastics one would need to attempt in an engagement with Darwin (or myself, let’s return to issue of Honduras if you wish) concerning the actions of Chavez – especially if one would wish to deride imperialism, militarism, interfering with the affairs of other nations, ect. ect. ect. Or maybe its in some way ok if the person claims to speak for the “oppressed??” Let us know!

    So how about giving it a shot, then, and leaving these sorts of pleas for attention aside?

  • Touche.

    All right, Michael. We know now that you care about Colombia — though apparently not about other countries you don’t know how to spell. (e.g. “Amerikkka”)

    And we know that I incorrectly imagined one could refer to all the countries with coastline on the Caribean Basin as “Central America”.

    Perish the thought, however that we should allow ourselves to be distracted from these important learnings into not wanting Chavez to start a war or anything. That would be madness.

  • Michael, do you ever even listen to yourself?

  • One would hope not.

  • michael we all know you dont listen to yourself. as for this iccedient venizula should just call it off because if they do anything to the U.S base in columbia the united states will send forces to Venizula and the u.s will win. i also think that the people in venuzlia should stop because they already have there 4 guards back. nobody got hurt and if this happens again. the u.s should just leave the base in columbia for good because next time there will be a war for sure.

  • I just don’t care about Colombia. I care enough about it to spell it correctly!

    You care enough to spell it correctly. That sounds about right.

  • At least the real michael makes sense.

  • “Amerikkka” – the calling card of the Maoist.

  • “folks who actually care about the region…”

    Iafrate can read into men’s souls. What a charism. Must be another example of God choosing an idiot to do his work.

  • Actually the definition of Central America has shifted over time. For example, when Panama was part of Colombia it was not considered part of Central America, although it was always a separate, and rebellious, region of that country. Some definitions of Central America include the southern portions of Mexico. The European Union excludes Belize from its definition of Central America.

  • There’s no evidence that Michael “cares” or does anything whatsoever about the Third World poor other than to mention them occasionally as a prop on behalf of whatever lefty cause he’s supporting as to relatively richer North Americans.

  • He could have also said: United $nakes of Amerikkka as an acceptable alternative.

  • if i didnt care. then why would i put a comment on this article. As you can see you are probably someone who lives in venizula and knows if you guys harm the base in coloumbia we will send more then 15000 men over there and beat you guys like on how we did to any toher country who tried thearting us.

  • Darwin – Are you trying to pretend that you’re against war now?

  • I am and always have been against needless and unjust war — and I see no reason to believe that Chavez invading Colombia would be anything other than needless and unjust.

  • There’s also no evidence that Michael is anti-war. The only wars he ever complains about are those in which America was involved. If it’s one of the thugs that he otherwise admires (Chavez), he doesn’t care.

  • Of course I’d be against a Chavez-started war. That goes without saying. The concerns I have raised are unrelated to that.

Thoughts on Israel's war with Hamas

Tuesday, December 30, AD 2008

On December 27th, 2008, Israel launched a series of air strikes on Hamas training camps, headquarters, weapons storehouses, underground missile silos and command-and-control centers in Gaza — the start of an open-ended offensive to stem the increasing barrage of rocket-attacks that have plagued Southern Israel in the past months.

Israeli ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shaleb defended the operation:

“Israel is taking the necessary military action in order to protect its citizens from ongoing terrorist attacks originating from the Gaza Strip and carried out by Hamas and other terrorist organizations,” Shalev said, adding that Hamas “holds the sole responsibility for the latest events.”

Israel, she continued, “has exhausted all means and efforts to reach and maintain quiet and to respect the state of calm… Israel’s response is aimed solely against the terrorists and their infrastructures in the Gaza Strip. It is not intended against the civilian population. Israel is committed to prevent a humanitarian crisis.”

Shalev asserted that “No country would allow continuous rocketing of its civilian population without taking the necessary actions to stop it.”

Commenting on the three-day air assault by Israel on Hamas, Deal Hudson states “Bombing Gaza Won’t Make Israel Safer”. It’s a good post and, if anything, certainly jeopardizes Hudson’s standing as a member of the cabal of “Catholic neocons” beholden to Israel and the Republican Party (see Robert Sungenis and other tirades from the fringe-right). That said, I wish to register some thoughts in reaction, both to Hudson and our fellow critics at Vox Nova:

Continue reading...

39 Responses to Thoughts on Israel's war with Hamas

  • The only peace Hamas will ever make with Israel is the peace of the grave. The sad truth is that they are supported in this position by the overwhelming majority of the population of Gaza. Diplomacy is of little use when one side has as its ultimate aim the destruction of the other side.

    From the Charter of Hamas:

    “Article Thirteen: Peaceful Solutions, [Peace] Initiatives and International Conferences
    [Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad: “Allah is the all-powerful, but most people are not aware.” From time to time a clamoring is voiced, to hold an International Conference in search for a solution to the problem. Some accept the idea, others reject it, for one reason or another, demanding the implementation of this or that condition, as a prerequisite for agreeing to convene the Conference or for participating in it. But the Islamic Resistance Movement, which is aware of the [prospective] parties to this conference, and of their past and present positions towards the problems of the Muslims, does not believe that those conferences are capable of responding to demands, or of restoring rights or doing justice to the oppressed. Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the nonbelievers as arbitrators in the lands of Islam. Since when did the Unbelievers do justice to the Believers? “And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed. Say: Lo! the guidance of Allah [himself] is the Guidance. And if you should follow their desires after the knowledge which has come unto thee, then you would have from Allah no protecting friend nor helper.” Sura 2 (the Cow), verse 120 There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility. The Palestinian people are too noble to have their future, their right and their destiny submitted to a vain game. As the hadith has it: “The people of Syria are Allah’s whip on this land; He takes revenge by their intermediary from whoever he wished among his worshipers. The Hypocrites among them are forbidden from vanquishing the true believers, and they will die in anxiety and sorrow.” (Told by Tabarani, who is traceable in ascending order of traditionaries to Muhammad, and by Ahmed whose chain of transmission is incomplete. But it is bound to be a true hadith, for both story tellers are reliable. Allah knows best.)”

    http://www.palestinecenter.org/cpap/documents/charter.html

  • This is my own brief take on the conflict:

    Iran fuels Gaza conflict to increase oil prices – http://vivificat1.blogspot.com/2008/12/iran-fuels-gaza-conflict-to-increase.html.

    -Theo

  • Key quote in the Catechism: “The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason . . . ” This teaching is not about the holiness of killing. It is about the holiness of defending life.

  • Q: Is there any such thing as a “just war”?

    Cardinal Ratzinger: This is a major issue of concern. In the preparation of the Catechism, there were two problems: the death penalty and just war theory were the most debated. The debate has taken on new urgency given the response of the Americans. Or, another example: Poland, which defended itself against Hitler.

    I’d say that we cannot ignore, in the great Christian tradition and in a world marked by sin, any evil aggression that threatens to destroy not only many values, many people, but the image of humanity itself.

    In this case, defending oneself and others is a duty. Let’s say for example that a father who sees his family attacked is duty-bound to defend them in every way possible — even if that means using proportional violence.

    Thus, the just war problem is defined according to these parameters:

    1) Everything must be conscientiously considered, and every alternative explored if there is even just one possibility to save human life and values;

    2) Only the most necessary means of defense should be used and human rights must always be respected; in such a war the enemy must be respected as a human being and all fundamental rights must be respected.

    I think that the Christian tradition on this point has provided answers that must be updated on the basis of new methods of destruction and of new dangers. For example, there may be no way for a population to defend itself from an atomic bomb. So, these must be updated.

    But I’d say that we cannot totally exclude the need, the moral need, to suitably defend people and values against unjust aggressors.

    — Cardinal Ratzinger, Interview with Vatican Radio. November 2001.

    Citing the above is not to defend this or that action taken by the U.S. or Israel as automatically justified or “holy”; but I think there is the clear recognition — even by our current Pope, co-editor of the Catechism — that, in the defense of life against unjust aggressors, “proportional violence” may be an obligation.

    I would also suggest that those charged with the obligation to defend and protect the lives of its charges, in Ratzinger/B16’s example “for example that a father who sees his family attacked is duty-bound to defend them in every way possible”, or to speak of a nation obligated to defend its citizens, that the refusal to employ ‘proportional violence’ [Ratzinger’s words] in the defense of life would constitute a sin.

    Nate Wildermuth, circa April 2008:How could the Pope repeat United States propaganda, and express admiration for US bloodshed? I racked my mind for ways to interpret his words in another way, but I couldn’t. …

    I have so much to learn.

    After a great deal of reflection and prayer, my heart has moved, my neck has bent. I have seen something startling: we live in a society where “defense of life” and “nonviolence” are mostly mutually exclusive, and because the defense of life must take priority over a commitment to nonviolence, most Christians are duty-bound to defend life with the least amount of violence possible.

    Did I just write that? I did. But only after three days of gut-wrenching prayer!

    I am not suggesting that violence is good, or even Christian. I am suggesting, however, that the circumstances of our society require us to choose defense of life over nonviolence. In other words – if the only way I can defend life is to use a gun, then I must use a gun.

    Strikes will not stop robbers from breaking into our homes. Nonviolent communication will not stop those who do not wish to communicate. We have no nonviolent alternatives to police forces or militaries. We have no nonviolent alternatives to courts and prisons. Nonviolent means of defending life are mostly confined to idealistic exhortations to “love your enemy and trust in God’s grace to work miracles.”

    Nonviolent means of defending life must be reasonable, passing the common sense rule, being as readily available as the gun in Target, or a call to 911. To criticize those who use violence to defend life when there are no other ways to defend life is . . . well . . . possibly scandalous.

    I believe we’ve had this conversation before?

  • At the risk of beating a dead horse 😉 I’ll reiterate what I said then as well, responding to your post:

    Just as Catholic tradition makes a distinction between ‘killing’ and ‘homicide’, it seems to me that rather than condemning any and all use of armed force as “violence” [= evil], the Catholic tradition rather evaluates the use of force, judging its worth according to moral criteria.

    The former has often been dubbed the “‘dirty hands’ tradition” (whereby to pick up a gun, even defensively, is to unavoidably involve one’s self in sin), the latter the “just war tradition” of moral-reasoning and a moral evaluation of armed force. (My father examined this in an essay “War and the Eclipse of Moral Reasoning” back in 2002).

    None of this discounts the witness of pacifists — who by their actions and adherence to nonviolence anticipate and manifest in this reality a time where the lion will truly “lay down with the lamb”, where all swords will be “beaten into plowshares.”

    Probably no movie illustrates this ongoing debate between the two traditions than one of my favorite movies, Robert Bolt and Roland Joffé’s 1986 film The Mission.

  • I confess I’ve never understood Pacifism other than non-resistance to martyrdom. How does anyone familiar with a history book object to the idea, for example, that governments have an obligation to defend their citizens or parents a responsibility to protect their children? Granted, this principle can be (and often is!) easily misapplied, which means it is similar to….every other moral principal.

    I think that pacifists perform a valuable service in reminding people of the horrors of conflict, and in balancing out the the tendencies of some people to view military action as the hammer for which every problem is a nail. But I do not understand the position that violence in all situations is immoral.

  • As Warren Carrol says in his wonderful history of Christendom when Jesus drives the money-changers from the temple the first time,

    “Nor did He (Jesus) hesitate to use physical force, thereby establishing once and for all, contrary to modern pacifists, that the use of physical force is not always evil in itself. The teaching of love would come when men were prepared to listen. But first they must know that One had come among them with a power which was God’s.”

  • “The teaching of love would come when men were prepared to listen. But first they must know that One had come among them with a power which was God’s.””

    And how different from worldly power was that “power which was God’s”…

  • I think pacifism at bottom rests on the modernist moral error of thinking (probably subconsciously) that the physical body is the most important (or perhaps the only important) fact about human beings. Hence the one moral absolute is that you can’t do something that hurts someone’s physical body, even by accident, not even for the most pressing of reasons. Pacifism, in this respect, is similar to the modernist tendency to think that spanking your children is morally worse than instilling in them a desire for material success (one that is ultimately devastating to the soul).

  • Pingback: History for Dummies (II) | The Cranky Conservative
  • I sense a Catch-22.

    Hamas needs Israeli attacks to keep its people riled up, but Israel can’t simply let assaults continue unchecked.

    Are the Hamas attackers launching rockets from their own neighborhoods? A true Machiavel would launch attacks from areas where enemy retaliation is likely to kill off his local opposition, and not his friends and family.

  • Proportionality includes not only the methods used but also the consequences of those methods. While I acknowledge the right to self-defense and the use of force in that defense, I question whether it is really possible to ensure that the force used doesn’t produce evils graver than the evil to be eliminated. The structure of the world today, marked by its interconnectedness and interdependency, opens the whole world to the consequences of a local act of violence, and therefore renders the knowledge that one is using proportional violence difficult if not impossible to acquire. Deal Hudson rightly points to likely unintended consequences of Israel’s strikes, but how many other unintended consequences remain beyond our foresight? Too many to speculate accurately, I’d say.

  • “I question whether it is really possible to ensure that the force used doesn’t produce evils graver than the evil to be eliminated.”

    Then proportionality merely becomes an argument for pacificism, something that no nation which wishes to continue to exist in this world will ever embrace. The Jews in Europe in World War 2 were slaughtered like flies because they had no military to fight for them. I cannot blame the Israelis for not wishing to follow their example. Catholics are not quakers and I cannot think of a Catholic nation that ever existed that chose to embrace pacifism rather than to fight for national survival.

  • Kyle,

    Well said. I am in absolute 100% agreement of all that you’ve said. I personally think that a sense of reluctance in this matter has been too easily dismissed as pacifism, when I think that is an oversimplification of the position being presented.

    I, as any good Catholic, believe in the “just war” doctrine of the Church. However, I do think that doctrine, even in the last ten years, has been glossed over casually and the tenets not really examined by those not necessarily opposed to any of the armed conflicts occuring in the Middle East.

    Even if there is such a thing as “Catholic pacifism,” I think it is profoundly different than that of secular pacifism. Dorothy Day comes to mind and her thinking in regard to nonviolence does not necessarily echo the immediate or familiar arguments of modernist secular humanists who really base their convictions on an agnostic metaphysical view of reality.

    I think a Catholic can on good grounds be a pacifist. It does not require others to follow in suit by obligation. I believe, just as Dorothy Day did, that war is the perfect breeding ground for imperialism, militarism, and nationalism. These sociological errors of modern society live off human vices and perpetuate division and in many ways presents barrier to any sort of peace or meaningful dialogue. All these “-isms” symbolize the false gods of modernity that I believe we should be resisting, not appeasing.

    Pope Benedict XVI once said in an interview that “…given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a ‘just war’.”

    I think the Holy Father here makes a profound insight into the nature of war. War is sometimes a necessary evil, but it is one that evolves and this evolution has created a horror that was hardly imaginable even over a century ago. War is no longer a matter confined to a battlefield where those in immediate danger are those within confinement of the space in which combat is being engaged in. Modern warfare and military weapons are indiscriminate in whom gets killed.

    But this is not the bulk of my point. Pope John Paul II warned that “humanity should question itself, once more, about the absurd and always unfair phenomenon of war, on whose stage of death and pain only remain standing the negotiating table that could and should have prevented it.” War by its very nature destroys precisely what it intends to create — that is freedom, peace, and reconciliation. War strikes at the very heart of civilization: the family. Regardless of perspective of who is right and wrong in such matters, men die, women die, and children die. Hurt, anger, bitterness, and division is written on a new page of history. I have never read of any war or act of violence that paved the way toward justice and peace, but rather eliminated perhaps one challenge only to give birth to a host of others.

    Gandhi asked mankind, “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?” It is not merely the fact that innocent people who’s livelihoods, little do they know, might be altered permanently in a matter of moments; it is rather that this violence only more deeply entrenches the hatred and division that the war is trying to, in some ways, heal.

    This is what Kyle was getting at when he talked about the connection of the international community in our modern circumstances — there is much interdependentness. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his day saw this: “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” We cannot be what we ought through the means of violence. I don’t and can’t believe that even remote material cooperation in evil — for war itself is not of the nature of God — will bring humanity where it needs to be.

    I don’t think you must be a “pacifist” to be a Christian. But, I do think (rightly or wrongly) that many Christians quickly gloss over Jesus’ “hard sayings” to love your enemies — they are impratical and senseless — even though the Lord, for some reason, decided to hold us to this standard. Pope Paul VI declared “No more war!” Pope Benedict XVI so beautifully described the vengeance of the God of Israel. “True vengeance” is the healing goodness of God. The definitive explanation is found in the one who died on the cross: in Jesus, the Son of God incarnate. His ‘vengeance’ is the cross: a ‘no’ to violence and a ‘love to the end.’

    Perhaps, this is silly idealism. I’m certainly not arguing that a State does not have the God-given duty to defend the lives of its citizens; however, the manner and strategy of exercising that duty in given circumstances is a matter of prudence. There is an old saying that “in times of war, the laws are silent.” I think for some reason this includes moral laws. Man has found himself capable of terrible things in times of war and I cannot see how war brings no more war. Yes, this is a fallen world, but the Christian call is to transform not get behind the status quo of sin.

    Yes, there is a right to self-defense and yes, there is such a thing in theory as a “just” war; however, I think we oversimplify what it takes to make that call. In all truth, the matters of war do not immediately impact us. We continue our daily lives and in many ways take our countless blessings for granted. It is hardly clear to us what it is we may or may not be saying is morally licit. I’m personally of no position on the matter of this armed conflict, except that my prayers are with all involved and I hope this conflict ends as soon as possible and an all out war is not waged.

    Again, I think Kyle nailed it on the head. I don’t think it is fair to say a reluctance in this matter and/or asking the question of whether this is something that should be engaged in with its potential consequences on many levels is necessarily pacifism; I think it’s taking the “just war” doctrine very seriously. As Catholics, we are called to be in opposition of unjust war and I think the modern reactionary tendency leads more to the latter than the former.

    That’s my two cents.

  • Eric,

    Beautifully said and excellently argued.

    Just an afterthought: even if a potential military action does meet all of the just war criteria in Catholic social thought, this does not mean that the issue is over. The exhausting of all alternative means to dispell conflict are still strongly, strongly advised.

    I hate to say it, but some of your cohorts here seem to have a minor devotion to military violence, and it is rather sad.

    I

  • While I would to an extent share the fear that Israel’s current offensive will do little to make Israeli citizens safer from Hamas’ daily rocket attacks (in that I fear they would have to reduce Gaza to the 1943 condition of Stalingrad or the 1945 condition of Berlin to thoroughly remove Gaza’s ability to operate — and neither they nor the international community have the willingness to allow such a thing to happen) I’m hesitant to condemn Israel loudly as some are going either.

    Eric says:
    Yes, there is a right to self-defense and yes, there is such a thing in theory as a “just” war; however, I think we oversimplify what it takes to make that call. In all truth, the matters of war do not immediately impact us. We continue our daily lives and in many ways take our countless blessings for granted. It is hardly clear to us what it is we may or may not be saying is morally licit. I’m personally of no position on the matter of this armed conflict, except that my prayers are with all involved and I hope this conflict ends as soon as possible and an all out war is not waged.

    I think in some sense I agree, but with the difference that while I fear the unleashing war on Gaza will do little to help Israel, I do not feel that we in the US have the standing to tell Israel: Sure, you’re suffering daily rocket attacks with ever increasing frequency, going farther and farther into your country, targeting civilians. But we’re really not sure if attacking Hamas would resolve that, so you better just grin and bear it.

    I really can’t say what decision I would make if I were the prime minister of Israel (since that is thankfully not my duty) but seeing as Israel has decided to attack Hamas (which is, after all, the duly elected government of Gaza right now) I don’t see it as my place to blame them for the decision at this time.

    Certainly, one does not want to use the just war criteria too casually — yet at the same time, one must recall that the just war criteria are generally used in determining if one may start a war, not whether one may defend oneself against an already ongoing attack. Given that Hamas had already decided to attack Israel via indiscriminate bombardment of civilian areas, it strikes me that Israel’s right to strike back is pretty clear — though its duty to behave proportionally obviously remains.

  • Mark, I would object to your addendum on one minor technicality (so you can brain me if you feel I’m being too nit-picky), but exhausting the alternatives is a criterion for just war. I’d offer instead that even in the cases when all criteria are met, there argument is not over because we can still choose not to go to war.

    The problem, I feel, is indeed in judging the consequences of taking military action. Because we cannot know the future, working with the purest utilitarian ideal of whether or not to engage in war is impossible. We cannot know that taking action will indeed make things better or worse, and we cannot know–not with any certainty–that not taking action will make matters better or worse. I think judging the lasting harm of a war is like predicting the weather, only slightly more complicated because now we’re trying to predict over a body of thinking, reasoning beings (I almost said rational, but I think that might draw objections) instead of a highly chaotic, but largely deterministic system. We can predict immediate consequences fairly easily and with a moderate degree of accuracy, but long term is much harder.

    Where does that leave us? The gravity of going to war should always, always, always make us think thrice. There’s no question there. And we certainly shouldn’t be chafing at the bit to go and fight. In that regard, Mark, I would not say that people here have a devotion to military violence. Instead, we may be a little too blase about using military force. But unless you’re truly prepared to state that military force is never justified in any circumstance, i.e. a complete blanket prohibition, then all we’re arguing about is when to go to war.

    Eric, I certainly would not call what you said “silly idealism”. What you’ve said is really where we all need to be starting from when we contemplate the notion of war. However, I think there’s an aspect of war–what justifies us in taking action if we choose to do so–that you’ve glossed over. Perhaps I’m just making this up, and I’m certain that not many will agree with me, but I believe that war can be waged in full love of the enemy, and can be a corrective measure for the enemy as much as a defensive measure for the assailed.

    In the treatment of war, just as with the treatment of law, we have to keep in mind the fallen, sinful nature of man. Just as some are tempted to steal, murder, commit adultery, and commit other crimes, so too are leaders tempted to wage war for one purpose or another. When there is no threat of retaliation, no threat of punishment, then sooner or later someone caves and commits a crime. That’s why we have our laws and our penal system, and that’s why we endeavor to ensure that the criminal is always caught. In the same way, a standing army acts to deter war, but it only works as a deterrent as long as there’s the very real possibility that the army will be called to action. And when someone does choose to unjustly engage in war, calling the army forth to combat the aggressor is not partake in bloodshed, but instead enforce on the aggressor that his actions are wrong and need to be changed. Keep in mind, of course, that this stands as the final safeguard against unwarranted aggression, and that there are other means that can be employed first to prevent war or even de-escalate it once it has started.

    The corrective part of war, blunt as it may be, is showing the aggressor that cost of his aggression far outweighs the benefits. Of course, the biggest problem with this view of war is actually best exemplified in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The blunt weapon of war may be simply too much, just as a SWAT team is too much for a shoplifter, and a lifetime imprisonment too much a first-time, single count drug offense. But this is exactly what Hamas is counting on, so that they can continue their aggression with impunity.

    So what is Israel to do? I waffle. Some days, I want to say, every citizen in Gaza that condones the actions of Hamas by allowing them to fire rockets from civilian neighborhoods and so on is complicit with evil and has made himself a combatant. Fortunately, I know that such thoughts are a thinly disguised “Kill-em-all-and-let-God-sort-em-out” mentality, which is very, very, very wrong, so I tend to keep that on a tight leash.

    Other days, I think, “only a few dozen have been killed, a fun hundred injured, so that’s not a huge deal. Israel should just stand firm and teach those terrorists that a few thousands rockets each year isn’t going to faze the Israeli people.” But then, I feel strongly that the Hamas terrorists are of the mentality that if they can get away with sending more rockets or worse into Israel, they will do so. And this is where the unforeseen consequences come into play. Who can honestly say what will, indeed, happen? I could speculate that the terrorists will eventually get bored with having little effect and will either a) go home or b) escalate. I could speculate that the Israeli people, seeing their government doing nothing to protect them will a) face martyrdom bravely b) overthrow the current government and install one that will wage war with Hamas or c) take matters into their own hands and start firing rockets into Gaza. So what will it be?

    As a final point, where I think you’re wrong, Eric, is in talking about the negotiating table. Wars are ended at the negotiating table, true, but waging war sometimes is the only thing that forces one side or the other to the negotiating table. Certainly it would be better if nations talked out their differences instead of declaring war, and if you look at the diplomatic measures we engage in today, it should be heartening. We have embassies to and from most of the nations in the world, or at least the ones we deal with regularly. We spend vast amounts of time in diplomacy so that we never come to combat. But when one power is bent and determined to wage war and refuses to sit down to negotiate, then the negotiating table has no power.

  • Ryan,

    I don’t disagree with you. I believe that the State has a right to defend itself and in doing so is delivering justice by means of a remote as possible material cooperation in evil — an evil that the State wishes to end not perpetuate and did not intend in using as a means of bringing justice until compelled to do so.

    As Darwin said, proportionality and the extent to which one can exercise the right of just defense or fighting justly to stop a growing evil before getting carried away is a very fine line. Not to mention, as Pope John Paul II repeatedly reiterated, that war undermines itself; the end one may try to achieve is contrary to the means that are being used and I, rather, emphatically think that reality gets very little attention. I don’t believe much good will come from this, quite the contrary.

    On a tangent, I was watching the FOX news today and there was a black and white video recorded by an Israel aerial target-tracking camera showing men inside of a building loading long tubes or cylinders on a flatbed truck. These were supposedly “terror operatives” loading crude rockets. Nevertheless, the air pilot fired and destroyed the building.

    It turns out that the rockets, in fact, were salvaged oxygen tanks from a welding shop being moved by civilians — in a building next to a building that a previous Israeli airstrike destroyed.

    The group had loaded several oxygen tanks before the missile hit. Eight people were killed and little did many of their families know that their livelihoods were going to change forever. They showed photos of the truck and the charred oxygen tanks. They weren’t rockets — they certainly would have gone off upon impact. This case highlights the complexity of targeting in urban areas.

    On a separate note, Israel has hit more than 400 targets since the airstrikes began. Some 400 Palestinians have been killed and 2,000 wounded and its been estimiated that a quarter are civilians. I’m not sure of the accuracy of these figures, of course, but if they are somewhat accurate I think it’s horrible enough in itself.

    Not to mention, Israeli strikes have targeted mosques because they believed they were storing rockets there. I’m not certain of whether they are or not. But blowing up places of religious worship, especially that of Muslims, in this region, with these circumstances…God help us.

    It is an unfortunate situation and I pray they stop fighting.

  • Israel never seems to learn and time is running short.After a brutal 18 year occupation of South Lebanon in the 1980’s,it was forced to withdraw leaving a more radical Hizbollah foe that did not exist prior to invasion. Israeli forces in lebanon slaughtered over 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians(most non combattants,Christians and Moslems).Israel’s overwhelming use of US supplied cluster bombs against civillians(a violation of the US Arms export act)resulted in the birth of suicide bombing.It is yet to be seen how long the unwitting US taxpayer will supply Israel with unlimited arms with no strings. Israel’s 2006 war against lebanon saw Israel request millions of dollars in emergency munitions and aviation fuel from the US to enable it to maintain it’s bombing campaign on civilian infrastructure.

  • Hezbollah is sitting this one out. I wonder if they would have done so without the 2006 war?

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g8NBzCeqjOYluefJPYG3U9AliW3w

    Israel isn’t the problem. The problem is the jihadist movement throughout the Islamic world that views us as enemy number one and Israel as a minor threat.

  • Israel is still occupying Gaza and the West Bank, contrary to what some people think or want us to think.
    I am an Iraqi Jew and I know what occupation, siege, starvation and suffering mean.
    So pls. stop blaming the victim and trying to find excuses for the bullying murderers. This is totally immoral and inhuman. If you are not able to say the truth, just keep silent and do not add salt to the wounds of the helpless Palestinians.
    Try to watch TV images from Gaza. Stare in the faces of the Gazan children and women, for you may come out with a clear and just conscience.
    I wish I ll see the day when Palestine is freed from its occupiers and the Palestinian people live in peace and security in their own land.
    May this be achieved either with Hamas or any other Palestinian freedom fighters.
    Thanks.

  • “I wish I ll see the day when Palestine is freed from its occupiers and the Palestinian people live in peace and security in their own land.”

    Hey Rami, I’ll perhaps believe you are actually Jewish when you give a real e-mail address. Until that time I think you are as Jewish as the members of Hamas.

  • “40 years after 1967 and 58 years after 1948, why is the occupation not yet over?
    Because Israel does not want it to end. Because Israel wants the land and the resources without the people. Because you have to eviscerate a culture in order to maintain total control over it. Because the United States says that’s just fine with us, you serve our purpose well. You help make the war on terror convenient. You help fit Iraq into the scheme. You’ll help us with Iran as well. Who the hell cares about a million and a half poverty-stricken Gazans and their dust, their sand, their stinking, crumbling heap of a disaster area homeland?
    What a terrible shame it is that Gazans have not yet attained the status of human in the eyes of the Western powers, for the resistance there will continue to be an enigma until this changes. For now, however, the slaughter will continue unabated.”>>

    The above is just an excerpt from an article on one of the many massacres perpetrated by Israel against Palestinians.
    Try to read the article in full. The writer is professor Jennifer Loewenstein. She is also a Jew, but with a human compassion and clear conscience plus a thoughtful insight into the history of the warfare in the region.
    Read what Jennifer Loewenstein wrote carefully and thoroughly if you want to know the true character of the state you are defending its genocide war.

    How Gaza Offends Us All:
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article17050.htm

  • Hi Donald,
    Believe me I am a JEW. And I am proud to be so.
    But, unlike you, I hate injustice, murder and prejudice.
    Being a Jew does not mean that I should ignore or tolerate the suffering of other people just because my coreligionists are the bad guys who have been inflicting misery and suffering on helpless people.
    Our humanity should prevail over our narrow affiliations and inherent prejudice.
    Thanks my dear.

  • Believe me I am a JEW. And I am proud to be so.

    A rude question to ask, I am sure, but out of curious, when’s the last time you attended Sabbath services?

  • Rami,

    the highest reported totals from Israel’s defensive action in Gaza is about 700. 3/4 are military by all accounts. Do you have the foggiest clue how many civilians would be killed if a single F15 where to deliberately attack an occupied civilian target? If Israel wanted to destroy the UN school that Hamas was using to shield it’s rocket attacks, there would have been nothing but a pile of rubble, just on 1000 lb bomb would have killed everyone inside. Clearly that IS not the objective.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Still haven’t given me a real e-mail address Rami. Until you do so I think you are a supporter of Hamas flying a false flag.

    “But, unlike you, I hate injustice, murder and prejudice.”

    Coming from the supporter of an organization that specializes in cowardly attacks on civilians, I assume you are attempting to be humorous with that statement.

  • Rami,

    check this video out, and then get back to us:
    Hamas in their own voices

  • Dear Crankycon,
    How are u doing?
    Do u mean I can not be a true Jew without attending Sabath?
    Who say that, my dear?
    It seems this is a new theory on the identity issue. So, if u do not pray you are not a true Jew or Christian!
    Being a Jew goes deeper than ritual things. It is about culture, psyche, self fulfillment and how you look at yourself.
    If I do not attend prayer, that does not necessarily mean I am not a real Jew.
    Thanks my dear.

    Dear Matt,
    There could be no more cowardly than the Israeli soldiers who kill innocent children and women in cold blood. There is no honor or heroism in killing children, I guess. It is pure cowardice. There is no other name befitting their evil and inhumane deeds. The Israeli military establishment has rubbed the honor of their soldiers in the blood of Gaza’s children. But who knows, we may see their leaders at the Hague very soon for the war crimes they are committing in our name.

    Dear Donald,
    Believe me I am not fond of Hamas. I know they are violent sometimes. But they are not more violent than the Israeli soldiers. Whether we like Hamas or not, we can not deny the fact that they are resistance group wanting to liberate their land. Resistance is a legitimate right for all peoples under occupation. Now remember what I am saying: it won’t be long till we see the Israelis and their benefactors, the Americans, indulged in some sort of dialogue or negotiations. Hamas will remain there, believe me. Israel could fight for ten years from now and it will reap the wind. Hamas remains the difficult figure in the equation.
    Thanks.

  • “Believe me I am not fond of Hamas. I know they are violent sometimes. But they are not more violent than the Israeli soldiers. Whether we like Hamas or not, we can not deny the fact that they are resistance group wanting to liberate their land.”

    No rami, the Israeli military attempts to minimize civilian casualties, while the terrorists of Hamas attempt to maximize civilian casualties. Hamas wants to destroy Israel and to make all of Palestine Judenfrei.

  • There could be no more cowardly than the Israeli soldiers who kill innocent children and women in cold blood. There is no honor or heroism in killing children, I guess. It is pure cowardice. There is no other name befitting their evil and inhumane deeds.

    This is all of course true, but it’s a red herring. If this were even marginally frequent then there would be 100’s of thousands of dead Palestinians every year. Instead, the whole history of the conflict (50 years) about 70,000 have died. By contrast more mohammedans than that are killed by their co-religionists every year.

    I notice you failed to answer my question? How many Gazan’s could Israel kill with a single bomb if they wished to annihilate them? You know the answer, it is in the 1000’s, far more than in the number that have been killed in 2 weeks of air attacks against military targets.

    I know they are violent sometimes. But they are not more violent than the Israeli soldiers. Whether we like Hamas or not, we can not deny the fact that they are resistance group wanting to liberate their land.

    Violence is neither good nor evil under Jewish, Christian or Islamic law (which I believe is your actual religion). Violence is only evil when it is directed at the INNOCENT. When Hamas “resists” it is not usually against the IDF, but against innocent men, women and children.

    Did you check the video? They do not deny their approach, why would you?

  • ps. Rami, you should be aware that Hamas seeks to maximize civilian casualties ON BOTH SIDES in order to garner sympathy. In doing so they are responsible for the bloodshed on both sides.

  • Do u mean I can not be a true Jew without attending Sabath ?

    Yes, that is what I am saying. Just as you cannot be a true Catholic without attending Mass. I understand that there is a cultural aspect to Judaism, but to me that is precisely why Judaism is dying. Especially in the US, too many Jews treat the spiritual aspect of their faith as merely a secondary (if at all) aspect to their religion. I’ve even encountered several Jewish friends who think it is not at all a contradiction to be considered an atheist. Ummm, excuse me?

    And unless you’re my wife, please do not call me dear. Thanks.

  • Then again, maybe I’m off and that whole “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy thing” was optional.

  • rami,

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7816417.stm

    more evidence of Hamas terrorism, violating the ceasefire that Israel permitted to allow humanitarian aid.

  • Absolutely not true. Even the CNN itself said today that Israel, not Hamas, is to blame for braking the ceasefire.

    Anyway, here is another link that will take you to another free Jewish thinker,

    Dr. Norman Finkelstein, who also provides a great insight into what is really happening in Gaza.

    Remember! Dr. Finkelstein is a Jew not a Palestinian or an Arab “a smiling face here!”.
    http://www.normanfinkelstein.com

  • rami,

    CNN? They are the shoddiest news organization in the world (next to the reuters perhaps). Just because a self-hating jew like Finklestein and you want to spew lies doesn’t make them true. Are you going to respond to my earlier posts? Or do you accept that Hamas is responsible of all civilian casualties as I have demonstrated?

  • CNN is almost ludicrously bad in regard to the Gaza story. They had to pull a fake Hamas video about an alleged atrocity by the Israelis.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/01/08/cnn-stung-by-fake-atrocity-video/

    Ted Turner’s vanity news network is the last news source I would ever turn to, and that includes the New York Times!

Patton’s Weather Prayer

Friday, December 12, AD 2008

[metacafe]http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3594882/59_pattons_prayer/[/metacafe] 

 

 

“Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.”

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Patton’s Weather Prayer

  • Warfare is Spiritual as well as earthly. When we look at WWII especially, the lines are very clear as to what was right and what was wrong. Without spiritual guidance, men lose their consciences, without conscience, atrocities will occur un-abated and un-punished. As a combat veteran of Iraq, even if you disagree with Iraq, one can see the good that can come from that war when they are involved over in Iraq. My chaplain was staunchly opposed to the war in Iraq, and yet he did his job and took care of the people as best he could. He also pointed out that the military is best manned by men and women of faith.

    There is also an old saying that rings true: “There are no atheists in foxholes” and I never met an atheist while I was in the military, not once (the ones that said they were all were agnostics who believed in “some higher power”).

    If prayer for success in war is blasphemous, there are a lot of Old Testament figures, and lots of Saints, who have committed said blasphemy. I find the idea of prayer for success on the battle field as blasphemy to be grounded in nothing Biblical (or Jesus would have told the Centurion who’s servant He healed to quit the Roman Army no matter the consequence).

  • Sudsy,

    Thank you for your comments. I couldn’t agree more with your statement.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • sudsysutherland, well said, and thank you for your service to our country.