Sunday, December 10, 2006

Choice: Death Or Death?

"One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one." ~ Agatha Christie

The extremely unreliable cable company here in the Fredericksburg area interrupted my internet service for a couple of days so I wasn't able to post this entry as soon as it was fresh in my mind.

I woke up in the middle of the night the other night with a realization that disturbed me and prevented me from getting back to sleep.

At last I am ready to concede that something has to be done in Iraq that isn't being done now.

Speaking as one American, I now think something must be done differently if we are to extricate ourselves from what appears to be lose/lose situation over there.

These ideas are not new and they aren't mine. I've heard them before, but now I think they seem to make sense.

The problem America is dealing with in Iraq is that we are not fighting a war against a recognizable enemy. We are not fighting an army, we are fighting civilians. It is against America's ethical policy to kill civilians in war and we will avoid it under almost all circumstances, sometimes in completely illogical ways.

My fiancee read a story in the newspaper the other day about a Marine in Iraq who was killed because of this commitment to innocent human life. A grenade landed near him and he had time to pick it up and throw it back, but doing so would have killed civilian women and children. Covering his head and letting it explode where it was would have likewise killed innocent women and children, so he did the only thing he could do under those extreme circumstance. He threw his body on the grenade and thereby saved all the civilians but killed himself.

The Liberals in our country would blame America for his death, and call it one more in a string of American servicemen deaths that are unnecessary.

I call it heroism.

What I was thinking about is this:

Whatever we do or don't do in Iraq is going to cost lives. The choice is whether they will be servicemen and women lives or civilians lives.

Now, a major part of the American armed forces training is to prepare them to sacrifice himself for his country. Dying is part of his job description. Obviously, men and women don't join the service to die, but they are all trained to understand it is part of the job of defending America.

The terrorists around the world understand that Americans will do anything to protect civilian lives so they take advantage of that fact by targeting civilians. They know our servicemen are trained to protect civilian lives by sacrificing themselves.

Osama bin Laden himself has said that America is a paper tiger. If we pull out of Iraq with anything short of total and obvious victory, it will be an incentive for more terrorists attacks on America.

I believe America has a choice at this point:

Americans are going to die. That's a given.

Will it be American servicemen or American civilians? There is no third option.

So, how do we end this thing?

Do we pull out and watch the terrorists take over and resume the attacks killing American civilians worldwide or do we stay, modify our tactics to be more effective, and continue to lose American servicemen lives?

I believe the answer is obvious.

My personal belief is an unpopular and repugnant one. The only thing these terrorists monsters understand is violence and death. If we are going to stop terrorism in the world, we will have to start using their own tactics against them. Start targeting their civilians, specifically, the families and friends of the terrorists themselves.

We need to use their own tactics against them.

Other than that, if we want to make sure America no longer suffers terrorist attacks on our civilians, the only option is total annihilation of all Muslims, and that is impossible. There are too many of them and they are not all terrorists.

We who believe the Bible are told that when Jesus returns to Earth, he will return with an army of Angels who will lay waste to the enemy and his followers, and the destruction will be bloody and final.

He will not be concerned about the lives of civilians or servicemen.

What will we choose? Dead American civilians, maybe yourself or your own family, or dead American servicemen, who are trained to sacrifice themselves for their country?

Either way something drastic has to be done to put an end to this thing, and unfortunately, all options involve more death and destruction.

36 comments:

Dan Trabue said...

"We need to use their own tactics against them."

So, the terrorists have won you over to their way of thinking...?

Fortunately, as you noted, you are in the minority and we shan't do that. Praise God.

Erudite Redneck said...

You asre correct. Your thoughts are repugnant.

"Start targeting their civilians, specifically, the families and friends of the terrorists themselves."

Then we will have become lower than our enemies -- because we claim to be morally superior.

Incredible. One thing for sure: the myth that this is a Christian nation will be become so laughable that it may finally dissipate entirely.

D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

Wow.

Are you still imagining that loud thump on a Persian moonlit desert...possibly one in Syria now, as well?

Great post, Mark.

Lone Ranger said...

I addressed this subject last July. Bush has been trying to fight this war with both hands tied behind his back. The last lengthy conflict we fought properly (sans political interferance) was WWII. No doubt about who won that one. The liberals are whining that this war has already lasted longer than WWII. Well, of COURSE it has! Every time there is ANY collateral damage, liberals start shedding crocodile tears for "innocent" civilians and somebody is court-martialed. You can't successfully fight a war like that. If people who would never in a million years consider wearing a military uniform would just butt out, we could fight this war as wars are supposed to be fought.

Mark said...

I am no longer surprised that ER and Dan would choose death of innocent American civilians over the death of American military men and women, for, by taking the position of "blame America first", that is exactly the choice they appear to be making. As I said, there is no third option, whether we like it or not.

One would suppose that if it were their own families that were being killed instead of faceless servicemen, they would sing a different tune, but I fear they have become so inundated by the mental disorder known as Liberalism that they can't see the obvious.

It is you, Dan, who has been won over to the terrorists way of thinking. They want you to admit defeat, and by refusing to support your country you have done just that.

Or tell me, Dan and ER. Just how would you stop terrorists? You seem to think either it is impossible so don't even try, or you have some magic word you can say that will make them say, "Oh, gosh, you're right. We really must stop killing people". Well, if you do, please say it and end this thing.

Please tell us, oh Liberals, how do we stop them? Enlighten us.

Mark said...

ER, you say, "One thing for sure: the myth that this is a Christian nation will be become so laughable that it may finally dissipate entirely."

ER, your idea of what is Christian is already laughable. In fact, Psalm 2 talks about how God sits in His heaven and laughs at the vain practices of the heathen down here. It's a pitiful thing, but it just goes to show how far man will go because he wants to run his own show.

mom2 said...

ER, your idea of what is Christian is already laughable. In fact, Psalm 2 talks about how God sits in His heaven and laughs at the vain practices of the heathen down here. It's a pitiful thing, but it just goes to show how far man will go because he wants to run his own show.>

You are right about that. Back in the days when we could have been considered a Christian Nation, hymns were sung in school, prayers could be recited, homosexuals had shame and were in the closet, abortions were unheard of (young girls went away and had their babies and gave them up for adoption or faced their responsibilities and raised them) and the majority were thankful and proud to be Americans.

Mark said...

One more thing. Unless we begin targeting our own people as the terrorists do, we will never become lower than our enemy.

Dan Trabue said...

"Just how would you stop terrorists? You seem to think either it is impossible so don't even try,"

Mark, we've gone over this before. I again have to wonder whether you're intentionally misrepresenting our position or if you have just forgotten. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you've forgotten.

No one has ever called for "doing nothing." Nor do we think it impossible to face the terrorists.

Instead, we think that by becoming like them, we will make matters worse. We stop them by being better than them. By being the Christians and Americans that we have been at our best. By living up to our ideals - not theirs.

Please, Mark and his supporters: Look at what you're endorsing, what you're calling for.

As to specifics on how to stop terrorism, I'll refer you yet again to the Friends/Quakers' website as a starting point, where they have a great number of great ideas:

http://www.fcnl.org/ppdc/

Mark said...

Dan, you left out the last part of that quote. I said either you think it's impossible or you have some magic word you can say that will make them say, "Oh, gosh, you're right. We really must stop killing people".

But as far as living better thaN those people...We have been doing that. We were doing that when they attacked us the first time. Obviously that doesn't work. Try again.

Mark said...

Dan, I went to that website and saw the Quakers solution. Here it is:

The practical instruments of negotiation, aid, and development assistance, the psychological instrument of respect for human dignity and equality, and the political instruments of human, juridical, and civil rights provide a more effective, just, and moral answer.

Sounds good. The only problem with that is it doesn't work with these monsters. We have tried negotiation ad nauseum. The only thing that got us was more attacks. And these animals care nothing about human dignity and respect.

You cannot reason with the unreasonable. How many 9/11's do we have to endure before that fact sinks into your brain?

Dan Trabue said...

Mark, we just disagree. Unfortunately for you, the tide of American opinion is solidly turned against your solutions. You'll just have to let the majority have their way for now.

I pray that we'll never come to accept terrorism as an acceptable solution. I pray even more fervently that the Church would never endorse terrorism.

Lord forbid.

Mark said...

Dan, I agree. Terrorism in any form is abhorrent.

But what do you choose? American civilian deaths or American military deaths?

It is a inescapable fact that we will endure one or the other regardless, so which shall it be?

That is the only choice America has at this point. There is no civil way of extricating America from this situation.

All paths lead to death.

Erudite Redneck said...

This is not the statement of a man who has a serious faith:

"All paths lead to death."

You're sick, man.

The fact is this: We are doing what we need to be doing in this country, about as well as we can and maintain our historical principles and ways of governing. I'd rather lose it all than see this country become anything close to what you want for it, Mark.

You have a murderous heart, Mark, one borne of fear.

Solution: Steps one-three. Get out of Iraq. Repent before God and the world for the hubris and insanity that got us there. Impeach Buch and Cheney as evidence of repentence.

Dan Trabue said...

"But what do you choose? American civilian deaths or American military deaths?

It is a inescapable fact that we will endure one or the other regardless, so which shall it be?"

This is where I disagree with you. I think we have other, better options. I think (and I believe the majority of the world and the US agrees) that our current tact is exactly the wrong approach, that we can't embrace illegal means, pre-emptive attacks and certainly not terrorism.

BUT EVEN IF it were a choice between: Do I embrace terrorism as a tool or do I die?, I'd choose die.

Why? Because I stand against terrorism, whoever would embrace it. I'd suggest it is both a Christian and highly patriotic American thing to do.

Surely you agree?

Dan Trabue said...

On THIS, I can agree: All paths lead to death. The question is: Will we go to death nobly and with our ideals intact, or will we reject our ideals to try to push off that inevitable death?

Mark said...

You have to be kidding, ER. Get out of Iraq without first achieving victory? Are you insane? That would give the terrorists carte blanche to do their worst. Will you have to lose family members before you get it?

I say it again. We have two choices. Civilian deaths or military deaths. Apparently you think civilian deaths are preferable.

ELAshley said...

EVERYONE misrepresents your position Dan, because EVERYONE but you and ER and the similarly enlightened are your intellectual inferiors.

And how gracious of you to give Mark and the rest of us the benefit of a doubt.

What, pray tell, were our ideals during WWII Dan? Two atomic weapons on the sovereign nation of Japan? A civilized nation at that! What then for the uncivilized barbarians who murder their own people just to kill an American or two? What about the allied bombardment of Dresden, Munich, Berlin? What about those ideals, Dan?

What about those AMERICAN ideals; when America was more a 'Christian' nation than it is today?

And ER! Good grief! Your 3 step plan for peace reeks like a steaming pile of dung. And about as helpful! How many lives will THAT plan save? Don't bother, I'll answer.... None.

How can you say you desire peace when the only thing your solution will bring is death?

I'll end it here, lest my anger cause me to say things I shouldn't.

But I will say this... When Jesus does return with ten thousands of His saints, no mention is made in Revelation that a single sword will be raised against the ungodly of the earth, but He will slay them with the sword of His mouth, ie, the Word of God... His very words will drop them like flies in a blast furnace. And the nations will be seven months burying the dead. Mass graves probably. Imagine that. Seven months to dig and bury millions of people in MASS graves... How many people can we bury now in a single day with backhoes and other such equipment? The undertaking will be immense!

And Jesus won't ask anyone to repent before He destroys them either.

It will be too late then... They should have listened to people like us... but then, I don't hear Dan or ER trying to convince anyone who is 'ungodly of all their ungodly sins which they have ungodly committed...'

Dan Trabue said...

"I don't hear Dan or ER trying to convince anyone who is 'ungodly of all their ungodly sins which they have ungodly committed...'"

We're trying to convince you and your friends of the error of your ways - in speaking falsehoods about us, if nothing else. Falsehoods, being ungodly and all...

Erudite Redneck said...

Arrogance and hubris, y'all, are the foundation of all sin. Everytime I argue with y'alls' points, you falsely accuse me of saying y'all are inferior. I think no such thing.

I think y'all are arrogant, not unintelligent, fearful, not faithful, and that you worship a man-made, but God-inspired, book that you mischaracterize as the "Word of God."

But I don't think y'all are inferior. You're wrong, and you're willing to piss away the principles this secular government was was founded on, in the name of a particular -- and particularly hard-hearted -- stripe of Christianity that I believe Jesus Homself is mortified by. But inferior? No way. It takes real smarts to come up with some of the stuff you come up with.

ELAshley said...

Is it false that you prefer we pull out of Iraq? Perhaps even adopt the entire ISG report? A guaranteed recipe for disaster, with continued American deaths on American soil? That you believe America went to war in Iraq based on a lie? Is it a falsehood that you believe war is unjust, and sinful? That our response to attacks should be proportionate? That we should kill the enemy without killing a single civilian?

What lies Dan? That you don't believe Americans have the right to defend their life and property if innocents may get hurt? That you believe the Geneva Conventions should be extended to terrorists? That terrorists can be negotiated with?

What lies Dan? That you don't believe unrepentant sinners will end up in the bad place? What? That you don't put your pants on in the morning like the rest of us? That your mind doesn't think the same evil thoughts we all think on occasion? What? That you make allowances for sin like homosexuality? Just as long as its in a loving committed relationship, right? What about people who simply live together outside of marriage? Those can be both loving AND committed.

No one's lying about you, Dan. If you've been misrepresented, it's nothing more than what you've done to the rest of us. And every question I've posed here you've had something to say about it here and elsewhere in the months I first discovered Dan Trabue existed.

----
Apologies, Mark. If you choose not to allow this comment I completely understand.

Mark said...

No, EL, I'll allow your comment. I've been wondering what Dan thinks I've been lying about myself.

Dan Trabue said...

"I've been wondering what Dan thinks I've been lying about myself."

I bring it up often because you all misrepresent our position often. You say things like "I guess you'd just let the terrorists eat all our babies and do nothing about it..."

so that you can argue against eating babies and try to make our position look morally deficient ("What fools allow terrorists to eat babies?").

You did it in this post when you said:

"You seem to think either it is impossible so don't even try, or you have some magic word you can say that will make them say, "Oh, gosh, you're right. We really must stop killing people"."

We don't think we shouldn't try to stop them - no one has ever said that. Nor do we believe in magic words.

It's called the strawman fallacy (or sometimes you engage in ad hominem attacks) and whether you know it or not, many so-called "conservative" bloggers engage in it frequently, present company included.

And, in the world of Christianity, it's called "bearing false witness" when you say "Dan believes X" when Dan has never said that he believes X.

It's a sin.

But then, Dan, ER, et al are moral relativists and don't believe in sin, right?

Mark said...

So now the shoe is on the other foot isn't it, Dan? Now you misrepresent me. I clearly said you SEEM to think. That is not a statement of fact but of conjecture.

But you did say if you had to choose between being a terrorist or death, you'd choose death. You misrepresented me there, also. I never said we should become terrorists. I said we should use their own tactics against them. It is splitting hairs, I admit, but there is a subtle differnce.

Also, The question was not what would you choose for yourself personally. If I had to choose between being a terrorist or death personally, I would likely choose death too. But we are talking about the lives of our countrymen and women. Not ourselves personally. When the lives of other people are at stake would you still choose to sacrifice American civilians? What do you think your fellow citizens would have to say about your willingness for them to die instead of the military?

Dan Trabue said...

"I never said we should become terrorists. I said we should use their own tactics against them. It is splitting hairs, I admit, but there is a subtle differnce."

To you only, I believe. IF we choose terroristic tactics, THEN we will be terrorists.

"What do you think your fellow citizens would have to say about your willingness for them to die instead of the military?"

I believe the majority of my fellow citizens would - in their more ideal moments - would embrace death over becoming a terrorist.

You would, I would, my church members all would (I say with some confidence). And I don't say this lightly. I have children. I don't want to see them targeted by terrorists.

But I would not, would not, would not kill other children to save my child's life.

Regardless, I don't think that's a position that we are in. It's a false choice.

Rather, I think my children's lives are further endangered by an embrace of terrorism - or rather, by embracing the tactics of terrorism, to put it in your words.

As to misrepresenting you because you said "Dan/ER SEEM to...", fair enough. I apologize. You did not misrepresent me in that statement.

But do you understand that when you've made similar comments before and I've corrected that misinterpretation, saying repeatedly, "NO ONE is calling for 'doing nothing.' We are calling for x, y and z..." and then I've spelled out what we're calling for.

So when I've explained this several times and you come back yet again and say we seem to be saying doing nothing or hoping for magic, it feels like you're deliberately suggesting something that you should know better than suggest.

Erudite Redneck said...

Here. Let me be perfectly clear:

I choose death over becoming a terrorist. And I choose the end of the United States over the United States becoming -- or even acting like! -- a terrorist nation.

Oh, and of course, I choose Jesus and His way over any sick, demonic perversion of the Christian faith that would even consider murder of women and children, or even noncombatant men, as an answer to the troubles we face.

Hey, Mark: Got Jesus?

Anonymous said...

America needs to mobilize towards a war footing, this is not going to just go away. Let us remember the many brave words of our Founders and persevere in the cause of freedom, unwavering, just, and committed. We cannot run, run to where? We cannot hide, we are a massive target, where would we hide? We need to turn the full might of America loose and demonstrate once and for all who is Boss. We need to walk tall and wield that big stick in an unhaltered manner.Let's show Iran, North Korea and Syria what we are capable of by getting serious and doing the right thing. Both the Irani regime and the Syrian regime need to know we can make their skies black with warplanes carrying nuclear devices with laser accuracy, with a willingness to do so. We are capable of taking them out and we should in no uncertain way. They understand power, I am all for showing them what we are capable of by taking out Tehran and Damascus in similar fashion to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Dan Trabue said...

"Let us remember the many brave words of our Founders"

Like these?

Overgrown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.

~George Washington

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.

~Thomas Jefferson

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes...known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. ... No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

~James Madison


Yes, please. Let's remember these words.

Mary said...

A story--

My son was being taught about civil disobedience and Gandhi at his Catholic school.

He came home indoctrinated.

He insisted that WWII wasn't necessary.

He whole-heartedly believed that the solution to the Holocaust would have been peaceful protests outside the gates of the death camps.

I gently explained to him that nonviolent solutions to problems are always best, but this is not a perfect world.

Sometimes, violence must be met with more violence to achieve justice and peace.

It's horrible that this is the reality, but it is the reality.

ELAshley said...

Washington? Jefferson? Madison? And yet they all owe their places in history because of a rebellion which led to a war against Britain? With Washington leading the revoloution?

Your quotes were cherry-picked, Dan. Any number of us could find quotes by the very same men that demonstrate a defense of Man's inherent right to defend not only HIS life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, but that of his neighbor's also.

Dan Trabue said...

"Any number of us could find quotes by the very same men that demonstrate a defense of Man's inherent right to defend not only HIS life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, but that of his neighbor's also."

Certainly. I didn't say otherwise, I just offered the quotes for consideration.

What I think these quotes and their others and their lives tell us is that they thought war was sometimes a necessity BUT THAT they were deeply distrustful of its use and well-aware of its limitations and its corruptive nature.

This, as opposed to many of our leaders today - chickenhawks, especially - who think war is a glorious and noble enterprise.

To quote another General (who would know):

"I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell."

-Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman

Old Soldier said...

"Now, a major part of the American armed forces training is to prepare them to sacrifice himself for his country. Dying is part of his job description. Obviously, men and women don't join the service to die, but they are all trained to understand it is part of the job of defending America."

Mark, the intent is probably nobale, but your choice is words is flawed. We do not train our service people to die. Quite the contrary; we train them to stay alive in chaotic battles. We know the risk and are willing to accept the risk to serve and defend the nation; but we do not go into service or battle expecting to die.

General George Patton sums up the job description of an American fighter: "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

Marie's Two Cents said...

Off Topic here but:

MERRY CHRISTMAS MARK!!!

Rogue Genius said...

Here is the problem with your thinking. You say we need to stick with it till we win... But you, or Bush, or the conservatives, or the liberals, or anybody in this damn country can tell me what winning will look like. The fact is we went into Iraq because we were pissed and looking for revenge. We had no idea what we had hoped to accomplish because going in an killing a bunch of ragheads was our only goal. Once we had done that (a monment clearly marked by the famed "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" moment) we had no idea what the hell we were going to do next. We still don't. We are dying because we are just standing around with targets on our backs not doing anything.

Erudite Redneck said...

Merry Christmas, Mark.

Marshall Art said...

Late to the game, but I have to give kudos to all for the civility of discourse.

Sherman's March. With the printed quote in mind, he swept through the South in a most savage way, knowing that the best way to end the war was to unleash as much devastation as possible, or rather, just more than the people could bear. Not the Confederate army, but the people. When the people couldn't take the suffering, he believed, it would end.

As to Christian references, picture this:

Ahmed has a pistol at your wife's temple. Right before he pulls the trigger, you pull out your pistol, put it to Ahmed's temple and squeeze, thereby saving the life of your wife. You employed the exact same tactic as Ahmed. Jesus wouldn't forgive you, for He wouldn't hold your action as sinful. You did nothing wrong.

I offered both of these tidbits to suggest what is needed, and why we are still not as terrorists even using their tactics. Intent. That's what keeps us on the side of Christ. I don't believe you can come up with anyone who believes war is noble or glorious in and of itself. How it is fought and for what reason is how such appellations become attached.

There is no retreat. There is no "redeployment". There must be victory and as decisively as possible. They must be humiliated in their defeat to the extent that retaliation is something for which they will have no stomach. It's not for glory. That's stupid. It's for peace and security. Our way has always been to lift up the remnants of the vanquished and that is what makes them understand who we are and why we're better as allies than enemies.

And Mark is right. There's no negotiating with those who won't negotiate. Nor should we with murderous despots. We dictate terms and conditions. We certainly don't negotiate with crime lords and gang bangers.

Once again Mark, nice place you have here. You'll be on my favorites list (and I'll never sleep).