Saturday, July 31, 2010

War Is Heck

It seems to me that we are going the wrong direction in this country these days. I think "these days" started about 50 years ago, but still there has been a change.
During the last "Big War" being WWII we fought to win. We went in with a lot of bodies and we pushed and killed and broke stuff until the enemy's nation surrendered. George Patton said it "There is no glory in dying for your country, there is glory in making the other poor bastard die for his country." That's a paraphrase. The military focused on killing the other guys with guns but a significant part of prosecuting a war was to break the spirit of the nation we were at war with. That entailed destroying their homes and businesses and killing many "civilians" War was literally HELL. The men who were involved in it didn't want to talk about it when they got home. They wanted to leave it there and never revisit it. It was not glorious, if you thought it was you didn't have the respect of your peers and you were probably locked in a padded room.

This is where I make everyone mad. Of course when I say "everyone" I am referring to the 3 or 4 people who read this blog.

Since Korea, and Vietnam we have started fighting differently. The press is world wide and very fast. If you screw up it's on the evening news. If you succeed in killing the enemy and breaking their stuff the best you can hope for is to be ignored. The worst is for Congress to find out about it and you get brought up on war crimes charges by your own country.

We stopped fighting in a way that breaks the spirit of the enemy. We have refined and honed our weapons to the point that if we kill a civilian it is presumed to be purposeful and that is not acceptable. Because of this war lasts a lot longer. If we had fought "the old way" in Vietnam I believe we would have had victory in a few years. Instead we had to pull back whenever the opposing military got near civilians. The same happened in the Iraq war. We signaled for something like 18 months before we engaged the enemy and they had time to bury or move the weapons of mass destruction we knew they had/have. Our troops noticed that some of the people who greeted them in cities were clearly men who had taken off their uniforms and formed a greeting party. That is why we went in so fast. We were largely unopposed until we got to Baghdad. I believe many of these civilian soldiers turned into insurgents as soon as we left their cities on the way to Baghdad. Then when fighting the insurgency we would have to stop shooting if the enemy ran into a mosque. Hello?? He is the enemy! Go in and get him! If you encounter too much resistance blow up the mosque. Do you think they would stop if we ran into a church??? That is clearly not fighting to win.

I am not so bloodthirsty that I would want us to kill all the civilians and leave their corpses to rot in the sun. What I am saying is that in order to bring a quicker and therefore more merciful end to a war, civilian casualty is necessary. The spirit of the nation must be broken and victory must be the goal or there is no way to define the end. We just stay there until we decide to leave.

There has been a recent change to the "Rules Of Engagement" that govern how our military is to respond to the enemy. Along with this change was the introduction of a new medal. The Medal Of Restraint. ... I am speechless. Clearly war is now intended to be HECK instead of HELL.

I have not researched the new rules, again I apologize to all 4 of you. But apparently we are getting to the point where we will have to get a permission slip signed in 6 places and duplicates sent to the enemy's parents, Commanding Officer and the UN and congress before our guys can load our guns. Then there will be a 5 day waiting period for the paperwork to get back before they can shoot.

If we are in a foreign land to accomplish a goal we need to do it and get out with our goal clearly accomplished. That is how you know you have won. If we are not there to accomplish a goal then we need to get out as quickly as possible. The problem is that we have entered a war zone with the intent of ousting a rogue government, first Al-Quaeda in Afghansitan, then Saddam in Iraq and now back to the Taliban in Afghanistan. If we are not there to break them and destroy their grip on the people of Afghanistan then we need to leave.
The problem with leaving is that we have caused many of our allies and citizens to take our side. If we leave with the rogues in power those allies will be summarily killed. It happened in Iraq during the Gulf War, it happened in Vietnam.
I am strongly opposed to us as a nation and a people leaving any ally in a situation like that. Therefore our only righteous option is to destroy to enemy until they are unable to control the government of the nation in which they reside.
Publishing a date of withdrawal is not the way to do that. So to any of our allies, I am sorry for our stupidity. I am sorry we have destroyed you.

Now I turn my eyes on us. We have lived fat dumb and happy for a long time. We have been the most powerful nation of the face of this earth for a long time, we have had great power and we have not used it repsonsibly. Sorry Uncle Ben. Now we face the prospect of our financial folly bringing down the worlds financial system. We have behaved like spoiled children and now what is broken is beyond our ability to fix it.

We must turn to God and hope for His grace and mercy to heal the damage we have wrought. I believe it is possible. Unless we wake up all will be lost.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In My Garden,

The other day while working in the yard we were covering our newly planted vegetable garden with paper and then grass clippings to keep the weeds down. Some of the grass was dry and easy to work with but some of it was decomposed and pretty slimy. While working with it I started thinking that this slimy stinky stuff is a lot like our world. The whole of creation is in a state of decay in one way or another. Everything we see or use is dying or using decayed matter to grow, for a while, and then to become the decay itself. The whole cycle relies on decay and rot. The circle of Life in this earth is based on death.

While I was thinking of the scripture Isaiah 64:6 "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all of our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away."
Ever since the Garden of Eden the world has been in entropy. Death has been the underlying theme of human existence. We, through Adam and Eve chose death and decay over everlasting life in the immediate presence of God. Ever since and possibly before that point God had a plan to redeem us.
Throughout human history it is estimated by that 106,456,387,669 people have been born in "human history" though that is admittedly a guesstimate. Of thta 106 trillion people, only 1 was born who was holy. Not born of decay and rot but the First Born of God. Only He was capable and thankfully willing to die to take away our sins.
How totally awesome is our God. He is not like us. He is holiness defined. His nostrils must burn at the stench of our very existence in this world of life through death. I imagine the Prodigal father did not like the way his son smelled when he returned to him smelling of the pigs. And yet he put his cloak and signet ring on that son who had turned away from him and accepted him back into the family. Restored and whole as though it never happened.... wait, that's not true. Restored as though it did happen and all had been forgiven. Maybe that is what bothered the other son so much. He never tested his father, never went against him to find out just how forgiving he could be. I am not advocating rebellion. I am saying that since we have fallen we can know first hand the overwhelming grace and unquenchable love of the Father.

All I can say in closing is thank You Father. Amen

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Few Thoughtful Vignettes

If you can't see love until it kicks you in the head you will find that you may be forcing love to kick you in the head. Wake up and look for love. It often looks suspiciously like the thing you feared the most. The chastisement you know you deserve but dread more than you can put in words. The person you think is kicking you in the head for the joy of it. It takes many forms but only one purpose; Bringing you back into the arms of love.

We have abbreviated our lives into neat little bites. We are proud of our ability to multi-task and yet we are losing our ability to focus on one aspect of anything for more than a few minute...

Sports are a great metaphor for life......

Uhmmmm. Oh! Where was I? Oh yeah. We are losing our ability to stay focused on any one thing for more than a few minutes. We have assigned our deep thoughts to those who are deep thinkers. We have put off philosophy as a College credit and not an overarching method of living and understanding life. If you attempt, in polite conversation, to put more than one concept on the table, you will clear the table. You are labelled as a "Brainiac" or some kind of head case. We should be able to think through several concepts and link them together into an intelligent thought. If you want to do that you should be in college or something.
Maybe it's because we are embarassed for ourselves in the presence of intellligence. Maybe we just don't think we have time for it. I am seeing it more and more in our teens. They think in short bursts the length of a text message. Just like a sound bite on the news. No context, just sayin' and then on the the next snippet. I believe we are losing the ability to engage our brains. I know I am. That's part fo the reason for writing this blog. To show you that I have lost my ability to think.... No, wait, that's not what I'm doing. I am writing to keep myself thinking.

That's all for now. I have lost interest in this.....