Sunday, September 02, 2007

Christian Warfare

To visualize the principle of "turn the other cheek" in practice, in warfare, read this article (link below) from the Washington Times. It describes a first-hand account of American soldiers in Afghanistan, sent on a mission behind enemy lines, and confronted by rules of engagement that are based on the Christian principles of "turn the other cheek" and "love thy enemy." Our Christian President has imposed these rules on our soldiers. "Killed by the Rules" could be more broadly stated as "Killed by Altruism." Altruism is the philosophical belief that you must sacrifice yourself to others. It is the philosophical root of Christianity, and the root of this policy.

Our political leaders extol the virtue of sacrifice. See its results on the battlefield.

The alternative to altruist-Christian suicide is Objectivism, the philosophy that validates the morality of rational self-interest. We have the strongest military in human history. If we do not learn that it is moral to defend ourselves, we will never use that military properly. We will keep turning the other cheek until we can no longer do so.


Hat tip for article.


Ergo said...

This is outrageous! And very very sad for the soldiers. Their conscientiousness in following this despicable morality of sacrifice even in the face of danger on the battlefield is admirable, even though unfortunate and sad.

Burgess Laughlin said...

Three points deserve emphasis:

(1) Who is responsible for this sacrifice? Ideas cause history. Altruism caused these deaths, as Galileo Blogs has said. Altruists are responsible. That includes not only conservatives (whose guiding values are God, Tradition, Nation, and Family -- all recipients of sacrifice) but also leftists ("liberals," whose guiding values are collective Humanity and, sometimes, God).

(2) The Seals would probably not even have been in Afghanistan at this time if rational military policy had been followed. The U. S. has a large arsenal of bombs that work better than special forces.

(3) Voting now requires a nightmare decision. Whether I vote for conservative altruists or leftist altruists, I am still voting for altruists. I am stuck with picking through the mess and trying to find candidates who will quickly withdraw soldiers from the conservatives' sacrificial War on One Tactic. These candidates are altruists too, but at least they might, on the short-term, stop sending our best soldiers to their deaths in such great numbers. (Instead, the anti-war leftists will probably send a few to die in Kosovo or Darfur, I suppose.)

Altruism permeates our culture. Outside of the minute presence of Objectivism, we can see only differences in style and timing in the applications of altruism.

r w said...

Why exactly is this an example of "turn the other cheek"? Is executing civilian goat herders before they act in a threating manner self defense? I understand that the government of Afghanistan was acting to preserve the establishment of religious and social domination and had no right to accomplish that, and if they pose a threat to us we have the right to stop them, but how can intentionally killing unaggressive civillians be justified?

Galileo Blogs said...

I agree with each of the points made by Burgess Laughlin.

I would ask "r w" to re-read the article, "Killed by the Rules," and answer his own question of whether killing the goat herders would be an act of self defense.

On this issue of killing civilians, I am reminded of an anecdote I heard from a soldier who fought with Patton's Third Army in World War II.

As his tanks raced through Germany, they were vulnerable to being fired on by anti-tank weapons held by German soldiers lying in ditches along the side of the road. This was in the last months of the war and the most able-bodied soldiers were off fighting the Russians on the Eastern front, or were dead. As a result, he noticed that the soldiers holding the anti-tank weapons on the side of the road were just boys as young as 12 or 13.

I asked him what he did as his tanks raced along to meet the retreating German army. His answer was decisive and clear. He blew away every one of those German child-soldiers he could find. As a result, he lived to tell me his story.

Those goat herders were not innocent civilians. The fact that they told the Afghan fighters about the Americans is proof that they weren't. The Americans in Afghanistan should have behaved with the same moral authority as the Americans in World War II. They should have killed them.

Damn our leaders and the corrupt philosophy of altruism they live by for inculcating the moral guilt in our soldiers (and the resulting legal peril) that prevents them from properly protecting themselves or prosecuting this war.

Those leaders and their anti-man philosophy murdered those soldiers.

r w said...

I appreciate the reply Galileo, my comment was caused by discomfort from my difficulty at resolving the difference between retaliating against an actual threat,like a 13 year old firing a rocket, and killing a man because of a potential threat of collaboration with my aggressors, i imagined it would be unsettling to carry that out based on speculation; of course since the Americans were engaged in maneuvers of a justifiably self defense nature, any civilians killed, whether by accident or intentionally due to the possibility of complicity with that enemy is caused by and is the moral responsibility of the initiator.

Kendall J said...


Great post! It is stunning and horrifying but not unexpected to see the consqeuences of really horrific ideas. Thanks for highlighting it.

Galileo Blogs said...

Thanks, Kendall. A picture by itself is not an argument, but the mental picture of these men make the argument against altruism so clear.

Alone on a mountaintop in one of the most primitive areas of the world, about as far away from home as they could possibly get, armed with the best weapons and backed by the best army ever seen on earth, these men were nevertheless disarmed by a morality that cut them off at the knees.

The lone survivor used the analogy of the Little Big Horn. The key difference was that after that debacle (caused by military foolishness, not altruism), the U.S. Army came back and achieved victory over the Indians.

No such victory is forthcoming in the near future against the Islamic terrorists. Until the corrupt morality of altruism is discredited -- ridiculed and refuted -- and replaced by something better, we will keep suffering such self-inflicted defeats.

The sad thing is that essentially all of the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are the equivalent of the suicides of these soldiers on the mountaintop. The entire war is a sloppy exercise in altruism, from its overall purpose of allegedly helping the Iraqis, to the detailed rules of engagement governing how that purpose is to be achieved. All of it sacrificially kills our soldiers.

I applaud the British for pulling out. We should, too. Better yet, we should find a good reason to fight the right war, properly.

Anonymous said...

----Those goat herders were not innocent civilians. The fact that they told the Afghan fighters about the Americans is proof that they weren't. The Americans in Afghanistan should have behaved with the same moral authority as the Americans in World War II. They should have killed them.----

An idiotic argument, assuming that the Individual has "future information".

Fact is, that the only think I see here, is a bunch of collectivists thinking that they can help themselves on the lives of other individuals.

The same way a terrorist thinks he has the right to kill someone, even if he hasn't enacted positive proof, proved aggression against him.

The same way posters here advocate killing someone even if he hasn't enacted force against them.

In other war, they advocate the right to kill anyone they feel like it.

The same way murderers do and such looters.

Galileo Blogs said...

Anonymous, why not identify yourself? I prefer communicating with someone who has a name, even if pseudonymous.

In any case, you are dropping the context here. Killing civilians in warfare is justifiable if it is necessary for self-protection. These soldiers would not be killing "anyone they feel like." Rather, they would be killing civilians because it is unavoidable in this situation. To do otherwise is to invite their own death, which did in fact happen to all but one of the U.S. soldiers.

I am presuming here that the war we are fighting is justified. If it is, then all necessary actions to win the war, which sometimes includes the killing of civilians, is justified. In World War II, we killed hundreds of thousands of German and Japanese civilians in raids on major cities, including the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Doing so helped win the war.

It would be immoral to kill goatherders who present no threat, just as it would be to bomb cities in peacetime. Isn't that obvious?