On Veteran’s Day, I’m supposed to get all sappy. I usually do, of course I’m a third generation veteran. I was raised to believe in West Point’s “Duty, Honor, Country.” Lee Greenwood was singing to and about me, “I won’t forget the men who died…and I’ll gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today…”

But as I walk with God, I find I’m much more forgiving. I’m much less in favor of war, even though I’m no longer an active soldier. I’ve always agreed with MacArthur, “The soldier above all other people prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” But I’m questioning more about war each day.

I struggle with “Just War.” What is ever just about killing other people? At the same time, thousands of African-Americans would say that the people killed to free them were justifiable deaths. Many Jews and dissenters in Germany would agree that the British, American, Russian and French troops were justified in killing their torturers. When is it justifiable to kill? The residents of southern Vietnam might have some insights.

Hitler would not have bowed to pacifist. He had no conscience. Britain bowed before Gandhi because they realized they were wrong, and could not justify their actions. Being a moral people, they bowed. Hitler would view passive resistance as more graves to be dug. Nothing more.

Is al-Qada moral? Do they have a conscience? Would an olive branch be received, or would it be turned into a switch like my grandmother used to use? I think that they would not be receptive to peace offers. I am of the opinion that they want me dead, and if I passively resist, that is preferable because it makes killing me easier. But what if I am wrong?

What if I am wrong?

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