Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Athena and Aries

We must talk about war. An American Marine stands accused of shooting a wounded and unarmed terrorist. If he did, he was wrong! We do not know the details and I pray that he is innocent. That this man risks his life in the hell of Fallujah for me makes him my hero!! That our safety and joy require this hero be placed in a situation where he has to make this terrible choice, weighs heavily on all of us. I am grateful that I do not have to judge him. I caution those, who in their eagerness to score political points, are attacking him and our military.

I am directing the play A Few Good Men at the high school. (You can see it this Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night at 7:00 PM at Layton High's little theater.) At the end of the play, one of the attorneys demands a young Marine answer a question. "What are you supposed to fight for?" The answer, "Those who can't fight for themselves." We cannot become what we are justly fighting to destroy.

It is the justice of the War we must define and defend. This will need to be the subject of much consideration here in the Agora. To discuss this war reasonably we must set this Marine and his tragedy aside and consider the justice of the war itself. We must not condemn the whole of our military for the actions of one solider, nor the justice of this war because of unjust acts of an individual. We the People will vindicate our nation's actions by how we deal with our enemies and our warriors.

We will talk more about justice and war. For now we must keep the war separate from the individual actions of a warrior.


RealFruitBeverage said...

Every war has choices that were right ones and wrong ones. None are exempt form us judging the totality of a war as good or bad. I don't know what the situation was with this marine. But whatever it was it counts to what we are and the rightness of our cause. We have to remember to count each action to the totality of the war. War is never kind. Sometimes we have to evaluate bad situations without losing the sight of the long term goals.

Layton Lancer said...

What's that saying that everyone in the mormon church is always quoting? "Hate the sin love the sinner". In sort of a twisted, unrelated type of way I think this is what Lysis somewhat saying. This marine, noble as he may be, might have done a horrible deed and might be guilty. However the guts he had when he signed up to be a marine, a lot of pain and horrible things to go through, will cause him to forever be a hero in my book. I'm not saying that if he intentionally shot the man just because he wanted to is alright cause he's a marine, I'm not excusing any such act.
This war is as awful as anything could be, I dont' like to see people dieing, esp. Americans. As awful as war is, this a just war, and therefore I stand wholeheartedly behind it.

Hythloday said...

There is a parrodox, passion and distance. There is a term among writers, critical distance. It is a state of mind that one must reach before they can honestly adress the subject they are writing on. If a writer is too empassioned the arguement becomes transparent, hollow, and entirely biased. But there is no good writer who doesn't feel deeply about the subjects they address.

What Lysis is asking us to do is to achieve that critical distance, and that is a wonderful and important thing for us to do. Why? Because it will allow us to be open to honest dialogue, we will be both more apt and more able to hear truth when it is spoken. Otherwise we are still victims of the evidence game. The game where every event, like the event of this marine, becomes an opportunity to prove our bias.

For me reaching this state of mind on Bush, and on Iraq , has opened me to dialogue, to communication - which is exactly what we will need to do if we are to hear the rifts in our nation, and in our communities.

It is probably fair to say that in the last few years that each of us has been involved in some discussions of the moral rightness of the war. It is likely that these have been very poignant and probably eaven heated discussions that are built around our moral and evaluative world views. There is nothing wrong with this type of discussion, it may even be healthy, because it causes us to question and to defend, to define our beliefs. But this type of dialogue can also create or deepen the rifts that are now national topic, the reds and the blues. The conflict of our moral world views can and does escalate. What can we do to keep the dialogue from becoming a forum for greater division.

It makes it difficult for our evaluation of the war to ever get beyond, "we should" or "we should not be there". If we want to get to the truth of whether this is really a good war, we need to suspend judgment until the facts are in. Until we have listened to all the evidences, and not just those that support our already determined bias.

What we can do is just what Lysis suggested, we need to reach a critical distance where we seperate the events from our emotions. At the same time we must become more involved, we must learn more, listen more, share more of our thoughts and our ideas. It is a paradox, at least it seems so to me.

So I would rewrite the last line just a little. "We will talk more about justice and war. For now we must keep the war seperate from [our bias]."

Hythloday said...

After a day of thinking about this post I would change the last line one more time. I say "we must keep the war [and]...the individual actions of a warrior seperate from our bais."

About Health Blog said...

But whatever it was it counts to what we are and the rightness of our cause. We have to remember to count each action to the totality of the war.