Sunday, November 21, 2004

One Man's Terrorist Is Another Man's Patriot, NOT!!

Moral equivalency is the oldest trick in the Relativist book. They say, "Yasser Arafat was like George Washington; one man's terrorist is another man's patriot; American soldiers killing Iraqies is the same as Al Qaida doing it. Who's to say who is right - who is wrong?" These statements and questions are lies told to confuse. The truth alone can light our way to justice.

When we discuss just war (Athena), we often consider World War II. The justice of the Allied cause seems so unassailable. Most are familiar with the atrocities of the Nazi death camps, but we should also recall that Germany was bent upon and perpertrated far more evil. More Slavic people than Jews died at the hands of the "master race", and the atrocities charted by the Third Reich would have washed into oblivon the deaths of all twelve million Jews slated for death in a sea of blood that would have covered the earth. We often forget; perhaps because of MacArthur; perhaps because of our own latent racism; that the Japanese killed as many people as Hitler. The massacre of Chinese and Koreans not only pushed into the millions, it too was only the beginning of the slaughter "The Rising Sun" would have lit had it not set in Edo Bay. The defeat of these monster states was the duty of all humanity. Yet there were "pacifists" even then, relativists ready to critique and condemn. The terrible means employed in WWII were not only justified by the ends achieved but by the overwhelming humanity demonstrated by "The Greatest Generation" even in the horror of war.

Now some relativists would have us believe that the outcome of WWII was moot; American victory no different than one by Germany or Japan - we were all fighting WAR. This is not true. The criminal and the policeman are not the same just because they both have guns! Nor are the Heroes who defend the same as the evil doers who attack. This is why discovering the justice of our efforts against Communism is an important starting point for considering the justice of the conflict in which we are now engageed. It is the CAUSE that must be just if we are to conquer. It is the fact that our warriors will be killing all kinds of people that must force us to predetermine the justice of our cause and proscribe the parameters of their actions.

War will be terrible - it should be. I am reminded of two Star Trek episodes. One from the first series - the one with Kirk and Spock. In it, the Enterprise comes across two planets that have been at "war" for centuries. They have removed all the "horror" from war. Everything is done in a computer game and at the end of the day the people whose sectors were electronically eliminated walk into vaporizers. The war goes on without other effect. Kirk and company soon start a real war to end the slaughter. A second show comes to mind from the Next Generation. In it the Enterprise comes across a planet where super warriors have been engineered to fight for the stay at home civilians. Once their usefulness had ended the warriors were locked up on a prison planet. Rodenberry and company are asking us to contemplate the justice of war and the things we ask our heroes to do for us.

War is hell, innocents die - sometimes tragically, some times heroically. It is the CAUSE we are fighting for we must consider to know if Athena or Aris lead us into battle. I find the line between warrior and civilian difficult to draw. Our enemies miscalculated when they thought they could defeat us with terror by attacking our people not our soliders. I am as big a "chicken hawk" as any that ever strutted his secure little barnyard under the blessed protection of his heroes, but I am every bit as much the enemy of terrorism as any solider. I will not go quietly into the night for my cause is just. When the last Marine is dead, Osama and his killers will have to deal with me. When the last policeman has been destroyed and the forces of evil have torn down the temple of Justice, then the Furies and I will be here to meet them.

If the relativists can convince us that there is no difference between our army and the terrorists, between our bombings and those of Arafat, between our cause and the cause of Fanatic Islam; then they will defeat us as they did our efforts in Vietnam. If our cause is just and we know it, then only by utterly destroying us can our enemies triumph.

20 comments:

Beef Jerky said...

Very well said. Lysis' entry is my very answer to the discussion that followed his previous entry. Also, I believe our American doctrine includes the fact that all men (and women) are entitled to life, liberty (freedom) and the persuit of happiness. I feel we need to practice what we preach. If we believe that all humankind is entitled to such things, we then have a moral obligation to help them acheive them. Our relativist friends will probably disagree with me, but oh well.

Dan Simpson said...

Fairly good rhetoric, but now I would appreciate it if you quit calling me a relativist and actually addressed my arguments. I take great offense at being called a relativist. Look at this logically and you tell me which is absolute and which is relative.

We can target innocents because our cause is just, but others cannot target innocents to forward their goals.

OR

Targeting innocents is wrong.

I am not arguing the justness of our cause either now in Iraq, or in WWII. Your proposition that the ends justify the means is relative in the extreme and incredibly dangerous.

We targeted civilians when we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, can anyone dispute this point?

Men like Arafat targeted civilians throughout their lives in order to promote their various causes.

Our cause was just, Arafat was an incredibly evil man with evil intentions whose cause deserved no second thought.

Now lets take a middle ground cause. Chechnya (I have no actual idea how to spell it). For sake of argument accept the following as true, they may or may not all be true. Chechnya wants independence from Russia. Russia is not an extremely free country and has shown its propensity for oppresion. Chechnya feels that it should have the same right to autonomy as any of the other former Soviet States( I know Chechnya was not a State in the former Soviet Union). Chechnya fights for its independence. Is this wrong? When they take over an elementary school and threaten the lives of the children and end up killing hundreds of them, is that a just act? No. Absolutely not. Even if everything is on their side in this dispute. Even if they deserve by every demand of justice to be a free and independent state their action is wrong and should be condemned.

Arafat and Washington are a wonderful pair to bring up. They are nothing alike. But that is not because America's cause was just and Arafats wasn't(though that is true). It is because Washington didn't train his soldiers to go kill women and children. Its because Washington was not willing to attack a town square to make a point. Would Washington have ever sent covert soldiers to London to kill indiscriminately to try to dissuade the people of England from fighting in the Revolutionary War? No.

If we begin to claim that because our cause is just we can do anything to achieve it, we truly will be no different than the terrorists. It is exactly because we will not act like the terrorists that makes our cause just. If we were willing to round up those that disagree in Iraq and shoot them in the head to lower support for Zarqhawi(sp) how would we differ from Saddam?

The ends cannot justify the means. The means with which we accomplish our just causes must in themselves be just.

Will anyone here stand by our wonderful Chief Justice Warren and claim that Topaz internment camps were right and just?

Again Delose I would ask you to face the question head on. If the ends justify the means, where is the line? Is there even a line? Is there anything that we could do that would be wrong if our cause is just?


I would appreciate if people want to disagree with me if they will actually answer the questions I pose instead of repeating "our cause is just", "we aren't like the terrorists" etc. ad nauseum.

And don't call me a relativist unless you can back up the claim.

Beef Jerky said...

Well Danny, I think we've about beat this one into dirt. My final question would be WHO decides which cause is just and which is unjust? Both Al Quaida and George Bush think their causes are just. The question is, who is authorized to decide that? Don't get so worked up about being called a relativist - in fact I don't remember seeing anyone in this blog calling Dannyboy2 specifically a relativist. When two people have differing opinions and start arguing, nothing gets solved. Maybe we don't agree with you, or you with us, or Lysis with me - who cares. If we all live what we believe and feel that's correct, then more power to us. The problem is, however, that that's exactly what Bush and Osama believe they are doing. So who decides? I guess I have no answer for that one. Japan included.

Lysis said...

Dannyboy I think we are really in agreement. Your argument sets down the first point we will need to have if we are to draw the line you call for; the line this discussion seeks to find. I agree with you that we must follow rules in fighting war. I agree with what “anonyms” posted last night, “that it is wrong to kill someone under one's control whether they are a little girl or a terrorist.”

I disagree with you in your claim that the use of atomic weapons against the Japanese was tantamount to terrorism. We did not have control of that people and they were our enemies.

If our enemies are under our control - as at May Li - we must not kill them but rather protect them. Our nation did this for thousands of POW’s taken in WWII and Vietnam and our nation does this today for those taken in open war against us. But in battle we are not required to pull punches for fear of becoming what we fight against. Our soldiers have gone to extraordinary and dangerous extremes to prevent killing innocents. I honor them for this, but this war will not be perfect, children will die. Al Qaida also kills children. I hope that Osama and his killers will have to "deal" with every last American when they come to force their will on us. So now we must ask, "if both America and Fanatic Islam will fight and kill for their cause, how are they different?" It is our CAUSE that must be just. This must be the second point we set down to draw the line both you and I want.

It is not relativism to say that some causes are unjust and some are just. It is relativism to say that every cause, including those that clash with each other, are equally right or wrong "depending"...

Rumpole said...

Interesting comments from all!

There are a few points I would like to add to the discussion. Please allow me some license as these points are injected. I acknowledge that they may not seem to apply to the discussion, but from my frame of reference they are relevant. The points are as follows:

1. Virtually every nation that has ever gone to war has invoked God and truth as justification for the action. The Japanese claimed to have God on their side; Hitler and the Germans claimed God was with them; The Islamo-Facists suggest that Allah sactions their actions; however, as the antagonist, America claims to have God with her. Who is on His side?

There are cultural divisions within religions that suggest that we should not judge. These people would have us believe that we must think good of all men, independent of how men act. While this is a simplistic view of the nature of men meant to be applied to day to day living, I think it fits very well here.

We must make judgements every day, virtually every minute, of our lives. What is most critical is that we judge on the side of truth. The Islamo-Facists and the Americans cannot both be right.

I don't think one cannot error when assuming that God is on the side of freedom. It would appear that when men are born, they are all born with that spark, that yearning to be free. Sometimes that spark burns brightly in the hearts of men. Other times it is extinguished (by either choice or force)by social circumstances. The government that each man is born in subjection to plays a huge role in that determination. This brings me to my second point.

2. Beause of existing governments, who are the innocents? Time and again on news reports I have watched Iranians and Iraqis claim that they have no problem with the American people; theirs is a struggle with our government. Well, who is our government? It is us! We are a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people". There is no separation.

Was the targeting of civilians on 9/11 wrong? Of course it was. It was not wrong, however, because civilians were targeted. It was wrong because it was an unjust act of war targeted upon a free people.

What did America remember that day? No war is a clean war. All are affected. We must take responsibility as a people to maintain our freedoom, to accelerate the burn for those who have the spark, and to rekindle the spark where it has been extinguished.

DannyBoy, don't think for a second that the Islamo-Facists think that they targeted innocents. They struck exactly where they intended to strike. The difficulty we now have in Iraq is figuring out who amoung the people there still have the spark within them, and who have had that spark extinguished. As in Viet Nam, it isn't easy to tell. This brings me to my third point.

3. We must understand our enemy. This is an enemy that does not care about human life, it cares only for its cause. This is an enemy that laughs when it sees the debate wage in America over the death of a terrorist that appeared dead, moved, and was made dead by a soldier who is now accused of a brutal act. Did this soldier error? I don't know. But is he guilty? No! It is unfortunate, but mistakes will be made that will cost people their lives. I applaud the soldier for having the courage to judge.

I do not believe that the end justifies the means. I do believe that the cause we fight for must be just. Where I disagree is that there are times when our means to that end are not defined by us, but by the actions of our enemies.

It troubles me that sometimes our actions must be dictated by the brutality of others, but I think it is a reality we must face.

Hythloday said...

This is a wonderful discussion, similar to the one I had last night in my own mind. Point I agree with from the discusion above, sorry I can't remember who made them.

It is important for us to understand the cases for which the warriors are fighting, on both sides.

I did a little research into Vietnam. The history of event leading up to the Vietnam war. The decade from the 1850s to 1910s are the root of the French Occupation of Vietnam. 1859 French forces took Siagon, the South Vietnamese capital, and began conquering the surrounding areas of South Vietnam. A treaty in 1862 seced the South to France, the took Cambodia as well.

In 1882 the French took Hanoi in the North, insiting the Sino-Vietnames war against the French that lasted from 1883-1885 and ended up with France's compete control, in 1893 they also took Laos.

The following decades French colonial powers drained resources from Vietnam. A critical time when they could have worked to invole the Vietnames in the administration, education, and modernization of their nation. Instead the French supressed political expression and jailed the Vietnamese nationalist leaders. Vietnam, under France, offered no opportunity for reformist change.

What happened instead is that the Vietnamese nationalists by the 1920s and 1930s were seeked liberation from the French Colonial powers.
Ho Chi Mihn had come in contack with Nationalist leader Sun Yat Sen in China and the Soviet representative, Micheal Borodin.

And in a series of events parrallel to China's experience through WWII the Vietnamese peasants came to equate the Communists Party in Vietnam with liberation.

Not some simmilarities. Ho Chi Mihn established the League for the Independence of Vietnam in 1941. (We know that of course he was also part of the Communist lie, which I am not defending here). My aim is to point out that our perspective of liberty for the Vietnames, and the Vietnames perspective of liberty were not the same, (except for the portion of Catholic Vietnamese who had propered under the French occupation).

In 1945 the French attempted to regian control of Vietnam, which they had lost to the Japanese. In September of 1945 Ho Chi Mihn had proclaimed the Independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The war between the French and the Vietnames continued until the Geneval Convention of 1954 where France agreed to give up the struggle to regain their colony. The Geneva convention called for a withdrawl of all troops and for nation wide elections. Who was it that prevented those elections from happening?

The U.S. and our fight against Communism. What resulted was the American fight in Vietnam, we feared the Ho would have a hands down victory in the election, instead we favored our man Diem. We fought against the National Liberation Front.

The picture the American Left has of Vietnam is that it was an attempt by American's to prevent the unification and independence of Vietnam.

For many, included those here, the War in Vietnam was a war of Democracy vs Communism. That is our cause in the war.

The Vietnamese were fighting for their independence, albeit that freedom was a lie, their perception of the end they were fighting for was the same.

In Social Science there are three types of confilct.
1. Conflict of understanding, where two parties share the same goal, but there is miscommunication.
2. Conflict of interest. Where two parties want to use the same resource for different purposes.
3. Conflicts of values.

It is important that we understand in each instance what type of conflict we are dealing with. If independence is ours and their common goal then the conflict is over communication.

Is it over resources, the popular oppinion of the liberal American's, ("No Blood for Oil").

Or is it over values, Islam vs the West.

It is also important to note that if we have the same end, independence and freedom for all. Then we should have been the allies of the Vietnamese peasants, and the Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Which Chinese? There was a conflict of interest in that situation.

Hythloday said...

Sorry I neglected to site the source.

The information on Vietnam was from
Murphey, Rhoads. A History of Asia fourth edition. Addison Wesley Educational Publishers Inc: 2003

Lysis said...

There is a bird called the cow bird. To some it looks harmless enough but those who know the truth see a vicious killer. The cowbird lays its egg in the nest of another bird and leaves its monster child to push out the legitimate fledglings and work its forster mother to death. You get enough cowbirds and they will exterminate the song birds in an area, then they move on to plague another ecosystem.

Fascists and Communists were the cowbirds of the twentieth century. Mussolini, Hitler, Mao, and Ho laid their virulent eggs in the troubled nests of fledgling democracies weakened by economuc depression and torn by violent nationalism. They swooped down on peoples crushed by war and the collapsing failure of nineteenth century imperialism. In the end they brought only destruction to the nations they infected.

That the U.S. was willing to spend blood and treasure to stem these evils is to our credit. It saved the world! That some in China, Vietnam, Italy, and Germany were decieved into accepting the cowbirds as their own dose not lesson the service rendered by those who knew the truth.

Hythloday said...

In response to Lysis post yesterday, of which todays post is an extension, let me just refresh the ideas:

"The opponents of the War in Iraq are seeking to summon the specters of Vietnam, demons we must exorcize with truth. In order to defend the Justice of the present war against global Islamic Terror, of which Iraq is a part, it is necessary to confront our nation's failure in Vietnam."

This is the point I would like to hear some more discussion on?

1. Why has Vietnam become the analogy for the current war?

2. Why did we fail in Vietnam?

Beef Jerky said...

Well, I don't know much about Vietnam, but I believe the libs are comparing it to the present war because at the moment the Iraqi War shows no light at the end of its tunnel. I think we lost the VN war because we just got sick of losing so many drafted soldiers. My more knowledgeable colleagues will be able to correct me if I'm wrong. Oh, and sorry if I offended anyone by refering to liberals as "libs". That's my pet name for the opposition.

they are patriots because they are acting in what he believe in and those other men are obviously terrorists because there acting on what they believe in in said...

when you make an argument you have to stand at both sides. look outside you house then look inside it threw the window.

if you say that a terrorist isnt a patriot in another mans sense i assume you looking into specifics. which will more reshearh than what you have done will lead you to see america has created a reason for every war it went into since the mexican war,spanish war, ww1,ww2....read a history book not a article from the net to read between the line behind our reason for our involvement.

your reason for a terrorist not being a patriot only makes it easier for others who have a differant opinon to dissagree, you say our enemies are far greater worse than the common man sees them then look deeper into us arnt we far worse than the common man see us.

if you want ot use details as proof it leads to a terriost being the same as a patriot. any historin will agree.

aside from facts leading to the statment being true even the common abstract idea of where there is light there is dark, science and religon must be equal to succeed, life must be balanced.

if you try to shoot me in honor of you home because you feel threaten or think im evil then you become my terrorist then as i try to shoot you back in honor of my home and the thought that your evil leads me to be your terrorist though you wouldn't call yourself that and neither would i, though we would see each other as that.

sons of liberty were terrorist and patriots, 1984's Winston was a terrorist and a patriot, v for venderda v was a terrorist and a patriot...these are easy to see examples....go deeper and find the events that lead to our wars not the cause that is claimed by the government tho the events for example letting a passenger ship sail to german restricted war waters in ww1 we did nothing to stop Americans from boarding so they died, we held the zimmermon note for days until we felt it was time to show the public and declare war,we sat a army in disputed territory for weeks waiting for mexico to attack so we can say we were attacked on our soil tho wernt, we docked a ship near cuba which suddenly explodes and declare war with spain though they had no reason to attack and didnt because we know now that the explosion happened inside the ship....even now to much proof shows 9/11 was more than half set up, no bodies or blood on the plane crash in the fields, the makers of the the towers said they shoulnt have fallen the way they did tho suddenly changed there statement a week later, the rubble from the towers werent investigated tho shipped to melt in china, the plane was said to have melted even the black boxes yet we say we found a passport of the terrorist that flew the plan does that make sense to you? there was evidence of passengers docked off before the planes were supposedly hijacked. the phone calls from the plane sounded so fake "hello mom this is john smith" who would tell there mom their last name really, most of all the man who made the video that made it easy for the common man to see all this was, is now dead. all this is just to show maybe we created the reason for war again because suspicion weapons of mass destruction isnt enough only a support for the supposed attack.

i understand how someone with enough reason would think american lives may be a fair exchange for something of value, im looking threw the countries eyes from my standpoint its a horrible idea to think we did this over and over again tho if i was in charge and i thought it would be worth it thats a different view.

one terrorist is another mans freedom fighter

one mans terrorist is another mans patriot

to not say so is to not be willing to look

also for future reference, news on tv is entertainment, real news if found threw online new reports and foreign news reports, you must look out and look in to see the whole picture

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