Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Monday, May 29, 2006
In Memoriam

It's pretty much standard procedure on all the blogs to write a bit about Memorial Day and our fallen soldiers.

And I will too.

I'm pretty much a pacificist. Not completely. But the cause has to be a crystal clear threat before I'm for using violence as a means to solve a problem.

I realize armies are necessary. But I consider them a necessary evil. I also don't believe it's possible to belong to an army without suffering virtually irreparable harm to one's psychological self. The necessities to learn how to fight, and indeed to actually fight, are specifically designed to bring out the worst in human beings. It's for that reason that I honor those who serve, particularly during war time.

The most recent "war" is an example of the most evil side of war. The GWOT (Great War on Terror) is not a war at all. Language is incredibly important in framing our world. The use of the term "war" by those too quick to use military power has been a travesty for which our military personnel, and by extension, our entire culture will pay a heavy price for generations.

Yes, there are evil people and evil forces in the world. But to see any force in the world as either completely good or completely bad is a great danger. The problems that have spawned terrorism are great, and will require complex strategies, tactics, and leadership to resolve. I pray, particularly for those who serve in uniform, that they get the leadership they deserve soon.

Added: Interestingly, the usually hilarious Jesus General says it much much better than anyone I've seen so far. Please take a moment and go read his ode to Memorial Day.