A Morally-Confused Marine

Last week, the Washington Post published an opinion piece by a Marine captain titled, “I Killed People in Afghanistan. Was I Right or Wrong?”

The column by Timothy Kudo, who is now a graduate student at New York University, is a fine example of the moral confusion leftism has wrought over the last half century. Captain Kudo’s moral confusion may predate his graduate studies, but if so, it has surely been reinforced and strengthened at NYU.

The essence of Mr. Kudo’s piece is that before he served in Afghanistan he was ethically unprepared for killing, that killing is always wrong, and that war is therefore always wrong.

–”I held two seemingly contradictory beliefs: Killing is always wrong, but in war, it is necessary. How could something be both immoral and necessary?”

The statement, “killing is always wrong,” is the core of the captain’s moral confusion.

Where did he learn such nonsense?  He had to learn it because it is not intuitive. Every child instinctively understands that it is right to kill in self-defense; every decent human being knows it was right to kill Nazis during World War II; and just about everyone understands that if Hitler, Stalin and Mao had been killed early enough, about one hundred million innocent lives would have been saved.

How is it possible that a Marine captain and graduate student does not know these things? How can he make a statement that is not only morally foolish but actually immoral?

The overwhelmingly likely answer is that Captain Kudo is a product of the dominant religion of our time, leftism. And one important feature of the left’s moral relativism and moral confusion is a strong pacifistic strain.

–”Many veterans are unable to reconcile such actions in war with the biblical commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ When they come home from an environment where killing is not only accepted but is a metric of success, the transition to one where killing is wrong can be incomprehensible.”

I give Captain Kudo the benefit of the doubt that he does not know that the commandment in its original Hebrew reads, “Thou shalt not murder,” not “Thou shalt not kill.” The King James translators did an awe inspiring job in translating the Bible. To this day, no other English translation comes close to conveying the majesty of the biblical prose. But the Hebrew is clear: “Lo tirtzach” means “Do not murder.” Hebrew, like English, has two primary words for homicide — “murder” and “kill.”

Murder is immoral or illegal killing.

Killing, on the other hand, can be, and often is, both moral and legal.

In order to ensure that no more Marines share the captain’s moral confusion, the Marine Corps should explain to all those who enlist that the Bible only prohibits murder, not killing. It should further explain that killing murderers — such as the Nazis and Japanese fascists in World War II and the Taliban today — is not only not morally problematic, it is the apotheosis of a moral good. Refusing to kill them means allowing them to murder.

–”This incongruity can have devastating effects. After more than 10 years of war, the military lost more active-duty members last year to suicide than to enemy fire.”

As we have seen, there is no “incongruity” here. And if so many members of the American military believe that it is so “incongruous” to kill the moral monsters of the Taliban — the people who throw lye in the faces of girls who attend school (and shoot them in the head if they’re outspoken about the right of girls to an education), who murder medical volunteers who give polio shots to Afghan children and who stone women charged with “dishonoring” their families — that they are committing suicide in unprecedented numbers, we have a real moral crisis in our military.

–”To properly wage war, you have to recalibrate your moral compass. Once you return from the battlefield, it is difficult or impossible to repair it.”

You only “have to recalibrate your moral compass” if you enter the military with a broken moral compass — one that neither understands the difference between murder and killing, nor how evil the Taliban is.

–”War makes us killers. We must confront this horror directly if we’re to be honest about the true costs of war.”

Other than the author, are there many Americans who enter the military in time of war without confronting the fact that they are likely to kill? Furthermore, it is not “war” that makes us killers; it is the Taliban. We kill them in order to protect Afghans from Taliban atrocities, and to protect America from another 9/11.

–”I want to believe that killing, even in war, is wrong.”

Why would anyone want to believe that? Were the soldiers who liberated Nazi death camps “wrong?”

“The immorality of war is not a wound we can ignore.”

With all respect, I would rewrite this sentence to read: “The moral confusion of a Marine captain is not a wound we can ignore.”

Every American is deeply grateful to Captain Kudo for his service on behalf of his country, and on behalf of elementary human rights in Afghanistan. I have to wonder, however, why, given his belief that killing is always wrong, Timothy Kudo ever enlisted in the Marines.

On the other hand, he will fit in perfectly at NYU.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • IRL

    "…just about everyone understands that if Hitler, Stalin and Mao had been killed early enough, about one hundred million innocent lives would have been saved."

    I would add Roosevelt and Churchill to that list.

    • http://twitter.com/TophStewart @TophStewart

      You cannot possibly be that ignorant.

      • IRL

        Churchill and Roosevelt were war mongers with shares in the armament industry. Talking war and pushing war filled their own pockets.

        They certainly did nothing to avoid war. Quite the opposite.

        • Mary Sue

          Where are you getting this revisionist BS? Appeasing Hitler did not work. Hitler was expanding into places he had no business doing, he was defying the League of Nations at every turn, and you think that stopping him was BAD? You're out of your freaking mind.

          • IRL

            "Hitler was expanding into places he had no business doing"

            In contrast to the British Empire?

            Not to mention the United States itself is built on expansion and conquest.

          • Mary Sue

            The british empire wasn't expanding at THAT moment in time! They were just about to get out of India!

            The difference being, Britain had a conscience. Hitler had NONE. Last I heard, Britain didn't invade a country to murder all its Jews or anything.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "In contrast to the British Empire?"

            Yes.

        • Rifleman

          Way to help make Prager's point. Churchill and FDR were among the few who saw it coming, and there was no avoiding it. One of the biggest lessons of WW2 was that appeasement of dictators only encourages them to more violent expansion.

          • IRL

            Churchill only cared about not allowing a strong land power to surface on the European continent, a policy Britain had followed for centuries. He didn't care about Poland or if he had to burn down Europe to accomplish it.

            Roosevelt wanted war as well.

            Both of these madmen pointed their finger at Hitler, while ignoring the silent annexations of Stalin in Eastern Europe.

            If they had any sense they would have marched together towards Moscow in 1941 and destroyed communism once and for all. Instead this disease was spread with American weapons and Strudebaker trucks and Europe went down in flames.

          • Mary Sue

            where did you learn this S***?

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "If they had any sense they would have marched together towards Moscow in 1941 and destroyed communism once and for all."

            FDR was a Soviet leftist dupe and Churchill didn't have that option. Now will you take back all the other silly comments?

        • Drakken

          My God ! If you are what the education idustry and your parents taught you we as a nation are in huge trouble, your moral compass is so f**ked up that I am surprised that you can find your way to the parking lot to find your car. There is no moral equivilance between a Stalin and a Churchill, if you think that way, you are without a doubt an enemy to our way of life, keep that in mind as you spew this progressive/commi drivel!

    • Mary Sue

      Which Roosevelt? Teddy or FDR? Either way, not really.

      Churchill? ARE YOU ON CRACK?! No, killing CHAMBERLAIN would have saved more lives…

    • davarino

      Wow, thats good, you almost sound convincing. I know its tough keeping a straight face when telling such bull$hit. You have to be a young skull full of mush, cause otherwise you wouldnt say such stupid things. Why dont you go back and tell your handlers that the people here at FPM dont fall for your propaganda.

      Oh I get it, Prager put you up to this just to make his point………………..hahaha thats a good one Dennis

    • fiona

      I hope that IRL does not stand for Ireland. How embarrassing. I knew my country was full of idiots but not this idiotic.

    • cjk

      Another example of twisted leftist spun morality. Talk about getting an immediate confirmation of your writing! IRL you go great with this article……………Dennis Prager didn't pay you, did he?

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      I would add goebbels, karl marx, lenin, hugo chavez, castro to that list.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        I forgot to add the false 'prophet' mohammed to that list.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          I also forgot to add the name of the fascist eamon de valera.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      irl,

      Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler-Stalin_pact

      • IRL

        Wasn't it the United States that lent Stalin huge quantities of weapons, ships, aircraft, rolling stock, strategic materials, and food through the Lend-Lease Program?

        • trickyblain

          So it's preferable that starved, unarmed Russians were overrun and massacred by Nazis?

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "Wasn't it the United States that lent Stalin huge quantities of weapons, ships, aircraft, rolling stock, strategic materials, and food through the Lend-Lease Program?"

          Yes. It's true FDR was a Soviet leftist dupe.

    • tagalog

      What's your reasoning for seeing Roosevelt and Churchill as eligible to be added to that list?

      • Drakken

        Simples, the leftist mind rot that is permeating throughout our education system. The West is always bad and the 3rd world is always thevictim and righteous, that is what they are taught today, no wonder these brainless idiots voted for Comrade El Presidente Obummer in droves.

    • EarlyBird

      Golly, IRL, aren't you a clever little contrarian! Shoo, bug!

    • Ghostwriter

      I can't believe the moral idiocy of IRL. He gives us imbecilic nonsense about FDR and Churchill being warmongers and not seeing Hitler for the immoral psychopath that he was. Hitler made his views very clear in his demonic tome,"Mein Kampf." The man was a genocidal monster. Why on earth would ANY sane human being stick up for someone like Hitler? Even EarlyBird condemned this ignorant twit and he deserved it.
      IRL,I have something to say to you. Read a history book. Watch some documentaries on the Second World War like "The World at War." Hitler and the Axis powers were the aggressive ones,not Roosevelt and Churchill. You're an ignorant toad,IRL and you deserve what you got here today.

  • harrylies

    Have you eve thought that war does things to the people who fight it? The John Waynes, who never serve, can be romantic about it. War can change a man. War is not for the good of the soldiers.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "War is not for the good of the soldiers."

      True, but living a life of delusion and oppression is worse. Lots of unavoidable things can be said to be "not for the good" of someone or some thing.

    • Mary Sue

      John Wayne wasn't PICKED in a situation where there was a Draft. Do you know what that means? IT means he was REJECTED.

      • SFLBIB

        John Wayne was 34 years old when the congress passed the draft law. He was beyond draft age.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          Clark Gable was old too, YET he volunteered to enlist in WW2 – unlike Wayne.
          .

        • Mary Sue

          yeah, like i said. NOT PICKED.

    • Blaine

      War absolutly changes a soldier. Thats why they volunteer to do it. Not necessarily to have themselves changed but rather to effect change in places where change must happen. The life of a soldier is not for everyone, but those that do choose it know why they do…changed or not

      • tagalog

        From about 1941 until 1973, volunteers for military service were only a fraction of members of the service. The rest were involuntary conscripts who had been drafted.

        We are indeed fortunate to be living in a civilization where the draft is a faded memory.

        Someday we will have a war where it's necessary to bring the draft back. Then there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

        • SFLBIB

          "We are indeed fortunate to be living in a civilization where the draft is a faded memory. "

          I used to be the gung-ho, John Wayne type until I came out of the military in 1970. Then I saw what the government did to its service members. It gave away at the negotiating table what the military bled and died for on the battlefield. This problem continues to plague us even to today. I then became anti-draft, even to the point of advising my sons to seek conscientious objector status, not to avoid being killed, but being killed for NOTHING.

          But there is something to be said for the draft, particularly in peacetime. It used to be that our leaders were taken from the ranks of the ex-military, and that military service was an almost required qualification for elected office. Just consider how different our leadership would be if the majority of them had spent a tour of duty [not necessarily combat] overseas where they would have gotten exposed to how other cultures live. They wouldn't be entertaining such ludicrous ideas like not being castrated is cruel and unusual punishment [see accompanying article]. http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/federal-

          • tagalog

            I am also a product of the same era. I was strenuously opposed to the draft and did draft resistance counseling in Boston in 1968 and 1969. I was a conscientious objector(1-O), 1969 to 1971. I thought then (and still think now) that if we enter a war and aren't going to fight to win, we shouldn't be at war and I won't be a part of a half-assed effort that turns young people into cannon fodder. Call me unpatriotic, I won't fight half a war. Volunteers (like the pre-1966 Vietnam), okay; conscripts, NO.

            I returned to the conservative principles I was raised in long, long ago, the Vietnam Era having been an anomaly for me.

            I think that the best argument for the draft is something similar to what you say, that the draft is a democratizing process, a leveling agent that puts both the wealthy and the underprivileged on the same footing: draftees facing a hitch in the armed forces.

            I also think that the principle of liberty on which our nation was founded outweighs that principle though, except in the case of a war we can't avoid and which must be fought with all the means at our disposal.

    • davarino

      You dont deserve to live in America, because you wouldnt fight for your own freedom.

      Yes war changes people, and yes war is hell, but some times war is necassary.

      • EarlyBird

        Hey Killer, what war have you fought in? If you have, give us some war stories, okay?

  • Chezwick

    Shortly after Bin Ladin's death, my own brother said of the students who were filmed celebrating in Time Square: "They are no different than the Muslims who celebrated 9-11." I couldn't believe my ears.

    I love my Bro; he's a good, decent, loving, family man. But his liberal world-view is so myopic that he could morally equate those who celebrated the killing of a mass murderer with those who celebrated the killing of 3000 innocents.

    Needless to say, the extent of my disappointment with my brother over this issue (and many others) can scarcely be measured. It's a source of considerable heartbreak for me.

    • Mary Sue

      As someone who has a brother who's turned into an idiot, I feel your pain.

    • tagalog

      There IS, of course, one difference bewteen the crowds celebrating the death of bin Laden and the celebration of the deaths of the 3,000-plus on 9/11. That pesky little matter of the 3,000 being innocent of any wrongdoing to Middle Easterners and Muslims.

    • EarlyBird

      They are no different than the Muslims who celebrated 9-11." I couldn't believe my ears.

      Now THAT is "moral confusion." It's maddening that the left requires equivalence between everything. As if celebrating the death of a mass murder is the same as celebrating the death of his victims. Wow.

      • Ghostwriter

        Well,it was the MAJORITY of Middle Easterners who celebrated 9/11. At that point,they lost any sympathy I might have for them.

        • EarlyBird

          No, it was the "majority" of Middle Easterners. That's a ridiculous statement.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Ghostwriter: "…it was the MAJORITY of Middle Easterners who celebrated 9/11"

            EarlyBird: "No, it was the "majority" of Middle Easterners."

            Keep everyone on their toes and tell us who the impulsive contrarians are. Imagine you're useful too.

            "That's a ridiculous statement."

            Your epithet.

          • EarlyBird

            I meant to write it was "NOT the majority of Muslims who celebrated 9/11." Very few did, in fact.

            More Objective Facts that Don't Matter to you…

  • F. Swemson

    What a difference 50 years has made in our educational system.

    I went to NYU in the early 1960's, after which I joined the Marine Corps. This fellow has literally gone through the same process in reverse… both in order and in effect…

    How sad…

    fs

    • tagalog

      NYU 1968, Bronx campus. Pretty lefty, but not as much of a nest as Columbia or NYU Downtown.

      • F. Swemson

        In 1963 up at NYU in the Bronx, I was never really conscious of any seriously left wing activities… Going to peace marches at the UN sure… But most of the guys I knew who participated were mainly there to meet girls… Even the theater kids who hung out in the blue room were pretty apolitical. Getting high was the big thing… Oddly, many of the kids I knew were dropping acid before they even discovered weed….

        Tuition then was only about $1,500, about the same price as a new VW beetle at the time. Mine was green, & gas was about 26 cents a gallon.

        fs

        • tagalog

          When I was there, student protesters occupied Lowe Hall (was it Lowe Hall? The Arts building) for a day. They left right away when the cops arrived. But I also remember doing pot and acid as the big thing. I went to one of those peace marches at the U.N., remember those well. They threw red paint on us, saying "Peace, you'll get a "peace" when you get back to the dorms!" Yeah, meeting girls at the demonstrations, that was a big thing for us too. Politics were not as big a thing as at other campuses. We had a half-baked sort of SDS chapter there, but they only had about 10 members and they all hung out together.

          No car for me, I had a bicycle. I was so impressed with myself because I got toe clips for the pedals.

          Call me a nerd, I LOVED the library.

          Taking my date on a walk through the Hall of Fame before returning her to the coed dorm nearby, can't remember the name of it. A couple of kisses above the Hudson.

          One of my fellow students there was Evelyn Thaw. That's how I learned about Stanford White, Harry Thaw, and Evelyn Nesbit, and White's connection to the Hall of Fame and the library at the Bronx NYU.

          It was a sad day for me when they sold the Bronx campus to Bronx Community College.

    • EarlyBird

      I suppose the difference is generational, where he lives in a "therapeutic" time and so can write and talk about his ambivalence about his mission and the killing he did. No more "strong silent types" any more.

      Those who kill in combat are horrified and haunted by the actions they've taken, even if they know morally it was the right thing to do. That is ultimately the greatest sacrifice they give us.

      • F. Swemson

        EarlyBird wrote:

        "Those who kill in combat are horrified and haunted by the actions they've taken, even if they know morally it was the right thing to do."

        That's not been my experience at all, and most of the guys I know who were involved in lots of action reacted the same way. It was different with Army draftees, but with few exceptions, all the Marines I knew were there voluntarily…. maybe that's the difference. There are a few that I know to this day who actually miss the action…

        fs

        • EarlyBird

          Missing the action, and not showing regret and trauma at the time, especially while in the combat zone, is one thing. But it does ultimately show up in peoples' psyches. Some times vets are old men when they start dealing with it.

          I am praising our vets, and asking others to understand what we ask of them when we ask them to kill our enemies. War sucks. Killing sucks, and hurts the killer even when it is necessary.

  • cathchr

    I would recommend everyone to carefully read the op-ed by Timothy Kudo before making a judgment. It would have been good had Dennis provided a link and I wonder why he did not. The piece describes the dilemma faced by many of our countrymen who destroy life, sometimes innocent life, and afterwards are left to wonder, perhaps for a lifetime, to what end? Could the high number of suicides in our military be explained by the inability of returnees to resolve the very moral questions that former marine Kudo raises? This is a very serious topic which Dennis treated in far too dismissive a manner. War, is sometimes necessary, brutal though it may be, but if is not in the ultimate interest of securing peace and reconciliation between warring parties, it can become an end in itself, along with the killing that is a part of it. If the young men and women who fight, kill, and die on behalf of our nation cannot be assured that what they are doing is in the interest of peace, then we are asking too much of them, and oftentimes in todays world our leaders don't have the foggiest notion how to secure the peace, which is the only thing that makes a war just in the first place. Without having a clear idea of a just peace in mind, how can our service men and women be expected to know what they are fighting, and killing for? Read Timothy's op-ed. Then form a judgment. In my opinion, he made excellent points though he perhaps overstated it a bit by seeming to rule out any just use of lethal force. Not all killing in war is murder, but if the men and women doing the fighting, dying, and killing on our behalf do not see a clear way to peace in sight, they will face the dilemma that Timothy aptly described.

    • PhillipGaley

      Say it's dark, and someone breaks in, and demands your money, or he'll kill you, and he can't see that, you have a gun, . . . would it be okay to pull the trigger on him? Or, because all killing is wrong, should you let him pull the trigger on you? So many questions, and so little time, . . .

      • cathchr

        IF "so many questions so little time" why start with this one? I thought we were discussing Dennis' article about a Marine and his battle experience and the aftermath etc.
        If you were in reasonable fear of your life, or at least serious bodily injury, (and if he had a gun and you knew it such could probably be presumed) then were I the prosecutor, you would face no charges.

      • EarlyBird

        "Say it's dark, and someone breaks in, and demands your money, or he'll kill you, and he can't see that, you have a gun, . . . would it be okay to pull the trigger on him? Or, because all killing is wrong, should you let him pull the trigger on you? So many questions, and so little time, . . . "

        Yes it would be okay to kill the guy, but it would still leave an idelible trauma on the guy who did the killing.

        I remember being at a gun store where a guy calmly talked about having recenly given "two taps to the chest, one to the head" with his .40 S&W to a burglar. That he was so matter-of-fact calm about it, and bragging, means he was either lying, or truly a psychopath.

    • Indioviejo

      I think Dennis is on the right track with moral confusion as a contributing factor to our high suicide rate among returning veterans. I believe we should blame our teachers for teaching such moral relativism to generations of Americans whom they have educated in the societal values of abortion, sodomy, multiculturalism and all the other destructive mores with which they besiege our civilization. Even graduates from our military academies are incapable of defining Islam as the enemy of western civilization, so how could they "not see a clear way to peace in sight", when they haven't even defined the enemy? Sun Tzu said: "I you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." This is the cause of our despair.

      • cathchr

        I don't completely disagree with you.I concur that we are a nation that is besieged by moral relativism and have been for generations. What then in the world are we doing engaging in what at this point is clearly a nation-building exercise in both Iraq and Afghanistan? We are a broken nation right now ourselves, isn't it a bit arrogant for us to think we will transform an entire nation, culture and civilzation, and to do it no less with our military. They are not goodwill ambassadors, police, or diplomats.Facing down an imminent threat of harm or deposing the Taliban leadership is one thing, but building a lasting peace and freedom loving nation and culture in that part of the world is another matter, and one we are ill-equipped to do.
        We do have a deep moral rot in this country. As such our first order of business should be to humbly acknowledge before almighty God our sins, and clean up our own affairs before we venture out setting things right in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Dennis is partly right in his assessments of the state of affairs in our country but wrong in assuming that somehow this marine is "morally confused." So far as any of us know, he may be the most clear thinking man among us, having dealt with the situation first hand. Perhaps he knows that in truth our leaders don't know what they are doing , or why we are there, or exactly what we hope to ultimately accomplish, other than somehow looking good to the voters.

        • Indioviejo

          I agree that we should have never engaged in nation building in a Muslim country. It was counterproductive and wastefull. It is not a military mission. We should engage is punitive actions when needed, but I sustain that this young Captain is morally confused. Just because our leaders are stupid and ignorant, and may even be confused in their objectives, the individual soldier should know that by killing this barbarous enemy he is doing the world a favor. Every American should know by now, in spite of our leadership, that we are in an existential war for many, many years to come. The Sun Tzu quote I believe says it all.

          • EarlyBird

            I think the man is wrestling with his actions, as anyone who kills does. Anyone who says they have no regrets about killing is either a liar or a psychopath. Killing even for moral reasons damages the killer. We need to remember that even soldiers who win a war lose something inside themselves.

    • Mo_

      Your comment perfectly illustrates Dennis Prager's point about the moral confusion that is an epidemic today.

      When it comes to Islamic militants like the Taliban and al-Qaeda it's as simple as can be: you kill them. They have only one purpose for their existence and that is to destroy anyone who doesn't obey their ideology. (That includes members of their own religion who don't follow it piously, according to them.)

      Now, I have heard there there have been issues regarding rules of engagement that are serving to confuse these soldiers even more. (Not firing unless fired upon, unrealistic standards about not hurting civilians, etc.)

      But this serves to prove Prager's point, not yours. If the higher ups had moral clarity, they'd be conducting a WAR and not whatever it is they're doing in some of these situations. Then we wouldn't have these issues. (At least, certainly not to this severe extent.)

      • cathchr

        Confusion over rules of engagement is likely the result of an ill-defined and poorly thought out policy, and one which is no longer clearly related to US national security. When GW Bush ran in 2000, he renounced any attempt at "nation building" yet that is ultimately what we did in both Iraq and Afghanistan. It matters little how many Taliban or Al-Qaeda we fight and kill, without a clear definition of means and ends, and an understanding of who exactly our enemy is, and what victory looks like, the prospects of success in the so-called war on terror are slim. We may have had a clear idea back in 2001 and 2002. Today we are in a nation that hates us and does not want us there. Dennis thinks this marine is morally confused. To the contrary he seems to be thinking clear enough to realize that kiliing for questionable reasons and ends is indefensible.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "When it comes to Islamic militants like the Taliban and al-Qaeda it's as simple as can be: you kill them. "

        The fact that ANY US soldier can not see that shows just how much these leftist lies; "religion of peace" and all the related lies, have hurt our soldiers perhaps more than any other population.

    • Drakken

      I'll tell you where the moral confussion is coming from, it is from the top that demands a Marine go into combat with 2 hands tied behind his back (current ROE), and being told the muslim savages are really our friends and that if hadji goes into a village, they we cannot pursue out of fear of being court martialed for being too aggressive, the whole time Hadji is shooting at you, and being told that if you do fire on hadji, your going to Leavenworth for 20 years. That is where the confusion is ! Yes I am a Marine combat vet. We wonder why our curent vets are so messed up, just look at our leadership.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        +20

      • EarlyBird

        Drakken, if you are a marine combat vet, then you have all sorts of dark places in your heart where you grapple with your actions, regardless of how morally correct you know those actions to be. You are not an insane or evil person, in other words.

        And you know better than others that it is what killing does to a man, even if such actions are morally necessary, that makes their service such an enormous sacrifice.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "If the young men and women who fight, kill, and die on behalf of our nation cannot be assured that what they are doing is in the interest of peace, then we are asking too much of them,"

      Wrong. We're asking too little of our political leaders.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Not all killing in war is murder, but if the men and women doing the fighting, dying, and killing on our behalf do not see a clear way to peace in sight, they will face the dilemma that Timothy aptly described."

      Dennis was dealing with it. He went to root causes. Read what he wrote. No one denies that we have problems. We need to define root causes and then move towards solving them. Obviously we went backwards last November but we must keep trying to reason with these people.

    • HoR_Emperor

      Nope. He made no good points. He's a morally confused fool. So are you.

  • cxt

    The eternally short sighted Left. Always so focused in their short term goals the never stop to think things through and consider the long term effects of their social engineering projects.

    Lets think it through–the Left achives it goals and gets the very idea of fighting and killing turned so repugent—which is it is–its just sadly all to often needed–that almost nobody is willing to do it.

    THEN what do you do when you need people to protect the innocent against a rapist? Or we face attack from a people with less of a problem with violence? Whom is going to be ready to defend the gay mam/women from a determined foe that feels they are to be killed on sight–such as the jihadists?

    What is the Left going to do THEN? Stand around and muse "hmmmm…..maybe it was a bad idea to breed controlled aggression from our people."

    • tagalog

      What the Left does then is follow its tried and true method of demonizing the opposition to the point where they're perceived as subhuman and can then readily be killed.

      Look at what the Left has been able to do with conservatism in a mere 50 or so years. From being old fuddy-duddies they are now racist, sexist, anti-immigration fanatics and would-be slaveholders whose sole desire is to despoil the land by drilling and fracking, and pollute the water and air with their factories' effluents. Death is too good for them.

    • Drakken

      I'll put my perspective on it, the people who who are fed a daily diet of anti-aggression, as our young boys are being subjected to that today, they make themselves sheep to the wolves and few sheep dogs to control the wolves, hence a massive orgy of dead sheep. Nature abhors a vacuum and rights itself after the damage is done.

  • tagalog

    Somebody needs to read the voluminous works on what constitutes a "just war" and what does not. War may or may not be immoral all by itself. Sometimes war is morally necessary. Most wars have been conducted, all or in part, using immoral methods. But a just war, fought according to the moral and legal standards applied to warfare, is morally defensible. Yes, even the most moral war is nasty. But war is not necessarily wrong. It's just one of those things Orwell wrote about, where the outcome is desireable but the means required to reach that outcome are so repulsive that we shrink from it.

  • LibertarianToo

    I cannot understand why the author thinks that Leftists are pacifists. Nobody on the Left thought there was anything wrong with, say, "liquidating the Kulaks as a class." Or with murdering their own former comrades should they engage in 'wrecking" or "deviationism". Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Chavez . . .you name it. Leftists are murderers.

    The New Left campus zombies were a very violent bunch. And while they claimed to oppose the Vietnam War, they actually opposed the Vietnam Draft, and were more than willing to "Kill Pigs" to make sure that they themselves personally, or their own boyfriends, were never drafted. The Weather Underground, The Symbionese Liberation Army, the list goes on.

    Don't let the lies and hypocrisy of assorted church morons fool you. The Left practically invented political violence and murder.

    • Mary Sue

      Well it's more correct to say, they are pacifists against the wrong things.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      I cannot understand why the author thinks that Leftists are pacifists. Nobody on the Left thought there was anything wrong with, say, "liquidating the Kulaks as a class."

      I think in context he means that the left is on board with the pacifist movement in the West, that wants the West to be passive and not defend it's hegemony or even its sovereignty in some cases.

      Of course they're not pacifist. Some times dupes on the left become true believers in their factional cause (peace, green energy, minority rights etc.). Those dupes might be pacifist in some cases. The true-believers in the overall strategy on the left are all so narcissistic they're the ones who start arguing for active population control. The precedent is well-set in abortion clinics every day. Now they just have to modify the age and justifications.

      "Don't let the lies and hypocrisy of assorted church morons fool you. The Left practically invented political violence and murder."

      Their arguments started to become more openly acceptable shortly after Darwinism was widely accepted. They're just more discreet about it these days. Basically you're totally correct. But that is why it's important to distinguish between dupes and bona fide leftist true-believers who envision a post-capitalism utopia as described by any of the psychos who followed Marx or derivative ideas.

    • EarlyBird

      The difference between the Communist left, and today's "new" left is miles apart, as you know. If you want to make a comment about the former and the latter don't be so dishonest as to conflate them. It's the difference between America's current right wing, and Hitler's right wing, again, miles apart.

  • tagalog

    Prager is right; there is a pacifistic strain among leftists in that leftists tend to trumpet their antiwar sentiments quite loudly. However, leftism is a political philosophy whose continued existence depends on everyone being part of the system. If people had the liberty to opt out of leftist systems, so many would that the system would collapse. That's why Social Security can only continue to exist as a government program; the only way to fund the program is to tax all taxpayers without exception. So there must be universal participation and opters-out cannot be allowed. That requires coercion and, occasionally, some form of violence.

    Also, leftism is a Platonic view in which there is always a vanguard of leaders who are supposedly able to see the world more clearly than the hoi polloi. Therefore the commoners must be brought along, and because people often are mavericks, the opters-out must be forced to follow until they see clearly.

    Finally, the new world of the leftists will involve a New Man, steeped in the greater Gnostic truths that only leftists understand. Some people are so dense that in order to make them into New Men, they must be forced into their new roles. Eventually they will be re-educated. Those who refuse to be re-educated, well,…you can't make an omelot without breaking eggs, and the new society will require some slave labor. Up with the labor camps…

    All this time the Left is shouting loudly that it has the best interests of everyone at heart, and they mean well. Their claim to pacifism makes it more palatable for you to put on the prison jacket that they supply to you as you enter the labor camp. Finally, since pacifism is clearly on the side of the angels, the lefty pacifists are free to do anything to anyone who disagrees with them, as, after all, by defintion those who disagree with them are forces for evil and deserve what they get.

  • Western Spirit

    Just the fact that the Left is against all war and all killing is an alert to understand why? Whatever they believe serves some depraved purpose. The fact is the Left is always, without fail, on the side of evil even when they are "supposed" to be serving some good or other.

    Therefore if the Left is against all killing and all war you can bet that evil is being served and that's all you need to know about the matter.

  • http://itsatechlife.net/i-found-the-7-evomax-android-tablet-pc-reviews-on-amazon-to-be-most-helpful/ micmattzz

    Everyone is entitled with their own opinion, If the author of that article had been a student or other profession this won't be an issue, yes Dennis could be right coming from a soldier view, this would be alarming, Military serving America should have a steel of emotion and a foundation of principle that killing is a morally obligation when you enter into military service. But also do not forget that they are still human, that they have an emotion, you can't erase that from them. It's up to the soldiers what will he stands for, That's why we have so called "Democracy" if you direct them to to fight or to kill like a machine, then we are no difference from the terrorist and other cold bloodied dictator. by the way Kudo's for Dennis Prager! :)

    ——————–
    marquette university

  • LibertarianToo

    The Left is neither against all war nor against all killing. As another example (in addition to my previous comment), I offer the fact that that the American Left initially opposed US involvement in WWII. Then the Nazis invaded the USSR, and the Left became warmongers overnight. They had to get rid of all their old signs and make new ones, with slogans like “Stop the Fascist Menace” and “Fight to Protect the Motherland” (hint: not the US.)

    No, if a Leftist claims to be a pacifist, you are being lied to.

    • Mary Sue

      pretty much, yeah.

  • http://shugartpoliticalaction.shugartmedia.com/uncommonsense/ Chris_Shugart

    The ironic thing about irony is that it's often lost on those who create it. Could there have been a better example of the moral confusion described by Prager than IRL's unreal comments?

  • Quickstrike06

    This guy is confused about what the 10 commandments say, but he is also at odds with how he is made to feel by our culture. We should be telling these guys, "Hey, you did good. You killed those Taliban SOBs, just like we asked you to. Thank you for taking on that responsibility for us, so we could all be safe back here in the US." But instead we blather on about how grateful we are they are safely home, away from the danger–it doesn't matter what you did over there–just glad you don't have to do it any more. We ought to praise our warriors for the battles and the conquest; the bravery and the heroism of their battles. I am positive that would go along way towards addressing this unneeded guilt, and lower suicide rates amongst the vets and those who serve. We want to know that the things we do for the country, not just the fact we served, is appreciated by the nation and its leaders. No moral confusion there…

    • EarlyBird

      We've never told our soldiers, "hey, thanks for directing fire on that guy and cutting him in half, to keep us safe," in consideration of the trauma that our combat vets go through. Civilized human beings always euphemize combat. "Thanks for your service," and, recognizing the trauma of combat, do tell them we're happy they're home safe.

      The idea of Prager's and many on this site suggesting that the left has or is winning an anti-war against terrorists campaign is wrong. Many Americans, left and right, believe that there are limits to what we can achieve against the Islamist enemy with our military right now.

  • Bob Smith

    Libertarian too you are correct SIR. The most violent and evil movements are the two
    movements who had murder and subjugation as their primary goal. Marxism has
    certainly murdered over 130,000,000 (not including the butchered babies and destroyed
    families) and Fascist Islam has murdered over 270,000,000 and still jihads to this date.

    The reason the Leftists
    say you cant KILL is their value judgments are the enemy is better than their own
    countrymen(women). That is the lesson of Lenin (the Jew PIg Murderer) and Muhammad
    (the Arabic semitic Rat Murderer). Thanks for your lesson for these rightists. Personally
    I have no problem killing Leftist (or their fascist allies) they are after all enemies of My country.
    (they are guilty of TREASON!)

  • John Flaherty

    Mr. Prager, I'm pretty disgusted with your column.
    While I haven't read Capt Kudo's original column, I suspect his view reflects the idea that we've become entirely too casual about killing people in this "modern" world of ours. While it may be natural for a school-yard child to be determined to defend himself, it's ALSO natural for each person to feel a great deal of horror at inflicting the death of another person.

    While it may be that we can declare that the commandment dictates against murder specifically, I think it best that it remain worded against killing in general, in no small part because "murder" can easily become a politically defined term by which we justify the death of anyone we don't like.

    I'd like to know why we don't encourage more people to be missionaries to the Mid-East. I don't believe that EVERY group over there hates us, nor do I believe we need to solve every problem at gunpoint.

    I think it a travesty that we've been so insistent on imposing a secular society elsewhere; I think such a thing to be an abomination here in the 'States too.

    Given the madness that we've seen in this nation about being willing to impose a death sentence on our unborn, I think the Marine's confusion quite normal.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "I'd like to know why we don't encourage more people to be missionaries to the Mid-East."

      O'Bama is forcing our soldiers to become missionaries in soldier's uniforms. It won't end well and somehow I doubt you'd understand why no matter how much time I took to try to explain it to you.

      By the way, we need both. Having soldiers become missionaries is the most insane idea there is. Your idea is almost that, but with a lot less thought put in to it. The fact is that your suggestion is totally off topic unless you want to link the two one way or another.

      " I don't believe that EVERY group over there hates us, nor do I believe we need to solve every problem at gunpoint. "

      As if if we are trying to solve every problem with violence. We aren't using enough violence when needed, so it gets prolonged and ironically more violent from trying to please people like you.

      "I think it a travesty that we've been so insistent on imposing a secular society elsewhere;"

      We're not imposing a secular society, we're "suggesting" (some of us anyway) a secular government that protects religious liberties. Can you see the difference? We need to impose secular constitutions like we did in Japan and Germany.

      "I think such a thing to be an abomination here in the 'States too. "

      What specifically is an abomination? Forget I asked.

      "Given the madness that we've seen in this nation about being willing to impose a death sentence on our unborn, I think the Marine's confusion quite normal."

      Aborting babies should make him feel better about aborting terrorists. So I'd say there's lots of confusion going around.

      • cathchr

        As to some of your Q's: If we impose a secular constitution "like we did in Japan and Germany"(actually W. Germany only, the USSR controlled the East)…, that thinking is at the heart of the fruitless nation building, that has gotten in too deep already,and will only suck us in further, and to no meaningful purpose. Germany and Japan had some traditions rooted in their culture, that could help them make a smooth transition to peaceful and democratic self-rule. If our military is there to impose a secular constitution and self rule on any nation in that part of the world, I rate their chances of success at zero.
        What is an abomination in the context of here in "the States"?: Making every effort the scrub our nation clean of any and all religious influence maybe? HHS Obamacare mandate, putting Catholic Social Services out of business for not placing babies for adoption with gay couples, court decisions re: nativity scenes, prayers or moments of silence at HS events, etc. etc.

      • cathchr

        I am also curious as to why aborting babies should make anyone feel better about recruiting terrorists. The unborn are totally innocent and we kill them legally ,so why should we care about killing some terrorists? That is if they are terrorists. If you read the Kudo piece you would know that his unit killed 2 kids on a motorcycle, who were unarmed and no threat because they misunderstood an order. Oops, mistakes happen? Is that what he shoud think? How about if one of them had been a loved one of yours. Would you still be so sanguine?

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "I am also curious as to why aborting babies should make anyone feel better about recruiting terrorists."

          It's sarcasm to show how inconsistent leftist ideology is.

          "If you read the Kudo piece you would know that his unit killed 2 kids on a motorcycle, who were unarmed and no threat because they misunderstood an order. Oops, mistakes happen?"

          That's fine to discuss. Whether or not we can solve that kind of problem has nothing to do with the morality of the war or the soldiers who must make these decisions.

          "How about if one of them had been a loved one of yours. Would you still be so sanguine?"

          Some of us think that we'd have tried to act against the evil sovereigns long before the US had to show up to kill anyone. And if this situation were to occur with someone close to me as victim, my emotions would be led by my intellect. Even if I asked that kind of question to myself while in pain, I'm smart enough to know not to be so narcissistic. The world is better off with order enforced by a free nation such as the United States has been for most of its history.

      • John Flaherty

        I would contend that your comments make plain that we ARE , in fact, in the process of imposing a secular government in those places where we have troops. I agree that having soldiers as missionaries doesn't really work very well; I'd like to see many fewer troops and many more people motivated by faith, not by money or "love of country".

        I regret to say that, for practical purposes, we ARE using violence to solve most problems. Or, rather, the threat of violence that might be inflicted if the opposition doesn't agree with our view.

        Considering that I see no real effort at exhorting people to pray in any fashion, Christian, Islamic, or otherwise, I think it safe to say we ARE, in fact, imposing a secular society. Our "suggestions" come with a price: Either we threaten violence as mentioned, or we cut off economic aid.
        I see no effort at all to protect religious liberty.

        I would contend that the secular constitutions we've inflicted on Germany and Japan have created as many problems as they've solved. Until you address morals–right and wrong–no body of law will properly address all the concerns people will have.

        Abomination: A scourge, a plague, a widespread ill that detracts from society at large.

        Killing everyone will not solve problems any more than ignoring the threats that're there.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "I would contend that your comments make plain that we ARE , in fact, in the process of imposing a secular government in those places where we have troops."

          In theory, sort of. Is Egypt a secular government? I see your point, but what I meant was to do it effectively and not play games with leftist definitions of democracy and allow their brand of racism to tolerate the things that we end up with. We should require a separation of religion and state, with explicit guarantee of religious liberties. Is that clear enough what my standard is for secular?

          "I regret to say that, for practical purposes, we ARE using violence to solve most problems."

          That's absurd. We're using violence as a last resort.

          "Or, rather, the threat of violence that might be inflicted if the opposition doesn't agree with our view. "

          As a last resort. That's what it's come to and we have NOTHING to apologize for in terms of our national ethos. It is leftist interference and rebellion that causes almost all of the problems we have in foreign policy today.

          "Our "suggestions" come with a price: Either we threaten violence as mentioned, or we cut off economic aid."

          We should carry through with our measures with less flexibility once we choose our course.

          "I see no effort at all to protect religious liberty. "

          That's my point.

          "I would contend that the secular constitutions we've inflicted on Germany and Japan have created as many problems as they've solved. "

          It solved all of the problems that we as humans can solve.

          "Until you address morals–right and wrong–no body of law will properly address all the concerns people will have. "

          You do or don't favor protection of religious liberties? By the way, laws do reflect the morality of the people that create and enforce them. It's possible to do this without harming religious liberties. What kind of delusional thinking leads to the idea that we can address "all the concerns people have?"

          "Abomination: A scourge, a plague, a widespread ill that detracts from society at large."

          I didn't ask for a definition. I asked what the comment was referring to.

          "Killing everyone will not solve problems any more than ignoring the threats that're there."

          Nobody suggested killing everyone. Don't be silly. How can I advocate setting up secular "Japanese" or "German" (yes, West Germany) style constitutions to govern the dead?

          • John Flaherty

            "We should require a separation of religion and state, with explicit guarantee of religious liberties. Is that clear enough what my standard is for secular? "

            Clear enough for me to oppose the idea summarily. At one time, I might've agreed that church/state separation needed to happen, mostly to ensure that one church would not try to dominate all others. Unfortunately, separation has come to mean that no law may be enforced by government unless some non-religious rationale can be found to justify it's existence. When we do this, law tends to become either meaningless or tyrannical, sometimes both.
            So no, I would not approve of a secular constitution being imposed. Ours certainly is not–or rather WAS not–until various factions insisted otherwise and reinterpreted the First Amendment.
            In our modern world, it's mostly impossible to separate church and state without destroying religious liberty. Therefore, I'd say it'd be foolish to assume that a secular government will necessarily accomplish much. ..Especially when the peoples who're theoretically going to be bound by such a Constitution tend to hold stubbornly to religious-based morals.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Unfortunately, separation has come to mean that no law may be enforced by government unless some non-religious rationale can be found to justify it's existence. "

            That's an entirely distinct problem. Separation is not the same as the state annihilating the church from the public, except of course when it serves the agenda of the leftists or sellout conservatives.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            From the post-war Japanese constitution imposed by the USA:

            Separation of Religion and State: The state is prohibited from granting privileges or political authority to a religion, or conducting religious education (Article 20).

      • EarlyBird

        "O'Bama is forcing our soldiers to become missionaries in soldier's uniforms…"

        Wrong. Iraq and Afghanistan are not conventional wars where we can defeat the standing army, sign and treaty and go home. If so, we'd have been done with three months after we started. By their nature they MUST be "nation building" ("missionary") exercises.

        "…We aren't using enough violence when needed, so it gets prolonged and ironically more violent…"

        Wrong again. Pay attention, Patton: there are no big military targets and assets to destroy with massive violence (that was done 72 hrs into the invasions). We are fighting low-intensity insurgencies where the enemy is embedded with the population we are protecting/helping/trying to get on our side.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "Wrong. Iraq and Afghanistan are not conventional wars where we can defeat the standing army, sign and treaty and go home. If so, we'd have been done with three months after we started. By their nature they MUST be "nation building" ("missionary") exercises. "

          I stand corrected. We must send soldiers to beg the enemy to like us. It's that kind of war. Funny how leftists think every war is "that kind" of war.

          • EarlyBird

            Actually, we're building schools and sending girls to those schools. We've reintroduced free markets, music, television and free elections to Afghanistan, all things which are anathema to the Taliban and radical Islam.

            Oh, and we've slaid thousands of radical Islamist fighters. Now how is that the equivalent of begging the enemy to like us? Or are you just saying nonsense again?

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Actually, we're building schools and sending girls to those schools. We've reintroduced free markets, music, television and free elections to Afghanistan, all things which are anathema to the Taliban and radical Islam. "

            That's diplomacy and foreign policy, but not military. You need each in its place.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Oh, and we've slaid thousands of radical Islamist fighters"

            Who is we?

            "Now how is that the equivalent of begging the enemy to like us?"

            Allowing minimal military actions while projecting rhetorically and diplomatically that we will accept any of their terms as long as they don't "spike the football" is equal to surrender. The begging is part of that process.

            Essentially yes, when you examine the facts.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Or are you just saying nonsense again?"

            I'm well aware of the problems you have making sense out of the discourse.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "By their nature they MUST be "nation building" ("missionary") exercises. "

          You've radically oversimplified again. I'm advocating nation-building based on reality, not the delusion that telling rapists their culture is better than ours will lead them to peaceful behavior towards us.

          • EarlyBird

            More absurd nonsense. We are not telling them that their culture is better than ours. To the contrary, we're helping them build Western institutions because we know they are better than theirs.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "We are not telling them that their culture is better than ours."

            Where did you get that, psycho? Conversation with you is nearly impossible.

            "To the contrary, we're helping them build Western institutions because we know they are better than theirs."

            We know it, except leftists, but we pretend that we accept their narratives that we're not superior at all but that the West got more powerful because we stole so much from colonies and so forth. Now we're just paying back what we owe. That is the delusional third world perspective from haters of the West. There are plenty of developing world citizens who do not hate us, but that's another topic.

            As usual, you oversimplify while accusing others of doing the same. It's one thing to reduce your argument to the simple most salient points, but your simplifications use non-salient facts, counter-examples presented as salients, and worse.

            Your a leftist dupe who's been programmed to think he's a conservative. You're just slightly more conservative than 0'Bama. Not much though.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          " there are no big military targets"

          It's amazing how a confused person can simplify and misunderstand everything while thinking he's the smart one.

          • EarlyBird

            So, then, explain yourself, Patton. You indicated we were not using "enough" violence. Your words, not mine. Where/what should we be using more violence in these war zones? You are not making sense, and are contradicting yourself.

            Let's recap, okay?:

            1.) You believe we are begging Islamists to like us, though we're killing them.
            2.) You believe we are telling them their culture is superior to ours, though we are doing everything in our power to Westernize their culture.
            3.) You believe we are not using "enough" violence, but can't tell us how, or who we should target, beyond the actual jihadists who we are obliterating.

            Don't blame me for making a mess of your positions. You've done it all by yourself.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Where/what should we be using more violence in these war zones? "

            War should be violent in intensity and as short as possible. That results in the least violence over time. You simply can't read well. We have made the mistake of using too little violence from the time the war commenced. It could have been over many years ago. Many dead people should be alive.

            My doctrine is pro-life while you only imagine yourself as being somehow more benign because you are a leftist dupe.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "1.) You believe we are begging Islamists to like us, though we're killing them."

            We're doing both. I'm sorry if that's too complicated for you.

            "2.) You believe we are telling them their culture is superior to ours, though we are doing everything in our power to Westernize their culture."

            This is totally false. Use quotes sir psycho when you attribute statements to me.

            "3.) You believe we are not using "enough" violence, but can't tell us how, or who we should target, beyond the actual jihadists who we are obliterating. "

            I can't tell you how because you don't pay enough attention to follow the conversation. You're lost because of your own problems.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "…though we are doing everything in our power to Westernize their culture."

            Spoken like a true leftist.

      • EarlyBird

        "We're not imposing a secular society, we're "suggesting" (some of us anyway) a secular government that protects religious liberties…"

        Lies. Bush's believed we could transform the ME by breaking open Iraq, and it would coalesce around a democratic, secular government. It was a fantasy executed with utter incompetence. It was wrong because LIKE YOU, he refused to pay attention to history and the people we were fighting.

        You're just angry that the world is complicated, and you blame "the left" for that.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "Lies. Bush's believed…

          You can't even follow the conversation.

          "It was wrong because LIKE YOU, he refused to pay attention to history and the people we were fighting."

          It's obvious to everyone that you're the master of history and we just need to patiently wait for you to teach us. You're so brilliant.

          He was duped by the Saudis and others you retread. He also had to deal with psychos like you who claim to be conservative and yet constantly quote all the radical left talking points.

          What does that make you again?

          Waiting for those history lessons.

          • EarlyBird

            You just can't back any of your contentions up. You don't consider "facts" at all. Comical.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "You just can't back any of your contentions up. You don't consider "facts" at all."

            I'm sure it seems that way to you.

          • EarlyBird

            Oh, so now it was the SAUDIs fault for Bush's epic Iraq disaster! Hah! It was lefties pretending to behave like conservatives who messed everything up. The media! Liberals! Communists!

            You just keep digging, don't you? At least you have the sense to just attempt to dodge.

            History: Bush, et al. believed that after 9/11 the status quo in the ME was untenable (I agree) and they had to do something audacious to change it. Not only was Saddam a continuing thorn in our side (I agree), but they thought Iraqis were ripe for democracy. We would smash the Baathists, take over, and be beloved by Iraqis. We could remove troops from SA (which we did) and use Iraq as our base of power. Iraq would be an America loving democracy in the heart of the beast and be a beacon for change.

            Great fantasy, disastrous execution. 1 trillion dollars later, the US is FAR weaker militarily, diplomatically and financially. Iran is stronger. Iraq is now a failed state open to jihadists. If Obama had failed so epically, you'd be stroking out, rather than making excuses for him.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "…now it was the SAUDIs fault for Bush's epic Iraq disaster!"

            Over-simplifier, trusting the Saudis led to some bad decisions. Some times when performing analysis, we find more than a single factor or cause.

            Please go back to school.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "It was lefties pretending to behave like conservatives who messed everything up. The media! Liberals! Communists!"

            It might seem funny to you and it might seem natural for the most powerful military in the world to send a small percentage of its resources and allow insurgents to kill our soldiers and innocent bystanders while we're afraid to escalate with enough violence to win quickly and decisively.

            Your sense of humor is disgusting.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "History: Bush, et al. believed that after 9/11 the status quo in the ME was untenable (I agree) and they had to do something audacious to change it. "

            Something audacious like a co-marketing plan with Apple Computer?

            You're a retread who thinks you understand history because you ape the rhetoric of others.

            "If Obama had failed so epically, you'd be stroking out, rather than making excuses for him."

            Here is absolute proof you just don't get it. You think we're fighting over loyalty towards men. We're fighting over loyalty to ideology. Bush did not have the political support to execute properly because of the left, who are always against anything that keeps America strong. 0'Bama does not have to contend with such strong forces against foreign policy success and because of that any Democratic president in theory has more room to maneuver if they are looking to do right for US global hegemony. Yet we don't see that happen. We see 0'Bama take charge from the opposition and prove that the opposition doesn't oppose conservative policies for nuanced reasons but because they want us to lose.

            You defend leftist positions and ideology. You claim to be conservative. If I accept you're not a big liar, I must conclude your a complete dupe who's been indoctrinated to consider himself conservative wile toeing the leftist party line.

    • HoR_Emperor

      "we've become entirely too casual about killing people in this "modern" world of ours"

      On the contrary. We are insulated from violence and deeply squeamish about killing. Our ancestors understood death and killing far, far better than we do.

      You are excusing moral nonsense.

      • John Flaherty

        Insulated from violence? I can't agree at all.
        When we have movies, music, and video games that routinely glorify violence, lust, and casual disposal of others as much as we do, we need not be shocked when violence breaks out in the nation.
        I find it quite idiotic to hear that we can't possibly provoke anyone to knock it off with gory bloodletting on the big screen, "free speech" you know, yet let anyone place a cross anywhere in public and you'd think the sky had begun falling.

        Small wonder then that violence occurs often in this nation.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "Insulated from violence? I can't agree at all.
          When we have movies, music, and video games that routinely glorify violence, lust, and casual disposal of others as much as we do, we need not be shocked when violence breaks out in the nation. "

          I'd say we're insulated from the cold reality of moral decisions required for judicial violence. We're desensitized to some ideas about violence via the entertainment of watching people being maimed and murdered. It all adds up, but the math is not precise unfortunately.

          "Small wonder then that violence occurs often in this nation."

          This nation singled out from others around the world? What, are you kidding? We simply report and discuss it more. Any other conclusion is based on ignorance.

          • John Flaherty

            "This nation singled out from others around the world?"
            This would seem to imply that we should be willing to accept violence in the United States as a matter of course. I'm trying to figure out why we would take such a callous view. I suspect we could curb a great deal of the violence we have if we'd be bothered to allow concealed weapons. When potential trouble-makers must routinely worry about the chance that they might become "victims" of someone else being able to return fire, I think we'd see the degree of violence we see drop quite a little after several years.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "This would seem to imply that we should be willing to accept violence in the United States as a matter of course."

            Violence is a part of life. It's how you define and manage it. My point is that some of the increase in violence can be attributed to cultural factors that extend throughout the globe.

            If you're trying to steer the discussion towards a US-specific solution, that's fine. As a final sentence to your comment, it left me wondering what your point was, hence the question.

            I agree that gun control laws must be relaxed, not made more extensive.

          • EarlyBird

            "This nation singled out from others around the world? What, are you kidding? We simply report and discuss it more. Any other conclusion is based on ignorance."

            Holy s**t! More denial from Mr. Objective Facts. So, ALL the studies of violence in the industrialized world showing the US far outweighing others on that list is just due to us reporting and discussing it more.

            By golly, another conspiracy! Or, further proof of America going soft! (Whichever fantasy you prefer, Facts Man.)

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Troll.

  • Manfred

    Mr. Kudo made a choice which he probably should not have made-he joined the U.S. military. He did not have to! He cannot argue that the Government made him do it. He was not drafted. When one reads of the twenty-two suicides a day by U.S. military veterans one cannot help but wonder if any of these volunteers have ever thought it through.The last war for which the U.S. Congress put its name on the line ( a declared ar!) ended in 1945. When one joins the military today it is almost like volunteering to go to prison. Think about it-women in combat?, chaplains can't preach religious truths? I speak as a former Army lieutenant myself who served in the early 60s.

    • EarlyBird

      People are complicated. My son-in-law signed up to fight shortly after 9/11 and he is very proud of his service, and knows, intellectually, that it is the right thing to do. But he also saw some very ugly things which he contributed to directly and indirectly, and suffers all sorts of dark moods and sadness, a real heavy heart, for these things.

      This is probably the biggest sacrifice we ask of our men and women in combat.

  • RickZ77

    "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

    attributed to, variously, George Orwell, Winston Churchill

    • EarlyBird

      Yep. And Prager calls them "morally confused."

      • objectivefactsmatter

        And Prager calls them "morally confused."

        He's quoting the specific words of a specific soldier. You're morally confused, constantly.

  • EarlyBird

    Prager is a preening, moralizing a$$. And he's wrong.

    In "On Killing," US Army Colonel David Grossman of West Point shows how in fact killing other human beings – for any reason – is NOT "intuitive," even if there is a good reason for doing so (like saving one's life or saving the world).

    The book sifts through mountains of evidence showing just how very hard it is to get soldiers to kill, even while fighting for their lives on the battlefield. Studies of WWII show some incredibly low number of soldiers and marines ever fired their weapons in combat, well below 30%.

    One of the biggest improvements in US military training since Vietnam has been its ability to get soldiers over this instinctive reticence to kill another human being.

    Further, for Prager to call a marine who fought for his country, who is spiritually broken by having killed other human beings "morally confused," is disgusting. Ask any vet who ever killed, and he will say his life changed forever and he will always feel guilt, whether it is warranted to not.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Another clear proof that you can't read with useful levels of comprehension.

      • EarlyBird

        Just sayin' it doesn't make it an "objective fact," buddy. if you want to debate my facts, go for it.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          Not all words are facts sir simple psycho.

  • Shyamkumar

    The starting point for one, to determine whether war is morally right or wrong has been beautifully exemplified in Bhagavad Gita. Humans can be only divided in 2 factions in this world "Dharmic" and "Adharmic" . Start with Gita to understand the intellect of reasoning in such dilemmatic situations.

    Shyam (India)

  • Ghostwriter

    I'll be honest. I have no idea where I stand on this sort of thing.

    • EarlyBird

      This is one of those issues where not being "absolutely sure" is the right response. Good for you.

  • Tan

    "On the other hand, he will fit in perfectly at NYU."

    I can think worse: UC Berkeley.

    ”War makes us killers. We must confront this horror directly if we’re to be honest about the true costs of war.”

    Wrong, it's good people that do nothing that are killers, it's delusional pacifists that are killers, it's utopianists that are killers, even hypocritical for them to be called "good people."

    • EarlyBird

      You're missing what we ask of our soldiers, for whom killing is not an abstract concept like for you and me. Even the guys who stormed Omaha Beach, or raised the flag on Iwo Jima, who had not one ounce of doubt about the morality of their mission, suffered immense psychic and spiritual pain from killing other human beings.

      We must understand what we really ask of our soldiers, typically young men who come back old men.

      War vets are haunted by their deeds and often feel crushing guilt and a sense of being "dirty" by having killed, no matter how noble the cause.