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"Faith is not a good reason to believe in any one thing. It's a bad reason to believe in everything. Faith is not synonymous with any one idea; it is synonymous with any strongly held idea, true or not. But one thing faith is not synonymous with is a logically justified idea."

March 21, 2010


War is as much a part of the human condition as breathing. We’ve been writing the “Big Book of War” ever since on ape slapped another. It is unfortunate that one of the skills humanity has perfected to an exact science is the art of ending life. For as long as humanity persists in illogical beliefs and stifles the advancement of sciences that could prevent the causes of war, we will continue to find reason to kill one another. What are the three main reasons wars occur?... Belief, Resources and Pride… Belief means anyone with a world view that teaches them to think of their neighbors as “lesser beings.” That can be racism or religion or any number of illogical ideals. As soon as you see the man across the border as inhuman, then it’s easier to walk across it to kill him.
Resources means anything one nation needs to live that they can find in the next nation over. (Land, Oil, Food, etc.) This does not mean we need oil to live, but our way of life needs oil and our way of life allows us to live. As long as we require rare resources to thrive we will kill our neighbors for the rights to them. Finally, Pride, which means the need rulers have to feel powerful. It’s the alpha male syndrome blown out of proportion! Alexander the Great was doing just fine in Macedonia and Greece and he didn’t need to conquer the world. But he became power hungry. War is unfortunate, but not unnecessary. We have a reason to go to war from time to time that is not short sighted and small minded. At times like this, rare time, we must fight. War should not be the first response. Diplomacy should always be first. But even if you’re the most logical, rational and relaxed nation in the world, you will still be dealing with many nations who are not so understanding. People talk a lot of shit about the neutral nations in northern Europe. They call them cowards. What people don’t understand is they are not cowards at all. They simply don’t get into nearly as many fights as we do because they’re thinking before they act, where as we just throw missiles around like chew toys! Stop the illogical beliefs and you’ll stop most wars. At least for your country. I’ve been to war. I’ve killed. It does not bother me to take life. I am willing to kill but not willing to sacrifice my morality for loyalty. I do what I will based on what I understand. I regret the need to war with others, but when the need arises someone must do it


Gordon W F Young said...

I was with you right up until the last few sentances.

Your reasoning is very sound - I also recognise the necessity of violence, or preparedness for violence. Violence will always be the lowest common denominator.

Anyone can do it and gain power over others by doing it. The only definite way to prevent it is to able to respond to it.

Education will remove the impulse, but should that impluse ever arise, it must be met accordingly.

I don't understand however, how you link that back to the wars in either Afghanistan or Iraq.

Your situation continues to amaze me. Frankly put, your writings are some of the clearest and most reasonable I have ever come across. And yet your serve in the US military in two remarkably ineffective and unnecessary campaigns.

Please don't take this as a criticism of you personally, but I'm fairly comfortable that both campaigns could be described as such on the evidence at hand.

SgtHaile said...

Well if you said Iraq was a "remarkably ineffective and unnecessary campaign" then I'd agree with you for the most part. Iraq sucks, in the most basic sense of the word. However, I do not think that applies to Afghanistan. I've seen a lot of talk from the atheist community about how Afghanistan is just as bad as Iraq. This is one area I must disagree on. The people I talk to who are against the war in Afghanistan have one of three reasons... Either they're 9-11 truthers, in which case I dismiss their arguments almost immediately. Or they're upset over the number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, in which case I explain to them that civilian deaths will happen no matter who nice you try to play the game. Or they're just against all war in general, in which case they're just being overly peaceful to a fault.

Plain and simple, the US was attacked by a terrorist group that was being protected by the Afghan Taliban. Did we give the Afghans their weapons? Did we fuck up their situation even more than we'd planned on in the 80's? Sure. But shit happens. And they killed over 2,000 US citizens that day. So a fight was warranted.

Afghanistan, in my experienced opinion, is a just war. We might not be fighting it correctly all the time, but that's the failure of the generals, and that doesn't mean the war isn't worth fighting.

Iraq is a huge drain on the military, and if we get the hell out of there, we can direct more efforts to the Taliban issue.

The people there love us, with the exception of those under Taliban control who were told by their Taliban war lord that we are going to steal and eat their babies. (no joke) The people there, for the most part, understand that civilian collateral damage is unavoidable. They've been through tons of war in the last few decades, and they understand the hardships. They want the Taliban gone. Nothing more, nothing less.

Gordon W F Young said...

Interesting. I have to admit the majority of my information comes from the mass media or left-wing sources (I work in the enviro management field) so it's liable to bias.

If what you're telling me is that the Afghanistan conflict is achieving its aims and nearing possibility of victory, then that's fantastic. Also agree that in the current situation, complete withdrawal would be a big mistake.

That said, I'd question the decision to initiate the war. Granted, some sort of violent response was necessary after 9/11 (which I definitely do not deny), but whether whole-scale war was the correct option is questionable.

One argument put forward is that no-one in the US has actually been killed by terrorism since 9/11 with the exception of the Fort Hood incident. The argument goes that putting US interests and citizens right into the terrorist's home ground was exactly what they wanted - the results have certainly not been beneficial for the US.

Another argument is that given the immense good-will towards the US in the aftermath of 9/11 the government could have used enormous leverage to launch a concerted and prolonged police investigation that would have rooted out the entire organisation without driving it underground or angering the countries they hide in.

From the Taliban's point of view, Al Qaeda put them directly in the path of the world's largest military machine with 9/11. They might even have just handed Bin Laden over were the right threats and promises made.

But this is all 20-20 hindsight really.

SgtHaile said...

I think full scale war might have been a bit much too. If I had been president, we would have sent in our special forces, special operation and infantry units with support troops and had them all destroy the Taliban bases all over the country and then leave. Leave the Taliban in such disrepair that they could not control the country. And do it so quickly that it embarrassed them as a military force. Show them they cannot hide, they cannot fight, they cannot control their nation. Make them the poster child for what happens to anyone who awakens the sleeping giant. Show the nations of the world what will happen to their governing regimes if they decide to harbor terrorists.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on the Foxhole Atheist Blog do not necessarily represent those of Atheism or all Atheists, seeing as how Atheism has no tenets, dogma or doctrines. So Suck it!