Quite possibly the most morally obtuse op-ed I've ever read, and that includes every word ever to belch from the mind of Great Murky Krauthammer. How many false assumptions, tenuous connections, and leaps of logic can one man stuff into a single column? A lot!
Yet I am proud my son volunteered, and of his two tours in Afghanistan and his mission in Iraq. And he is glad he served his country. I wish all Americans had a gut connection to the troops so they would know that people like my son don't kill civilians and that they anguish over the vicissitudes of war. And I also wish more people read books like "Naples '44" to give them some sense of perspective when terrible things do happen in Iraq and Afghanistan.Except that people like Frank Schaeffer's son do kill civilians, and mere anguish over the "vicissitudes" of war in the minds of the occupying missionaries of democracy does precisely nothing to mitigate against that fact. People like Frank Schaeffer's son do kill civilians. They did it in Haditha. They did it in My Lai. The did it in the instances from WWII that Schaeffer himself cites in opening his piece.
Judging by Lewis's diary -- and many other accounts -- the so-called Greatest Generation of World War II was often badly led and worse-behaved, and was certainly less merciful than our present-day soldiers and their leaders. We haven't carpet-bombed Baghdad or nuked Fallujah to spare the lives of our troops. Yet most Americans are glad we forced Italy, Germany and Japan to become democracies, however brutal our means.
People like Frank Schaeffer's son are the killers and torturers in every war. Many of them escape that fate, but some don't. War makes them monsters. The Marines who massacred women and children at Haditha weren't murderers who slipped their way into the military in order to facilitate their murderousness; they were made murderers.
I'm tired of false equivalences between WWII and Iraq. I'm tired of notions of relative brutality--ah, but we firebombed Dresden, and thus do our adventures in Iraq pale in comparative brutality. Pap. Hogwash. Bullshit. We didn't enter WWII to "[force] Italy, Germany and Japan to become democracies, however brutal our means." It's revisionism of the absolute worst kind; it's the conscious rewriting of history so as to make the debacle and error in which his son willingly participates into the equivalent of a titanic struggle against expansionist, aggressive, industrialist, imperial nations. It's asinine, crass, undignified, revolting.
Men like Frank Schaeffer's son rounded up civilians and executed them in Haditha. And Frank Schaeffer wants context! Would he demand such if his own family were rounded up and shot at close range? Would he demand "the media" abandon its "glib hubris" and report that greater crimes had been committed eleswhere under more or less exigent circumstances?
Is that to be our new moral metric? That if something worse has happened, then no evil has occured?
It's time for the critics of our military to also earn a little moral authority by volunteering themselves or encouraging their children to do so. Anything less is nothing more than arm's-length moralizing.For the life of me, I can't understand how volunteering to prosecute wars of aggression gives one greater moral authority to question them, any more than I can understand how volunteering to drive the getaway car gives one greater moral authority with which to condemn armed robbery, any more than I can understand how cooking books for your company gives you keener ethical insights into the wrongness of fraud.