Thursday, December 24, 2009

To Kill For

There's too many of them.
I can't kill the world

--Night of the Hunter (1955)


Which is more pure? To kill for love, or for hate? Or not to kill at all?

Since Ranger's Chaplin's chit hasn't been signed in a while, he won't explore the option of conscientious objection. We will go with the American view of Jesus, a savior who sanctions killing infidels who snarl in our direction. We go after them with our God-sanctioned Just War fighters.
Their purpose is to kill whatever rings our bells at the moment

As a society, we thrill at the successes and the entertainment value of the killing. Where the reality show and the killing intersect is a place called the Pentagon -- the Hollywood of War ©.

When we kill for love we call it
patriotism, loyalty and dedication to country. Our oath to kill is seen as a holy imperative, sanctioned by churches, communities and the Constitution. We are sworn to uphold democracy by imposing our wills and violence upon other men.

Ranger thinks Montesquieu, Rousseau and other Enlightenment thinkers would have a hard time reconciling the concept of acceptable state-sponsored violence being the tool to defeat non-acceptable state-sponsored violence. Whether death is dealt by the State or terrorists, one is still dead, and Thou Shalt Not Kill. This is not a Good Thing, as Martha Stewart might say. Violence, regardless of the source, is not legitimate.

The U.S. kills Taliban because they violate and ignore human rights, without realizing that this response is in itself a violation of human rights.
Such response threatens the integrity of all human-based social systems. All law is based upon the presumption that killing is not legally sanctioned, save in the most dire situations. Certainly, killing should not be a spectator sport or a rallying point. Discretionary wars should not be fought.

When our soldiers kill Taliban this is not a virtue, even is the target was an "evil person". Good never flows from violence, and if we believe it does, then we are not a liberal democarcy. When our policies kill a person, this is a failure of our social contract.

Though adrift, we still cling to the notion that the U.S. is a peace-loving nation. Unfortunately, evidence proves the contrary. Until we as a society recognize the difference between peace and violence, and fully accept our own violence, then we are not centered.

Until then, we live a disingenuous schizophrenic national existence.



Anonymous tw said...

Praise the Lord and pass the amunition ! We're a very indoctrinated nation.

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 7:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

in this respect we are very much like the imperial athens of the golden age.

they too proclaimed their "democracy," and their love of peace, while they expanded their commercial empire throughout the mediterranian.

they didn't have colonies, per se, they had cities and islands that were so bound to them commercially they might have just as well been colonized.

i think one of the things that made me glad to leave the service was that i was feeling less and less like a soldier, and more and more like a hired gun.

Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 8:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

schizophrenia is the rebellion against the "hypocracy". next time you cross paths with a schizophrenic make sure you let them know how much you appreciate their sacrifice for our humanity. they fight in the horrors of the "phony" war everyday.

peace and love.

Friday, December 25, 2009 at 2:39:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


It seems very hard for people to claim freedom without wanting to feel free to do all manner of things, including exercising dominion over others and collecting tribute in some form, whether that be actual or in the form of adulation or provision of goods and services.

True freedom, absent the urge to own or subjugate, seems rare. We equate freedom with power (which it is a form of), and only know how to exercise power through force.

Power in its pure and solely individual form, is rare.


Are you an acolyte of R.D. Laing or Thomas Szasz, or just a hard-working schizophrenic? :)

Friday, December 25, 2009 at 12:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

War is indeed a racket, as Smedley clued us, and we know who runs the rackets.

Back in the day I was nearly done for disrespect to a commissioned officer for getting in the face of an Army chaplain who felt the need to question what I believed in.

As I recall I pointed to my head, my heart, my genitals and then shook my rifle at him, and said something like "I believe in my mind, body, and soul, padre, and my ability to hit the center of mass consistently at 450 meters. Other than that I'd call what we do the devil's work and no mistake, killing men and women and children for our country's benefit. I'm content with the part of me the Devil uses for his business - that's why I'm wearing this tree suit. What the fuck is your excuse, Man of God?"

I think the only reason he didn't press it was because he had no honest answer.

Saturday, December 26, 2009 at 12:59:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Samuel said...

I really like your blog Ranger.

I try to keep my political views to myself - but I can say I wouldn't mind if our foreign policy was closer to Switzerland's (neutrality, defensive war only) than Ancient Rome's.

How do you think we should have dealt with the Taliban after 9/11?

I think the root causes of a lot of terrorism are global inequality (many people lack access to basic food and water), as well as "imperialistic" and exploitative practices of industrial nations toward developing nations. Making a more just and compassionate world would certainly reduce terrorism....

Going after Osama Bin Laden and his cohorts I felt was justified.... but the "War on Terror" encompassed a lot more than just that.

Feel free to e-mail me for further talk.

Sunday, December 27, 2009 at 5:00:00 PM GMT-5  

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