as a city upon a hill
--John Winthrop sermon (1630)
When a good time turns around
You must whip it
You will never live it down
Unless you whip it
--Whip It, Devo
"A new American archetype, Obama is the anti-macho man, a new-age intellectual who defeated the old-guard warrior [Bush]" (The World Is a Fire Hydrant).
Forgive us while we stand stupefied before the AWOL National Guard warrior king in all his majesty.
So where does warrior idolatry leave us as a peace-loving nation? Our Generals and political leaders have adopted the trappings and mythic evocations of the warrior, and many have interpreted their work as implementing the will of God (Winthrop's City on the Hill). The service publications are now rife with references to the Soldier as a whole man, whose spiritual being is ranked equally as important as his training preparation.
But the same concept of the will of God can be said to animate the Islamic jihadists, Allāhu Akbar. Both sides feel they possess truth, love and divine guidance. This hard-wired conviction of propriety and righteousness all 'round is a formula for nothing but continual death and destruction.
Are we, a scientifically-advanced superpower, so oblivious that we cannot see the implications of our beliefs? In the realm of religion, the march of modernity seems to have has bypassed us. Warriors destroy and kill for the benefit of their society. They die for us, in killing them. However, in our PWOT © the formula has been corrupted.
We are supposedly fighting terrorism, a tool which is being wielded by crazed radical Islamists. Our warriors fight, kill, and sacrifice for us, against the adversary. In reality, however, our warriors have helped establish states that are firmly ensconced as being "Other". This is an inversion of the classic reason to war.
Our military actions and foreign policy have enabled the creation of religious Islamic nations states firmly embedded in the mindset which gave rise to the terrorist threat. Our warriors have rewarded them for their fight. Our fight takes the form of a concession.
The Post-WW II reality was that the Germans and Japanese were democratized and demilitarized because we forced a constitution that strictly dictated the allowable activities of those states. In contrast, the constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan are not similarly constructed documents. This is a perversion of the utility of the warrior who now simply fights to fight, without gaining benefit for his nation. The benefits of the PWOT © have accrued to the Other.
We are not fighting for our own liberties, but rather for those of Iraq and Afghanistan. Our liberties are secure and separate from the PWOT ©, and only stand to be eroded in this fight.
Why does the U.S. not see the futility of its current warring actions? As Aristotle said in his Metaphysics,
"Perhaps, too, as difficulties are of two kinds, the cause of the present difficulty is not in the facts but in us. For as the eyes of bats are to the blaze of day, so is the reason in our soul to the things which are by nature most evident of all."
We do not want to know the truth, for if we did, we would be compelled to alter our course. Being the somewhat scientifically advanced culture we are, we can use our knowledge in the service of warping the facts to justify a non-functional path. We invent theories which allow us to deny or refashion the truths to buoy up nonsensical choices. With the truth obscured, we need not change our behaviors.
Where did we take such a wrong turn, while hiding behind the warrior's shield?