RANGER AGAINST WAR: Warrior Mythology <

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Warrior Mythology

--Jianping Fan (China)

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end

We are the champions

We are the champions

No time for losers

'Cause we are the champions - of the world!

--We Are the Champions
, Queen

Warrior Mythology, Pt I:

While "warriorhood" is all the rage among the services, the Congress and the public in general,
War is conspicuously absent in the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) environment.

Surely a definition of
warrior is, "One experienced in war," yet our campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq (after the initial invasion) have been Low Intensity Conflict [LIC] characterized by Counterinsurgency [COIN] operations. LIC and COIN are not warfare, and inconvenient is the fact that there has been no declaration of war. Dahr Jamail points out that we cannot even legally declare war (Afghanistan: Where Empires Go to Die.) We can no longer recognize what war looks like, let alone what constitutes a warrior.

Why the appeal of the warrior image, especially among Christians who claim to be peace loving? That peaceful countries breed warrior societies should discomfort us.

In the 19th century we forced the Native American tribes to abandon their warrior lifestyles. In WW II we fought the consummate warrior castes of the Bushido and Samurai, and the ultimate 20th century warrior, the Nazi SS. Our national policy destroyed three warrior nations by being Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen. We had might and right, and words like
warrior were unnecessary.

The warrior is actually a religious construct, rather than a political or military one. He is one of philosopher Mircea Eliade's
hierophanies -- an emergence of the sacred (God-hero) into the profane. Often segregated, the warrior was beyond the average citizen in terms of his stoicism, for which he was later rewarded. All warrior people disavowed death, and the warrior would receive a reward in the afterlife for his defense of us against them.

The animation behind the warrior was whipped up by a potent brew of ethnocentrism, xenophobia and afterlife rewards. Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By) writes,
"It is a basic idea of practically every war mythology that the enemy is a monster and that in killing him one is protecting the only truly valuable order of human life on earth, which is that, of course, of one's own people."

In 2009, things aren't that different. We are caught fighting long wars against those deemed "evil," a role previously filled by Communists or any legion of Others.

The Structuralists would see the warrior as a cultural myth signifying the fitness or robustness of a people. For the religionists, the genesis of monotheism is the progenitor of the warrior ethos. God favored the Jews or the Christians, and survival became tied to cooperation between this God and his people.

Forgetting the biblical proscriptions to
not kill and turn the other cheek, since the Jews, Christians and Islamists differ little in their core beliefs it is the gravest futility for them to fight behind the banner of religion. Today's warriors are living a prehistoric myth translated through our major religions.

While Christianity is based upon the teachings of Jesus, after Constantine the entire history of the church is one of the sword and the warrior. Christianity, like Islam, was firmly established by warriors favored by God. This is a problem, as a single God cannot favor both sides in a struggle for cultural hegemony.

Tomorrow: Onward Christian Warriors

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Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

you make a lot of good points with this whole "warrior" thing.....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 3:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

You are cordially invited to read Part 2 that continues this idea.
Hint-do not wear warpaint.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 3:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous barcalounger said...

Warriors? Like as in "Onward Christian Soldiers"? Who came up with this idea? In fact who thinks it's a good idea? Can't wait for part two.

Hey,nice blog. I haven't read all the archives but I've noticed you've done a lot of work explaining the SF mission. Thanks, Ranger.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 4:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

You pretty much said all that needs to be said about "warriors", Jim.

I can only note that Judaism in its pre-Diaspora form was pretty warlike - David didn't get all those foreskins by asking nicely - and Jesus popped up something of an anomaly in the 1st Century. His followers did seem to try to live his peaceable/communal teachings for a couple of centuries but when early Catholicism collided with late Rome, Rome won. Christ himself would have no trouble recognizing all those those Sadducees in the sexy robes and fancy hats cakewalking around St. Peters...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 5:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

no paint? damn.

i absolutely agree jim. this whole warrior thing is bullshit.

soldiers, especially infantry grunts are what win shit.

the best special forces in the world can whip up some real shit, thing is, it takes grunts and gunners, with their boots and their asses on the ground to consolidate and hold things together.

soldiers, especially soldiers of a season. conscripted or volunteer doesn't really make a difference. soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who see a defined task and a clear mission. those guys will enlist for "the duration" because they have a pretty idea how long things are going to take.

"home by christmas" has been a standing joke among the troops since the revolution. everybody always says that. "we're gonna go through those hun bastards like crap through a goose..." patton told the truth, it's just that it took four years to get the army together to really throw the damn damn down.

macarthur had his four years in the pacific too. his war was nasty, dirty, and almost nothing but one amphib assault after another. (there were also some absolutely hellacious sea fights too, like leyte, coral sea)

but, if you want to hear a story of absolute mad carnage read "goodbye darkness" by william manchester and find out what the marines on tarawa, peleliu, and especially okinawa had to go through.

one of the things you hear over, and over, is that a thing that makes something like that bearable to some extent is knowing that there is a goal, a definable, quantifiable situation that makes it all end.

that's when the grunts go home, do boring shit like raise families and stuff.

every military philosopher from sun tsu through marcus aurelius and von clauswitz all warned against the stupidity of wars that last too long. we are eight years into shit we have no idea how to end.

actually ending it is simple. fucking. leave.

of course, simple often isn't easy.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 5:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I try to pass on info about SF/SOF so that it's understandable to everyone. It's all rather somewhat simple once explained.
I do hope you'll like part 2. This all came to me during a mystical experience while watching a cialis ad.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 7:10:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another good posting. But I ask, what is the unseen force like magnetism that attracts us to join together to comprise a force? What is the unseen force like gravity that has continued to pull men together to respond with force for a common goal that they themselves may not even believe in?

The Trigger Not Pulled

Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 7:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Serving Patriot said...


Thanks for both posts. So, so right.

And this:

This all came to me during a mystical experience while watching a cialis ad.

is truly priceless!!!

Keep it up Soldier.


Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 8:56:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I'd like to add re;cialis. Now that I've got the low dose everyday pill regulated I now have mystical experiences EVERYTIME that I'm ready.One could say that I'm one with the universe except I hate sitting in a bathtub all the time.

Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 9:36:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

The Trigger,

Yours is a good question, worthy of a meditation.

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 10:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Your question or point goes to the heart of nation statehood. Without this fact there would not be such a thing as a nation state.

Monday, October 5, 2009 at 2:03:00 PM GMT-5  

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