The Quarter Wars Half Measures Availeth Less
By Al Cronkrite The Covenant News ~ June 9, 2006
Our Christian God seeks peace and prosperity for His people. Though I am solidly against the War in Iraq I am not in total accord with many of the peaceniks that have joined the resistance. There are revolutionary Anarchists and Communists hiding under organizational banners fomenting riots and violent demonstrations and there are a few Christians who seen to misconstrue God’s peaceful intentions into a New Testament based pacifism.
Following World War I, the American Empire has been perpetuated with conflicts that involved the wholesale slaughter of civilians who were often innocent of malicious intent. The bulk of these killings were accomplished by impersonal explosions of bombs, the flames of napalm, starvation from embargos, and other agents of death.
The personal slaughter of designated enemy individuals and families as was recently reported in Iraq was avoided when possible by using inanimate agents.
When God sent His chosen people into the Promised Land He outlined the nature of the war they were expected to wage. “And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; though shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make not covenant with them nor shew mercy unto them:…..” Deuteronomy 7:2. This ancient war, proclaimed by God, was altogether personal.
Fierce perpetration is a characteristic of successful armies. It was the cruel annihilation of Southern soldiers and the burning and sacking of their cities that finally ended the American Civil War and likewise it was the Huns who killed with abandon and sacked and raped Roman outposts who were responsible for beginning to bring down the Roman Empire. As Napoleon had done before him, Hitler’s armies marched over Europe with a brutal confidence.
Among the indigenous tribes of the Promised Land, Joshua’s conquering armies had a reputation as unmerciful killers, this reputation engendered great fear in the hearts of his enemies and gave Joshua a battlefield advantage.
Successful wars are not tentative projects and when it has been prayerfully and thoughtfully determined that a war is lawful, that the time is right, and that the result will bring peace, righteousness, and the dominion of the Living God to the targeted land, war should be conducted with the same zeal that characterized Joshua’s armies.
Both the United States and Israel are secular nations tainted with a humanistic conception of Justice. This distortion of righteousness permeates societies and legal structures resulting in progressive deterioration. Evil humanistic mercy allows crimes that should require death to result in torturous expensive prison sentences while actions that should be crimes are ignored; this human arrogance has resulted in an overburdened prison system and a contaminated social order.
God created human beings in His own image and He designated the standards under which they should live. In addition He mandated the standards by which they should die. Death is the culmination of every life - there is a time to live and a time to die just as there is a time for war and a time for peace. When God’s commandments are breached and those He has condemned are allowed to live, the social order deteriorates and Godly mercy is distorted by human opinion.
This contamination carries over into the conduct of wars where the proper ferocity tends to be lost.
Lawrence Vance, a writer and college instructor, recently posted a copy of a speech on the LewRockwell Page. Supported by a quote from G. K. Chesterton he writes, ”The only just cause for war is a defensive one….”. Apparent in the article is an attempt to separate and excuse governments from righteous behavior, support for the bogus Nation of Israel, a purposeful avoidance of the entire Old Testament, and a pacifist posture.
G. K. Chesterton was English and Catholic. The Catholic Church supports the following criterion for Just Wars; Just Cause; Comparative Justice (both sides have right and wrong, must be significant injustice by one party); Legitimate Authority; Right Intention; Probable Success; Good to be achieved must outweigh probably destruction; and Last Resort.
Applying these principles to the War in Iraq produces the following conclusions:
1) One of the initial stated purposes for the Iraq War was to free the Iraqi people from a cruel dictator. This objective might have fit into the Just War requirements. However, it was joined by erroneous reports of weapons of mass destruction and as the war has progressed it is obvious that freeing the Iraqi people was never a primary objective.
2) There is not doubt the Saddam Hussein was a dictator who ruled with an iron fist. However, if the injustices committed by both nations were compared, the United States would need to include the war deaths of 200 thousand Filipinos, following the Spanish American War, 200 thousand Japanese needlessly killed by the Atomic Bomb, and a similar number of Germans killed in an unnecessary deliberate bombing run on Dresden at the end of WW II. Also, consideration would need to be given to the deceitful manipulation and betrayal of nations and individuals that has characterized American foreign policy for over a hundred years.
3) Even though the procedures outlined in the American Constitution are deemed anachronistic by many of our leaders and were not followed, the war was declared by a duly elected official of the United States Government and is fully legitimate from this perspective.
4) The true intentions of the United States Government in invading the sovereign nation of Iraq have never been stated.
5) The success of the Iraq War has been severely hampered by a lack of public support and a failure to execute a proper plan for creating Democratic State in Iraq. Nevertheless, it remains doubtful that the United States armies could ever successfully occupy and subdue several nations that include some 200 million enemy Arabs even with the help of a million soldiers.
6) Nothing righteous could come from the Iraq War because the United States Government is secular in nature and never intended to bring Iraq under the dominion of the Living God.
7) The Bush II Administration was bent on war against Iraq from the beginning. The only effort was to create reasons for the invasion. The war was planned and intentionally initiated. It fails to conform to the Last Resort criterion.
It would seem that contrary to Lawrence Vance’s contention, all legitimate wars do not need to be defensive. However, they do need to be just and righteous; only begun as a last resort and intent on bringing peace and righteousness. St Augustine who was the first to address the issue of righteous war wrote this, "We do not seek peace in order to be at war, but we go to war that we may have peace. Be peaceful, therefore, in warring, so that you may vanquish those whom you war against, and bring them to the prosperity of peace."
When wars are started for evil reasons the blessing of the Living God is missing along with the zeal that accompanies righteous endeavors.
While it is true that the objective of war should be peace as Augustine has written, there is a deeper purpose. Shortly following God’s admonition concerning the conduct of the invasion of the Promised Land in Deuteronomy 7:2 in 7:11 He adjured, “Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day to do them.” And in return He promised, “And he will love thee and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep , in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.”
Lawrence Vance is partially correct, Christians worship a peaceful God. However, there is a time for war, and when war is legitimate, when the sole objective is to bring God’s dominion to land by occupying it with a people who abide by His Laws, it can be fought with ferocious intensity.