Sunday, March 25, 2012
- Paul Boese
One of the oddest conversations I had with my father was over the "apology" to the Afghan people. Dad said it is repugnant to apologize to the enemy.
Who is my enemy? To some, anyone of the Muslim faith is an enemy. Any Arab, Palestinian, Syrian, Iraqi or Iranian, any Afghan... is that what we as a people want to understand as 'My Enemy'?
I've always thought that we as a people, in many ways all western society, seem to excel in those environments where we are sure who our enemy is and can hate them without hesitation. It's usually best to have someone far away, of course, so that we never really get to know them. And, it's usually best if they think different than we do, wear different clothes, have different beliefs, and especially if they look different.
In war it is easy to understand the enemy. He's the one pointing a rifle at you, right? Well, for the soldier, that is true. But, if you widen your scope you begin to see not the soldier, but the troop movement. Widen further, and you see not just the troop movement, but how that movement can effect your own goals and security. Widen further and we begin to see perhaps the man behind the movement. We see the Field Marshal, the King, the President.
It's easy to say 'kill them all' when the trigger is in someone else's hands. It's easy to play 'couch-potato quarterback'. After all, I can spout out my little hatreds far from the killing fields, far from the action, far from the consequences. I can declare my leaders incompetent and weak without recrimination because I live a cushy life. But, if we are to place a man/woman in leadership, we expect them to lead, to seek out the future, to create a world we would want to live in.
I don't know if admitting when one is wrong is able to be considered "aiding and comforting the enemy". I don't know if making war upon a people or a religion is what some think we are doing. I do know that if we are so wild as to be incapable of defining our objectives, declaring our enemies, and deciding our course of achieving our goals, we best stay home and bitch from the couch.