Are we the Baddies?

I was reading an entry on The Firearms Blog that had a photo of some Peruvian soldiers in skull warpaint that made one commenter post the following video:

I have to wonder how many Germans during WWII actually had this conundrum. I would imagine quite a few. In the modern era Germans seem to be decent people, and their current prohibition of anything Nazi shows their repentance to an extreme.

The current American situation, fighting an ambiguous war against “Terror” in which we can point to no nation as our enemy while engaging religious fanatics on their own soil, makes me wonder: Are we the baddies? Our enemies, a contingent of followers of the Islamic religion (I am told they hold a minority opinion within that faith) have declared a holy war against us. They call America the “Great Satan”, yet in our modern, secular, and borderline atheist culture, we cannot rally around God to renounce the claim, for far too many amongst our population have never known Him.

In the scheme of Divine Providence, is America just the latest iteration of Babylon or Assyria, a great power being utilized to accomplish the Lord’s works against the unjust, only to find itself destroyed when it has fulfilled His objective? Are we so consumed in our idolatrous worship of science, celebrity, and self that we cannot see this? I only pray that just as God spared a remnant of the kingdom of Judah, who then turned back to Him, He will spare a remnant of America as well when the day of His judgement comes upon us. We are not a covenant nation, as Israel of old was; our only hope is in the covenant God made to all through the blood of the Christ.

In the light of this it is imperative to realize that whether Americans are the baddies or not is irrelevant, each has a personal accountability for his own actions, and while punishment in this life often rains down on the just and the unjust alike, each will account for his own actions in the life to come. No matter what national allegiance one holds on earth, those of us who desire citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven must remember this teaching:

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40, ESV)

Do we love our neighbors as ourselves? In many ways, I would contend, that America, in general, does. Even when we “invade” a country, we make great efforts to improve their infrastructure, assist their needy, and practice a form of benevolence. Is it out of our selfish, national desires? Maybe so. However, for the soldier in that foreign land sharing the candies he received in his latest care package with the children he meets on the street, I would argue that he is loving his neighbor as himself.

We are told:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him,then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these,you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46, ESV)

Hurt feelings report

Last month I ran across a “form” on the Sarah’s Daughter blog that I had never seen before. It is the Hurt Feelings Report, which gathers such pertinent information as:

  • Whiner’s Name
  • Date feelings were hurt
  • Time of hurtfuleness
  • Location of hurtful incident
  • [Person] sympathetic to whiner
  • Name of real man/ woman who hurt your sensitive feelings
  • Which ear [sic] were the hurtful words spoken into
  • Did you require a tissue for your tears
  • Reasons for filing this report (Mark all that apply)
  • I am thin skinned
  • I am a whimp
  • I have woman/man-like hormones
  • I am a crybaby
  • I want my mommy

My wife already accuses me of being too militaristic in my approach to being a dad, but I thoroughly plan to implement this form when my kids become teens 🙂

Death of the Fobbit Medal

I’ve written about the Distinguished Warfare (Fobbit) Medal in the past, here and here, and it pleases me exceedingly to be able to share this message:

Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on the Distinguished Warfare Medal

The Department of Defense announced on Feb. 13 the establishment of the Distinguished Warfare Medal to recognize the achievements of a small number of service men and women who have an especially direct and immediate impact on combat operations through the use of remotely piloted aircraft and cyber operations. I agree with my predecessor Leon Panetta that such recognition is justly warranted for these men and women and thank him for raising the level of awareness of their hard work and critical contributions.

When I came into office, concerns were raised to me about the Distinguished Warfare Medal’s order of precedence by veterans’ organizations, members of Congress, and other stakeholders whose views are valued by this department’s leadership.

After consulting with the service secretaries, along with Gen. Dempsey and the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I directed them to review the Distinguished Warfare Medal. The medal was originally conceived to be awarded only to those men and women who, while serving off the battlefield, have an extraordinary impact on combat operations. While the review confirmed the need to ensure such recognition, it found that misconceptions regarding the precedence of the award were distracting from its original purpose.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the concurrence of the service secretaries, have recommended the creation of a new distinguishing device that can be affixed to existing medals to recognize the extraordinary actions of this small number of men and women. I agree with the Joint Chiefs’ findings, and have directed the creation of a distinguishing device instead of a separate medal.

The Joint Chiefs also recommend further consultation with the service secretaries, the service senior enlisted leaders, and veterans’ organizations regarding the nature of the device as well as clear definition of the eligibility criteria for award of the device. I have directed that within 90 days final award criteria and the other specifics of the distinguishing device be developed and presented to me for final approval.

The service men and women, who operate and support our remotely piloted aircraft, operate in cyber, and others are critical to our military’s mission of safeguarding the nation. I again want to thank my predecessor, Leon Panetta, for raising the need to ensure that these men and women are recognized for their contributions. 

I think I can better support a device to be attached to an existing medal for the purpose of recognizing our cyber warriors and joystick jockeys, and I have a few suggestions:

For meritorious piloting of an unmanned vehicle in a combat zone: A bronze drone
For meritorious remote management of non-vehicular combat systems: On a bronze scroll, a binary letter “F”

 All kidding aside, this is a much needed move in the right direction.

Militarized Mer-men

Maybe they can get the Fobbit Medal as well:

Ukrainian Attack Dolphins Are On the Loose: Hugh Pickens writes “The Ukrainian Navy has a small problem on their hands. The Atlantic reports that, after rebooting the Soviet Union’s marine mammal program last year with the goal of teaching dolphins to find underwater mines and kill enemy divers, three of the Ukrainian military’s new recruits have gone AWOL. Apparently they swam away from their trainers ostensibly in search of a ‘mate”‘ out in open waters. It might not be such a big deal except that these dolphins have been trained to ‘attack enemy combat swimmers using special knives or pistols fixed to their heads.’ Dolphins were trained at Sevastopol for the Soviet Navy as far back as 1973 to find military equipment such as sea mines on the seabed as well as attacking divers and even carrying explosives on their heads to plant on enemy ships. The U.S. has its own dolphin program in San Diego with 40 trained dolphins and sea lions and another 50 in training. U.S. Navy dolphins were deployed in Bahrain in 1987 during a period when Iran was laying down mines in the Persian Gulf to disrupt oil shipments. No word yet on whether ‘sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached’ have been added to the U.S. arsenal.”
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