Category Archives: Just War

How To Think And Act Like A Ruthless Warrior By Jack Kerwick

Argument, Conflict, Crime, Just War, Liberty, War

“Virtuous people become virtuous by acting virtuously. Similarly, one becomes a warrior by acting like one. The Warrior Within envisions himself crucifying, without mercy, the monsters of his choosing.”—Jack Kerwick

Warriors aren’t born. They are made.

This is the philosophy behind Warrior Flow Combatives, or Warrior Flow.

And a Warrior without Ruthless Intent is like a library without books or, more accurate yet, a square without four sides.

Ruthless Intent is nothing more or less than the will to crush the Enemy, those who would prey upon the innocent, into nonexistence.

To the end of cultivating this virtue—and, yes, it most certainly is a martial and moral virtue—physical training is necessary, yes. But even more importantly, mental training is required.

To cultivate Ruthless Intent, the aspiring Warrior must routinely engage in three mutually supportive and equally essential activities: Self-Talk, Visualization, and what Warrior Flow refers to as “Visceralization.”

Self-talk requires one to pay meticulous attention to the inner commentary that the mind ceaselessly cranks out, for even when it is commentary upon happenings in the external world, it is, ultimately, autobiographical, it is self-commentary, for our thoughts on the world, our relationships with others, are inescapably colored and shaped by our experiences and memories.

We need to manage that “inner voice.”

Self-talk is inescapable. We are all incessantly speaking to ourselves, whether we realize it or not. There is scarcely a moment when, either through word or image, we aren’t communicating to ourselves. Past experiences, or our interpretations of those experiences, we have, in large measure subconsciously, weaved into an autobiographical narrative. As is the case with any other work, our self-story is necessarily selectively edited. Yet we confuse this highly redacted version of ourselves with our whole selves.

And we allow this abridged reading of ourselves to color our sense of reality.

Warrior Flow implores students to attend carefully to their Self-Talk. Moreover, they are to assume conscious control of it, to habituate their minds to thinking self-affirming thoughts. In the case of this combat art specifically, the Warrior-in-the-Making must begin thinking and living as if the future self that he wants to become is already a present reality.

It doesn’t demand much reflection to realize that this is indeed how we became whatever it is that we’ve ever become. If one wants to become a cook, one must first cook. If one want to become a dancer, one must dance. If one wants to become a football player, one must play football.

Aristotle, the most prominent of all virtue theorists, wrote famously on this subject. Brave men become brave by acting like brave men. Just men become just by acting like just men.

Comprehensively, virtuous people become virtuous by acting virtuously.

Similarly, one becomes a warrior by acting like one. And acting like a warrior means as well thinking like one.

Yet Aristotle knew that being virtuous was a matter not just of thinking a certain way, but of feeling the appropriate way. For instance, a courageous person is someone who knows what to fear and the extent to which he should fear it. The object of fear elicits the emotion or passion of fear within the body. The courageous person, though, experiences fear in the appropriate proportion.

The aspiring warrior must feel as the Warrior that he will become feels. As he regularly affirms his own physical abilities, his resolute acceptance of injury, and even death, in battle, and his equal resolve to incapacitate the Enemy by whichever means, with ruthless efficiency, his Self-Talk will necessarily be accompanied by visuals.

As with his Self-Talk, though, the Warrior Within must make sure that the activity of Visualization in which he engages is consciously directed. He needs to open up the reservoir of his imagination and unleash his creative powers as he envisions himself crucifying, without mercy, the monsters of his choosing. They could be real people or imaginary. They can be people who one has personally known or only those of whom one has heard. In any event, to cultivate Ruthless Intent—the conviction that predators must be reduced to prey, the raw, undifferentiated determination to instill within violent attackers the same unbridled terror that they sought to inspire in their victims—one must not only visualize, but visceralize.

Visceralization is a species of visualization. When a person engages in Visceralization, he doesn’t just see the object of his imagination; he hears, smells, and touches it, and he perceives it with all of his senses in painstaking detail. He visualizes it in what students of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) refer to as an “associated” way.

In other words, when associated visualization (visceralization) occurs, the visualizer doesn’t just form a mental picture of himself within the framework of the visual, as is the case when it is “dissociated visualization” that occurs. Associated visualization, in contrast, immerses the visualizer within the scene that he envisages, allowing him to enact it.

When a person visceralizes he experiences those emotions that he either once experienced, if he is in effect reliving a past event, or those that he would experience if the event that he visceralizes actually occurred. Physiologically speaking, the emotion felt in the body while visceralizing and that felt in response to a real world happening are one and the same. The brain doesn’t know the difference.

Specifically, when developing Ruthless Intent, an aspiring warrior must not only perceive his attacker or attackers in his mind; he must as well feel in the very marrow of his bones all of the contempt, the righteous indignation and fury with which he visualizes himself destroying the Enemy. Physiologically speaking, the feelings that he conjures while training are one and the same as those that he would have in a real confrontation. The brain doesn’t know the difference between the fantasy and the reality.

While immersed in visceralization, the aspiring Warrior can, for example, feel the flesh of the Enemy’s neck spontaneously with the sound of it snapping as he drives an axe-handed chop to it with all of the power that he believes is necessary for the purpose of cleaving the Enemy’s skull from his body. Beholding the (admittedly anatomically impossible) spectacle promises to go no small distance toward marshalling and channeling from within one’s pain, rage, fear, and disdain for the wicked.

I leave this to your fertile imagination, but there are practically limitless ways by which the Warrior-in-Waiting can visceralize visiting destruction upon the Enemy. Creativity in combat is a virtue of the Warrior. Yet it presupposes Ruthless Intent.

And to the end of cultivating Ruthless Intent, Self-Talk, Visualization, and Visceralization are imperative.

***

Jack Kerwick is a columnist for Beliefnet, FrontPage Magazine, American Greatness and Townhall.com.  He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Temple University, a master’s degree in philosophy from Baylor University, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religious studies from Wingate University. I teach philosophy at several colleges in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas. Follow him on Twitter.

NEW COLUMN: No Pardons For Neocon War Crimes (Part 2)

Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iraq, Just War, Morality, Neoconservatism, The State, War

NEW COLUMN, “No Pardons For Neocon War Crimes” (Part 2), is on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

An excerpt:

“HOW does America change if our intelligence agencies were more accurate in their assessment of Saddam Hussein’s chemical and nuclear weapons programs?”

The question was posed, just the other day, in “Make America Competent Again,” by David French, at the Dispatch, a neoconservative website. The tract is an agony aunt’s meander that calls on shoring-up competency in state and civil society.

But first: Dissecting, deconstructing and exposing the neoconservative mindset and machinations matters. The reason is this:

Thanks to President Trump, neoconservatives are not exactly having a moment—they’re down in the doldrums. But they’ll be back. For neoconservatives and liberal interventionists make up the Permanent State. The ideology the likes of David French, formerly of National Review, and his ilk promote—foreign-policy bellicosity, endless immigration, mindless consumerism, racial shaming, “canceling” of deviationists and conformity to an American identity that’s been melted away in vats of multiculturalism—is in our country’s bone marrow, by now.

Therefore, the fighting words in response to French’s framing of the invasion of Iraq as a mere glitch in intelligence are these:

Oh no you don’t, you so-and-so!!

No creedal neoconservative should be able to get away with the claim that a problem of criminality is really just a problem of competency.

You’d think that a military man like Mr. French would know that fixing problems rests on defining them with precision. Recasting state corruption and war crimes as incompetence cures neither state crimes nor incompetence.

America’s war on Iraq was a war crime, plain and simple. It was a reflexive collaboration between elements in a vast, by now familiar, intelligence bureaucracy, comprised of neoconservative and liberal interventionists, whose aim was to help The Powers that Be pulverize a country, Iraq, for the purpose of making it over in the image of America.

Contra Mr. French, the war on Iraq cannot be reduced to systemic incompetence. Anyone who doggedly tracked and documented the ramp up to war, as this column did, can attest that the United States bullied its way to war, monomaniacally. …

… READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN, “No Pardons For Neocon War Crimes” (Part 2), is on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

Using Wall Money To Bomb Syria

Constitution, Debt, Homeland Security, IMMIGRATION, Just War, Nationhood, Reason, War

No idea why bootlickers are elevating Laura Ingraham’s mild objections to the Syria strikes. It looks like what she’s saying is that “if we had the money; then OK. But we’re broke, so not now.” Tucker Carlson, on the other hand, offers principled objections to The American Way (intervening everywhere).

Sure, money is an important consideration, but it’s entirely a side issue here—Ingraham’s utilitarianism makes no appeal to the Constitution, to the War Powers Act (a bad bit of legislation, but still); not to the sovereignty of nations, or to justice. Yes, her protestation is better than nothing, but arguments like hers are dodgy.

You see, the same argument is made against The Wall. This, as we use so-called wall money to bomb Syria. Even if we had the money, we don’t have the right, really. We do, however, have the obligation to stop aggressors from entering the US—whether they wage welfare, bring in hitherto eradicated diseases, or harbor hatred for Americans that spills over into hate crimes (terrorism and racially motivated crime).

Kurdish Separatists: They Fight ISIS, But Threaten Statists

Federalism, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Just War, Middle East, Nationhood, States' Rights

The Turks lump together as terrorists both the Islamic State and the paramilitary wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which is fighting ISIS. “Kurds in Iraq and Syria are among the most formidable opponents of the extremist group.” And the US agrees. Americans, after all, hate separatists. It reminds them of their lost right of secession, removed by force by Abe Lincoln. Born of a loose confederation of independent states, Americans now favor a strong, overweening central state, and they want to see the same in the tribal lands of the Middle East.

Turkey’s military has been ramping up attacks on Kurdish separatists since last month. The government decided to join the U.S.-led military campaign against Islamic State while simultaneously launching assaults on the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and Turkey.

MORE.