Updated: Memorial Day Message (On Just War & Against Pacifism)

Foreign Policy,Free Will Vs. Determinism,Just War,Propaganda,The Military,War


Since the Messiah was anointed (1/20/09), 72 soldiers have died in Iraq. He campaigned on bringing them home.
Glenn Beck asked every American encountering a uniformed man or woman to thank them in person for their sacrifice. No! Enough of this meaningless jabbering. I thank all the Ramos’s and Compeans of this great nation, who stand on this country’s soil and defend their countrymen from the worst of mankind.

To those who fight phantoms in far-flung destinations; I’m sorry. I’m sorry you’ve been snookered into living and dying for a lie. But I will not honor a lie, or those who give their lives for it. I cry for them, as I have from day one, but I can’t honor them.

To those who enlisted thinking they’d fight for their country and were subjected to one backdoor draft after another in the cause of illegal, unjust wars—I am sorry. My heart hurts for you, but I will not worship Moloch.

I honor those sad, sad draftees to Vietnam and to WW II. The first valiant batch had no option; the same goes for the last, which fought a just war.

What I learned growing up in a war-torn region is that a brave nation fights only because it must; a cowardly nation fights because it can.”

LET THE SUNSHINE IN. This wonderfully executed tract of a lost soul shipping-out says it all for me (watch this classic antiwar film again, if you can):

Update (May 27): AGAINST PACIFISM. Pacifism is evil. Myron, whose delicious postings on BAB we relish—and who deserves a fan-base—has fallen into that error. There are most certainly just wars, just as surely as there is evil in the human heart. Myron, quit hanging around anarchists in cyberspace, or else you will, as the hard-left has and does, continue to reduce human evil to the state’s doing, thus relinquishing the philosophical cornerstone of civilization: free will and human agency. Here on BAB I argue from the vantage point of those tenets. Anarchism, invariably and by default, argues from the stance of social determinism. Or, in simple terms: the State made me do it.

10 thoughts on “Updated: Memorial Day Message (On Just War & Against Pacifism)

  1. Virgil

    I too have often wondered how American soldiers fighting in “far-flung” regions like Somalia, Kosovo, and Iraq are fighting to “defend American freedoms”. What freedoms that I possess now are\were threatened by Somali warlords, Serbian paramilitaries, or Iraqi insurgents? None of the various peoples that the US has bombed or invaded in the past few decades has even expressed an intent to take over the US, much less tried. On the other hand it seems that the US government is doing everything within its power to trash the Constitution and the freedoms that it enshrines. As someone on another site I visited recently said, the American military will be fighting for our freedoms when it marches on Washington and throws out all the criminal politicians. All these mantras of “support the troops” and “they’re fighting for our freedoms” are just means by which the State is able to continue to its criminal policies without having to answer for them.

  2. Van Wijk

    Well stated. Whenever this topic comes up, I generally say that the last time an American regular soldier fought for American freedom was (arguably) in the War of 1812. In most of the wars after that one, the American soldier has been a legionary in the service of empire (including my own service).

    But take their argument to its logical conclusion. They are saying that our freedoms are guaranteed by a branch of the federal government. This is of course an absurdity, since governments do not provide freedoms but take them away (just as they do not provide wealth but take wealth away). Someday those same salt-of-the-earth farmboys that we’re supposed to venerate may be ordered to point their weapons at you. Where will your freedom be then?

    The fact is that some old desert rat who shoots a Mexican drug smuggler as he crosses the border has just done more for American freedom than all the troops in Iraq combined. The armed citizen is the first, last, and only guarantor of a free society.

    That being said, I am not pro-hippy, and the sight of that much hair triggers a visceral reaction. Thanks for giving me nightmares for a week.

  3. Steve

    Ah, the far flung empire and nation building of the Government of the United States is such a great concept! I too served in the Military, while I never served in one of the far flung wars to prevent “communism” as in Viet Nam, I did serve overseas at a base that was part of the “occupation of Europe” after WW II. I was there from 1975-1978. We need to bring our troops home from around the world and station them on the borders of the U.S.

    I have grown weary of listening to pols tell me that they are protecting me by sending our military all over the world. We no longer need our military in Europe, Asia, the middle East or any where else.

    I saw a video of an “assault” on a Florida beach by a group of Marines and a “Multi-national” group of troops. It was chilling to see that we have invited foreign troops to participate in a “playtime invasion” of our own soil. I wonder if it will happen in reality some day?

  4. Myron Pauli

    In order to prevent the North Vietnam Stalinists from killing 200,000 South Vietnamese, the US interfered and this resulted in: 60,000 Americans dead, 500,000 South Vietnamese dead, 1.5 million Vietnam commies dead, and 2 million Cambodians dead (because the war spread) PLUS the 200,000 killed anyway when the Stalinists won in 1975. 4 million EXTRA deaths – roughly “a holocaust” – not counting the maimed, the crops damaged, the stress disorders, and the untapped creativity (the doctor treating wounded in Saigon might have cured cancer instead) – and these idiot spokesmen will say how (the draftees) “died for our freedom”. What bilge! And Iraq – more dead, more wounded, more trauma
    (see http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/09/29/080929fa_fact_finnegan – about a Marine we used to work with) more refugees, and more spreading regional instability. Another forseen consequence (by you and others) has been an economy on a downward spiral of default, more government interference in the economy, plus hyperinflation – are these the FREEDOMS that the honored dead fought for? Your essay of March 2003 on the idiotic “Liberation of Iraq” was, regrettably, prophetic. Thank you. Ilana, for your post and letting me see the end of Hair once again.

  5. M. B. Moon

    Ilana, I almost totally agree. A slight nuance, so Steve will see I am not your sycophant: WWII may or may not have been just but it was unnecessary. Brought to by the Federal Reserve which financed America’s entry in WWI and caused the Great Depression which led to WWII.

    [Now, now, remember, this is the sane, classical liberal blog. The Fed didn’t start the war which would have seen England and West Europe obliterated by Hitler. Grin.]

  6. Myron Pauli

    Concerning the M. B. Moon comment – certainly World War I was an example of empires run amuck – and there were a lot of bad consequences of that. It appears that Wilson just made bad things a lot worse…. But I will agree with Ilana that once the monsters Stalin and Hitler were unleashed, some military confrontation with the US was probably going to occur. But the lesson is not that some wars are “just” (or “good” – whatever that means!) but that one should be reluctant to open a lot of Pandoras boxes and kick hornets nests – yes, presumably, if we create enough trouble, a “just war” may eventually pop out of it.
    After 55 million people dead from that “good” war, Americans are living with debt, Global Empire, and a false sense of our moral righteousness every time a Predator drone whaps some wedding party in some godforsaken Blecchistan in search of the next micro-Hitler.

  7. M. B. Moon

    “- yes, presumably, if we create enough trouble, a “just war” may eventually pop out of it.” Myron

    Well said.

  8. Virgil

    Ms. Mercer, thank you for posting your 2003 article on “just war”. I think it is an excellent summary on the subject. I too am against pure pacifism, which is nothing more then moral cowardice. On the other hand, the “just war” theory laid down by such great thinkers as Cicero, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Francisco de Vitoria, Francisco Suarez, and Hugo Grotius is something which is in accordance with both Christian and libertarian principles.

    The libertarian economist Murray Rothbard said he believed there were only two instances of just war in American history; the Revolutionary War and the Southern war for session. While I think that World War II was arguably a just war (though the US committed many horrid war crimes against German and Japanese civilians, and cowardly handed over Eastern Europe to Stalin), as is America’s initial retaliation against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan (though the continued occupation of Afghanistan and the “nation building” are totally unwarranted), I think Rothbard’s point is correct. Nearly all of the wars fought by the US since 1776 were not justifiable, and many were out right criminal (including America’s most recent one, the invasion\destruction of Iraq).

    The sad thing is you find both (so-called) Christians and libertarians indoctrinated with craven militarism and unquenchable blood lust, who want America to wage perpetual war not because they have to, but because they want to. They want military conflict with Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and even Russia not because any of those nations attacked the US, but because they love war purely for its own sake.

  9. Steve

    I’m curious, was I making a case for or against WW II? All I was saying is that I was part of the ongoing “occupation force” while stationed in England. A left-over from WW II.

    As far as M.B. Moon not being a “self-serving bootlicker” for Ilana or anyone else! There are certainly enough sycophants in congress to make up for M.B’s lack.

  10. M. B. Moon


    Peace. The fault is apparently mine. May I learn to be less hasty in my speech.

    Thank you.


    [You’re all patriots. Thanks, Steve, for your service.]

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