Also in the post, details on the petition to move Memorial Day back to the 30th of May. (Seems like a good idea to me) .
Mansfield: Honor on the battlefield results from living by a code that rescues the warrior from barbarism and elevates the profession of arms. It means understanding soldiering as a spiritual service as much as a martial role. Honorable soldiers are devoted to the moral objectives of their nation in war, are willing to lay their lives on an altar of sacrifice, are courageous in subduing the enemy yet compassionate to civilians and prisoners, are devoted to a godly esprit de corps, and are eager to master the art of arms by way of fulfilling a calling.
NRO: How important was it that the Iraq war be addressed in theological just-war terms?
Mansfield: It is vital for a government to establish the morality of a war before sending soldiers into battle. The traditional just-war concept has to be satisfied. Soldiers don’t want to fight simply to defend a nation’s vanity or to support a corrupt vision. They want to know they are doing good. This is essential for them and for the nation that is going to welcome them home again. I have talked to hundreds of soldiers during the research of this book. Almost every one of them mentioned his or her need to believe in the goodness of their nation’s purposes in war.
And this interesting background to the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal:
Mansfield: The Abu Ghraib scandal has a faith backstory. The chaplain who was at Abu Ghraib during the scandals was told not to be in the way but to let the soldiers come to her. There was no moral presence and little spiritual influence during the time of the scandals. Chapel attendance was low and many soldiers later said they did not even know who the chaplain was. When that unit was replaced, the chaplains of the new unit were told to be present at prisoner interrogations, at shift changes and in the daily lives of the soldiers. The entire atmosphere changed. Chapel attendance reached into the hundreds and the prison became a model operation. This makes the case for continuous moral influence upon soldiers at war and for a faith based warrior code as a hedge against future abuses.
The news media would prefer to treat such men and their lives and sacrifices as "not news" -- or as mere numbers in a body count which can be publicized to defeat the cause they died for.
To them, a lie about a Koran in a toilet is news.
A Medal of Honor for a heroic American soldier, husband and father, leader and warrior, is not news.
What is important is not what is reported in the MSM. What is reported is not all the news there is. Seek it out. Be aware. The Internet has destroyed their monopoly.
Never trust these people. They lie by commission, and even worse by omission. What they choose not to talk about is where the real news is.
You can read more about him here.
I wonder if I owe some sort of collective amends to the military. I don't know how the young men at whom I yelled and whom I called names (unprintable here) reacted to what I did some twenty years ago when I was a teenager. I can't imagine it was easy for them to remain stone-faced while I -- and my fellow upper middle-class self-righteous radicals -- directed apoplectic rage their way. Today, I think what I did back then was wrong and pointless. Alas, at eighteen I was at an age when I was indeed "often in error, and never in doubt." I'm ashamed of my past behavior, even though I haven't hurled profane opprobrium at any one in uniform since my last protest, which was fourteen years ago at the start of the first Gulf War in January 1991. . . .
In my early years (teens/20's) I shared a similar conception of our military as Hugo, and while never having gone so far as to verbally abuse a ROTC cadet, I confess there are things I've said in print in those days that I'm certainly not proud of. So I would like to extend my thanks to Hugo for his courage and honesty, and if I may second his words of remorse.
Today's roundup goes out to all of our brave men and women serving our nation in all branches of our Armed Forces. And especially to my young brother Nathan, US Navy, currently serving aboard the U.S.S. Kearsearge. We miss you, God bless!