RANGER AGAINST WAR: It Ain't Necessarily So <

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It Ain't Necessarily So

A final point I neglected to make in an earlier post on the movie "Flags of Our Fathers" concerns the professional manner in which the Marine participants at Iwo Jima were portrayed. Eastwood directed a dispassionate response, befitting the task at hand. The only emotion evident was that of each for their fellows. Through the device of retrospective, it was a love which ripened over time.

They were doing a hard and dirty job which they were ordered to execute, but ethnic hatred for the Japanese was not the significant part of the equation. It is this love for one's brothers on the battlefield, even above love of one's country, which motivates heroic sacrifice.

I wonder about today's motivators. When I hear good Christian sorts expounding upon the inherent evil of the Muslim religion, I witness the successful conflation of terrorism--a criminal act--with a religion. I suppose by the same reasoning we could link any brute criminal with his origins, but that co-affiliation would not be necessary or sufficient to draw a valid and causative realtionship between the two.

The current confusion lay in mistaking of terrorism with nationalism, or an ethnicity or religious affiliation. We get into trouble when we displace our focus from violations of long-standing law and principles, and behave as though someone has just invented the wheel of terror. This "evil confab" is promoting an ethos of hatred among many Americans, and hatred is not an American value. Tempting as it is to draw some apocalyptic vision which hatched into the national consciousness on 9-11, it ain't necessarily so.

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