A Pause to Think


Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Just a few words this morning. The past day or two have been emotionally draining, mostly due to the negativity and attacks of some friends on social media due to my strong condemnation of the massacre in Orlando and the silence of so many Christians and conservatives about it. The lack of empathy for the victims was astounding as a number of people jumped the shark so to speak and went all out not just to disagree with me, but to condemn me. 

I handled them all well. I refused to degrade myself by sinking to their level and refused to let their venom ruin my day. It was just sad to see otherwise good people be so deluded by their hatred of Gays, Liberals, and Muslims that they couldn’t understand what I was saying. This included conservatives and liberals alike. I am just amazed at the lack of empathy or critical thinking that is the norm in the United States, and while I would like to say that it is just on one side, it spans the spectrum. 

I am a very pragmatic and realistic Liberal. As I said last week there are times that I feel like B.H. Liddell-Hart’s description of Willam Tecumseh Sherman in 1861, “a realist in wonderland.”  

Tomorrow I will be posting what some of my liberal and progressive friends will consider to be a very politically incorrect article about how to fight the Islamic State. In fact it will be similar to what I have written about that subject over the past few years. That being said it will certainly piss off some allegedly conservative people who think that a bomb a day keeps the terrorist away. 

I have grown a rather thick skin over the past few years. I can nuance this, and I can let the personal attacks runoff my back, but I will not stop speaking up for realism, nor will I condemn whole races and religions for the acts of a few. In fact I am so tired of the idiocy of those that condemn all Muslims for the actions of some that I want to throw up. The same is true for those that simply say to “bomb them into the stone ages” or “carpet bomb” them; such people know nothing of war, nor the mindset of those that we fight. 

Likewise, I am equally disgusted by supposed Liberals and progressives who make excuses for cold blooded terrorists and instead blame the United States and Western Europe for things that are often the making and toxic concoctions of well off fundamentalist Muslims who control incredibly oil rich nations, or nations which have nuclear weapons. 

That being said, I will not let those few, or those that support or condone their actions off the hook. The current wars, which came about after the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 have been going on for almost 15 years. Since I anticipate that they will still be going on when I retire from the military in 2020 that means that many of the young men and women entering the military when I retire would not have been born when those attacks happened. For me that is unacceptable. Maybe I have become more like William Tecumseh Sherman than I thought that I ever would. He wisely said, that “War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.”  And then this, “War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen. I say let us given them all they want.” My God, how many more young people will have to continue a war that began before they were born if we do not commit ourselves to winning it now? 

This war has to be fought and those committed to terrorism destroyed root and branch. Their families and supporters will have to feel the terror that their terrorist husbands, fathers, and sons have brought upon this world.  Yes, as Sherman said, war is cruelty, but the time for half measures is at an end, otherwise it will be war without end and I can imagine nothing worse for the world than that;  especially for the people, (mostly Muslims) that are already suffering under the yoke of the Islamic State or other Muslim radical and terrorist groups or nations. 

Call me what you want. I can handle it. I am not a warmonger as anyone who knows me or who has read my writings knows. I hate it as only one who has seen it first hand as well as who has studied it can. As Colonel Strong Vincent, who died leading his brigade at the age of 26 on the slopes of Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg said, “We must fight them more vindictively, or we shall be foiled at every step. We must desolate the country as we pass through it, and not leave a trace of doubtful friend or foe behind us; make them believe that we are in earnest, terribly in earnest…” 

Simply bombing people or calling in drones, and relying on less than one percent of the population to fight our wars for us will never convince those who celebrate the killing of innocents like what happened in Orlando last week that we are in earnest. This has to be a fight that every American that no matter what his or her race, religion, political association or ideology may be needs to have a hand in the fight. We all need to have skin in the game. Those who have killed so many innocents in Orlando, San Bernardino, New York and Washington, Paris and Brussels, London and Madrid, and so many other places need to feel the hard and cruel hand of war, or well will never see the end of it. 

That may not sound pleasant, but it is reality, and I dare ask anyone that disagrees with me to show me from history that I am not correct in saying this. 

Like I said, I will write more about these things tomorrow, and maybe Thursday as well. But until then, have a great day. 

Peace

Padre Steve+

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8 Comments

Filed under History, middle east, Military, News and current events, terrorism

8 responses to “A Pause to Think

  1. Enjoyed the posts. I served several years in the Navy, overlapping the first years of the Iraq War, and felt I sometimes had things to say, that were at least important to me. Of course policy and culture of the military asks that there is a separation between private convictions and public service–the usual example I remember being was do not go to a demonstration while in uniform. I’m sure you are very familiar with all of this. I guess my question is: what is your philosophy of this, and what conclusions have you drawn from these somewhat conflict of interests, as a person that decides to be vocal, and if ever official duties are taken into consideration? I guess a civilian parallel would be not always being a fan of a product he or she is employed to make and often promote. I thought that would be an interesting future subject to address, as I’m not sure of the exact answers myself. Thanks Padre Steve.

  2. Brian Skar

    Steve. I would like to add that in addition to a vigorous attack on ISIS and all other terrorists foreign and domestic, we need to be more than kind to the vast majority of Muslims who love peace and hate the terrorists. To disrespect them is to radicalize a small percentage of them. This is all a real balancing act. No simple sound bite answers.

    • padresteve

      Totally agree, my thoughts in every article that I write, some which specifically address that very issue.

  3. Pinky

    I posted a few of your blogs on FB but nobody is clicking like they want to see pictures and funny videos and Grumpy cat. But these same people get all messed up when anyone in the world is reported dead.
    Those of us who think deeply about these issues need rest. Get some rest, I appreciate your thoughts on this and tend to agree!

  4. Bill Ramsey

    God Bless You Steve. You’re spot on. It’s high time to ban military style assault weapons, and give our unbridled support to the LGBTQ community?

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