“Is this the hill I am willing to die on?”

I wanted to share with ya’ll something written by “danaduck,” friend of mine from a political forum I frequent. It was posted at the forum in response to a column titled “If Someone Else Has to Do It.” The column was written by your typical raving anti-war lefty about how most wars aren’t really started/joined in order to protect our freedoms, and how ‘chickenhawks’ are never too afraid to send other men off to die for ‘profit,’ etc.

danaduck responded:

Leap frogging off of your title I will opine as one that had to do it and stood in the long green-grey-blue line for 21 years. My take on war is broader and deeper than the childish rant of the subject author.

MGen Butler’s quote and the dictum of Gen Eisenhower to beware the military industrial complex form a significant framework of the curriculum for our nation’s war colleges. My experience is with the Naval War College but comparing notes with Army and AirFarce pukes it is the same. Essentially all have three lines of education in why we fight, when we fight and how we fight. The latter is professional doctrine, the second is historical and geopolitical and the first thread is ethical and philosophical.

America’s citizen soldiers do not fight for the arms maker’s and war profiteers as the thread premise alledges. We do not even fight for the government of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid or George Bush. We fight for the ideals of individual liberty and freedom as expressed in the Constitution of the United States of America. This sentiment was best put by Patrick Henry before the Viginia Assembly that we choose between liberty or death. It works at many levels.

The opening diatribe in this thread tries to hit each war on different points of St Augustine’s Just War theory. He did a much better job in clarity than the present whiner. One must remember that St. Augustine’s exploration of ethical war was based on a deduction that peace was not the greatest virtue. There is a time to every purpose under heaven.

Is freedom a selfish pursuit? Should the Civil War not have been fought? Should the US have not entered WWI and instead let Germany subjugate Europe? Were not Korea and Viet Nam both victories in that both accomplished their objectives of containing totalitarian communism?

I will defend the neocons. Their conversion fits the mold that one is a liberal when young if one has a heart and one is conservative when old if one has a brain. Their sole premise for conversion from liberalism is that liberalism will not fight for human rights but instead merely talks about them from the safety provided by America’s military. The decry rough men for doing rough things so that they may sleep on satin pillows (please forgive me George Orwell). The neocon belief is that democracy and freedom are for all peoples. Our personal and national security is best assured in a world of free men. Two million people died in Rwanda while the UN sat on it’s diplomatic arses. Bill Clinton felt their pain.

To accept the premise of the thread one must accept that our sole purpose in life is to live here in the US rich and peaceful while our fellow men are enslaved and beaten down by dictators. A world of Saddam’s is ok as long as John Edwards can get a $400 dollar haircut. Rome fell when no citizen would fight for it except for mercenaries.

For the soldier the prime decision is the simple question, “Is this the hill I am willing to die on?” It is not about war profiteers. For me it was about my selfless love of God, family and country. What are you willing to die for? Enjoy your satin pillow. Tearing down us rough men will make you no nobler.

Much thanks to danaduck for allowing me to re-post that here.

Speaking of good, “rough men,” make sure to read Michael J. Totten’s latest piece about Fallujah, and how the US military plans to turn it over to the Iraqis this spring (h/t: Memeorandum). Related to that, the Columbia Journalism Review’s Paul McLeary writes about the work the US military is doing in Iraq with the counterinsurgency (via Bill Roggio, whose blog is a daily must-read). Michael Yon files his latest dispatch here. Blackfive posts pictures of our Marines in Africa, while Charlie at OpFor dissects a report which suggests the US “isn’t ready for a catastrophic attack on the country.”

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