War After Weary War?
I often wonder why people get so perturbed over the much-deserved criticism the president is receiving from opponents of the Iraqi war. Even if people back the war effort, they should still be outraged by the fact that our troops lack sufficient body armor, that they were lied to about the length of their deployments, that they were unprepared for guerilla style combat in the war zone, etc.
Evangelical Christians who speak out against the war and who share a strong commitment to Jeffersonian republicanism need not hide their heads in shame. If an alleged war in the interest of “democracy” does not interest them, they are very much in step with Americans who through the years have opposed all imperialistic ambitions, whatever veneer of benevolence they may have been disguised with.
Even those Christians who support the war should still abhor war per se and at the very least refrain from glorifying it. The fact is that America has become a hotbed of military ardor and nationalist enthusiasm. The country seems to be rushing into a permanent state of military involvement in nations that pose no threat to our national security. Certainly this is not healthy for the country. For example, military sociologists are now predicting that the high level of demoralization among our troops deployed in Iraq will almost certainly lead to a rise in the number of soldiers deciding against reenlisting after their current tour of duty is over. The end result will likely be a fresh move toward a policy of compulsory military service in our nation, entailing increased interference of the state in individual and family life. War will follow wearily upon war, while at home the war bureaucracies will continue to multiply, contempt for civil liberties will continue to increase, and free speech will continue to be assailed.
The good news is this: just such a national situation may be the necessary precondition for a nation-wide spiritual revival. More than ever, the gospel of Jesus Christ will be seen for what it truly is—a blessed relief from mankind’s utterly sinful state of affairs, whether that state of affairs goes under the name of humanism, nationalism, or any other -ism.
For the time being, however, Wilsonian interventionism is likely to continue to be the name of the game. President Bush, unless defeated in the 2004 election, will go on promoting the New World Order. Our nation may indeed attain security, but if it does so it will be at the expense of the great principles of political liberty and economic freedom upon which it was founded.
October 21, 2003
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. He is currently finishing his latest book, Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon.