Whose war is it?

Donald Sensing, and the Military Officers Association of America (Sensing’s source?) mention Senator Robert Byrd saying, “Our nation isn’t at war, our military is at war.”

This saying is not original with Byrd (neither Sensing nor MOAA say it is), but has been around (in this form) at least since 2004. Both pro-war and anti-war commentators seem to be using the phrase. The former use it to try to raise the consciousness of the American public to get more people behind the war (i.e., to judge the war a good and proper thing for the nation to pursue). The latter use it to push a domestic agenda of higher taxes and controls on society – that’s what we did in WW2’s total war, isn’t it?

I’m one of those oddballs who think it’s a good thing our nation isn’t at war – just our military. Those who remember (and yearn for?) the total war of WW2 are thinking of something that would produce such a degree of overkill we’d become pariahs in the eyes of the world – and if we did so the world would be right.

Assuming the war in Iraq is moral – fighting a total war, i.e., a war that mobilizes our whole country and all our national resources, would totally obliterate the Muslim world. That’s what total war does. It doesn’t focus our wrath and resources on only the tank, terrorist or division of either arrayed against us. Rather, total war mobilizes a nation to fight another nation to utterly destroy their capacity and will to make war. OUR capacity – in terms of military and economy – so dwarfs anything Al Qaeda and any of their adjuncts can ever hope to have, that we MUST engage in finesse and great self-restraint. This is difficult, but necessary – if we want to maintain the semblence of morality as we do so.

Please don’t wish total war on anyone. Certainly don’t propose it as an advance in morality or national policy. And don’t rile up the American people to want such a war. Just because Al Qaeda and the Wahabbi preachers are doing it doesn’t make it right.

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1 Response to Whose war is it?

  1. Al Bathey says:


    How are things – I hope the youth center that burned is on the way to being rebuilt.

    I have been reading your blog from time to time but this is my first post. Your comment that anti-war proponents use the war to push higher taxes leaves an impression that raising taxes is a bad thing in this instance. I know taxes is a dirty word, but this administration is being derelict not to recognize that continuing to increase the spending on the war without some offsetting revenue increases(ie:tax increases or program cuts)is leaving a horrific deficit that no one seems to get too excited about. Not reversing some of the tax cuts made in the last couple of years and even talking about more is irresponsible, to say the least.Asking people to support the war but not sacrifice for it is counterproductive. Of course, all the latest polls show that support for the war is falling by the week.Anyway, being anti-war does not automatically qualify you as pushing some sort of agenda. It may just mean that you don’t think this war is justified and we need to bring the troops home.

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