Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

If I could only write main posts like this....

In case you missed this, Wretchard writing in the comments to his own post:

One of the reasons why discipline is so essential in war is that it must subordinate the very basic human urge for revenge to policy. It's true this is the face of war; and we keep it from the sight of our children and civilians because it is the face of the devil. The only way civilizations face the devil is to treat war in an impersonal manner, so that you can joke about it afterward. Looked full in the face it is as unbearable as the Gorgon. The vocabulary of euphemism and ceremony grown up around it is the way we preserve our humanity and sanity in the presence of its countenance.

You really wonder what people like certain leftist academics would be capable of if they had unlimited power over their enemies, in the way that US soldiers in Iraq do when on operation. Think of it: you have machineguns, artillery, air at your command. Just pull the trigger and the trigger is the closest thing at hand. What you can do with that is several orders of magnitude greater than the power of enemy "swords". But you don't do it because it's contrary to orders and besides, commanders must use their heads and not their emotions. The last of the seven deadly sins is Wrath. We aspire to be its master. The enemy desires to be its servant.


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