Earlier, I wrote about the upcoming Gathering of Eagles event scheduled for Washington, D.C., tomorrow. I've checked in online, my sister is going to meet me at the airport (instead of at her office, which is across from one of the Metro stations), and we're getting ready to join the Eagles in their answer to the anti-war protests planned for the same day.
Here is the latest from the Eagles' website:
"Our time has come. Remember, even now you represent the greatest fighting force in the world, just as you did 10, 20, or 40 years ago. Act with integrity, and honor those we come to defend.
See you on the front lines.
I can't help but think that we have been engaged in a war of a different type for a long time. It's not a war measured in body counts or territory, but in hearts, minds, opinions and beliefs about what is and is not true. It's a war of ideology.
Today's world rejects the idea of absolute truth - everything depends on "perspective." I remember hearing once that "perception is fact" - how ridiculous!
I remember hearing this description of the difference between truth and belief in the context of whether people who were sincere in their beliefs about life after death would go to heaven, even if they did not accept the Bible's message of salvation:
The sincerity of your beliefs is no match for the truth. You can be sincerely wrong and still be sincere. If you get on a plane to Los Angeles, and you want to go to Philadelphia, do you really think that your sincere belief that the plane is going to Philadelphia will make a difference?
These days, sincerity and personal belief are what it's all about. Mention "right" and "wrong" and people will not understand what you're saying. The meaning of words has been changed for the express purpose of hiding truth. Use words like "truth" and "justice", and people will ask, "whose truth" and "what justice." We are so accustomed to being free to make even stupid choices that we assume that the rest of the world has the same freedoms we take for granted, and we refuse to believe any evidence to the contrary.
Those are the principles we're fighting for in Iraq: Truth. Justice. Freedom. The way in which war is waged now is different from the way in which war was waged in past centuries. Conventions (or rules) of war, like the Geneva Convention, were agreements between nations that allowed for a defined "victory" and a cessation of war when that victory was achieved.
The type of war we're fighting now is like a street brawl - no rules, no referees, and no time-outs. The only way to win is to seek out and destroy those who fight against us, no matter where they are and no matter who they are. The war isn't over unless those who oppose us are annihilated. If you think that is too harsh, look at the book of Joshua.
Joshua 1:6 - Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
Joshua 2:10 - For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.
Joshua 8:25-26 - All who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000--all the people of Ai. For Joshua did not withdraw his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.
Joshua 10:28 - Now Joshua captured Makkedah on that day, and struck it and its king with the edge of the sword; he utterly destroyed it and every person who was in it. He left no survivor. Thus he did to the king of Makkedah just as he had done to the king of Jericho.
Joshua 10:40 - Thus Joshua struck all the land, the hill country and the Negev and the lowland and the slopes and all their kings. He left no survivor, but he utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.
Joshua 11:18-23 - Joshua waged war a long time with all these kings. There was not a city which made peace with the sons of Israel except the Hivites living in Gibeon; they took them all in battle. For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that he might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. Then Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab and from all the hill country of Judah and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. There were no Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod some remained. So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD had spoken to Moses, and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Thus the land had rest from war.
[All quotes from Biblegateway.org, NASB version; emphasis added].
There were reasons God commanded the annihilation of all of the people in the land He gave to Israel. These days, however, we're afraid to take such drastic steps. It's too harsh, it's too ugly, it's too permanent for our delicate sensibilities. We're more than willing to pay Hollywood to deliver gruesome, bloody and violent movies to our local theaters and video stores, but we can't handle reality.
Israel did not have rest from war until all of its enemies were destroyed. That is the only win.
If you listen to the people actually engaged in fighting this war, and I use the words "actually engaged" for a reason, you will hear exactly the same thing I'm telling you. The only way to win this war is to take the war to the enemy no matter where they go, seek them out and destroy them whenever and wherever we find them. Only then will we be able to rest. Only then will we have peace.
In a recent speech, Hillary Clinton quoted the late Franklin D. Roosevelt. Conveniently, she omitted this portion of Roosevelt's comments: "The United States can accept no result save victory, final and complete . . . The sources of international brutality, wherever they exist, must be absolutely and finally broken . . . We're going to fight it with everything we got."
On May 13, 1940, in his first speech to the House of Commons after becoming Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill said, "We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival."
These men knew war. They knew people. They knew their enemy. We have no idea what we're fighting because we choose not to know.
I got a little far afield from where I started this post - I'm going to Washington to support the men and women who are fighting for our country in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and other arenas all over the world.
Before I leave, I'm going to issue a challenge to anyone who reads this post: if you support the principles I've written about today, I challenge you to pray that God will give victory and peace, as He did for Joshua, and I challenge you to talk about the war. Tell other people. Talk about what these principles mean to you. Talk about the war in its real and essential terms - refuse to give any ideological ground to the subtle enemies who would love to see the United States of America continue its crawl toward ineffectuality. Challenge them about why they believe that people who oppose everything we hold dear, who kill innocents for the sake of killing them, and who have publicly and repeatedly vowed that they will not rest until Israel and its allies are eradicated from the earth should be allowed repeated opportunities to carry out their plans.
If for whatever reason you cannot support the war, I challenge you also to pray. Ask God to intervene - ask Him to protect His people Israel and its allies, and ask Him to bring peace. And I challenge you to talk about peace on all sides - not just U.S. withdrawal from the fight that, if you recall, was brought to our shores.
Regardless of your position on the war, I challenge everyone to listen - really listen - to the what is broadcast by people opposing the war - whether it's on the radio, TV, or the Internet, or in the written news outlets. Listen to their words carefully. Most of what you hear in national and international media is said by people who are professional wordsmiths - people who make their living using language to create an intended result.