As a progressive, I’m not nearly as anti-war as many of my fellow leftists in that I view war as a necessary evil. All I ask is that if we send our men and women to the battlefield that we made damn sure we did everything we possibly could to avoid doing so before we put them in harm’s way. The thing about war is that the decision on whether or not we should start one shouldn’t be based upon popular opinion. Our military should be used if, and only if, all other options have been exhausted.
That being said, war is never an easy topic to discuss. Often any debate about the subject turns emotional, and usually ends up getting heated very quickly.
Unfortunately, with ISIS continuing to gain strength the subject of war has been on the forefront of many discussions lately, which means conservatives have been almost giddy about the possibility of this country getting involved in another war.
But as most of us know, the last time this country went to war (twice actually), things didn’t turn out so well. Afghanistan is destined to spiral back into chaos – just like Iraq has. Though it wasn’t just the usual consequences of war that we suffered, it was the Bush administration admitting to authorizing torture and the fact that the Iraq War was based on a lie among many other things. The reputation of the United States took a massive blow globally.
Well, it seems potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson wants to completely obliterate any respect this nation might still have internationally. During an interview with Fox News, the former employee of the network stated that he doesn’t believe in war crimes.
“Our military needs to know that they’re not gonna be prosecuted when they come back, because somebody has, said ‘You did something that was politically incorrect,” Carson stated. “There is no such thing as a politically correct war. We need to grow up, we need to mature. If you’re gonna have rules for war, you should just have a rule that says no war. Other than that, we have to win. Our life depends on it.”
In other words, we should act just as barbaric and appalling as our enemies.
While I understand the term “rules of war” is a bit of an oxymoron, if we ignore those rules, then what is it we’re opposing? When we go to war with an enemy it’s supposed to be because we’re the “good guys” fighting against the “bad guys,” though we all know that wars are often fought for political reasons as well. But the general premise is that we’re battling a force that’s evil or bad.
But we can’t claim to be the “good guys” if we’re acting not much differently than those we’re fighting. We can’t claim a moral high ground when it comes to war if we lack all morals while we’re fighting it.
Now don’t misunderstand me, I understand that when lives are on the line and all hell is breaking loose, the last thing on the minds of soldiers is asking “what’s ethically moral at this moment?” After all, it’s war. So to behave less than ethical during many of those situations isn’t something on which anyone should be judged. It’s instantaneous and reactionary.
Except, that’s not what Carson is saying. What he’s stating is that at war our military should be free to deliberately act as deplorable as we want because that’s how our enemies behave – because it’s war.
I stand by a rule by which I’ve always lived: If you want to claim to be better than your enemies, then you have to be better than your enemies.
And if the United States wants to continue to claim that we’re the greatest nation on Earth, then we have to act like it.
Watch his comments below via Fox News: