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"What It Is Like to Go to War", by Karl Marlantes--My Response

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He, however, doesn't do the killing. Some pilot has to pickle the load on some human being, and if that human being's government never intended to strike the United States, then the pilot kills an innocent person.  


Damned straight!


A warrior cannot commit to combat tentatively.  


The warrior does not make these decisions.  

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Flawed as our response to Pearl Harbor was by racism and ignorance, it was not flawed by doubt about Japan's intentions. Our guys went to war with everything they had. Imagine the Roosevelt administration telling Patton he couldn't pursue the German Army south of the Loire for fear of upsetting the Vichy government.


This is irrelevant to Iraq.


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Of course a no-preemptive-strike policy limits options and confines strategy and makes less philosophic warriors moan in frustration. Since the ethical warrior's position requires someone to break Waite's dictum, in some ultimate sense, the ethical warrior always plays defense. More traditional fighters will call this approach impractical. What they mean by "impractical" is that they are initially placed in a vulnerable position. This presents real practical problems for the warrior that should not be minimized. The point is to plan with this constraint in mind, not to abandon the principle. We have often limited our strategic first-strike options in the past without serious harm. In many cases, by so doing, we have avoided harm not only to innocent people but also to ourselves.


I don't see where you're going with this, Karl.   You've wandered off point to discuss the pros and cons of a no-preemptive strike policy.   We need to discuss the warrior's contractual agreement to forfeit his future right to decide if a proposed war is moral or not.  

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I am a retired physicist and hold a B.S. in Ch. E. as well. I have been an environmental activist since the early 1970s. I have been a writer of opinion pieces and other essays since about 1995 and am a published author of history. I have (more...)

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...Go to War (Subject line not long enough)I wante... by Jerry Lobdill on Sunday, Dec 25, 2011 at 11:07:59 AM
Obviously, Lobdill has seemingly never been in uni... by Michael Kavanaugh on Monday, Dec 26, 2011 at 1:41:47 AM
Are you the Michael Kavanaugh I found online who w... by Stuart Steinberg on Monday, Dec 26, 2011 at 9:08:31 PM
Dear Mr. Steinberg,I resent your arrogant comment.... by Jerry Lobdill on Tuesday, Dec 27, 2011 at 6:54:38 AM