Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Battle to Fight

Pulling myself away from my sewing machine, I come to write a few thoughts on current events, especially in light of my current G. A. Henty book, Jack Archer, a story from the Crimean War. From the Drudge Report I found the following article, which must be filling the greater portion of American news this weekend:

Obama to Seek Congressional Vote on Syria Strike

Admittedly, my thinking is influence by others, including Ron Paul, whose writings I looked into before the last presidential elections. In my humble opinion, the US needs to stay out of Syria's civil war, but I am quick to recognize that I likely don't know enough to make an informed opinion (but, tell me, who can be informed with so much information being suppressed?). Somehow it seems that the chemical attacks may be intended to draw other nations into the conflict, leading to an excuse to involve Russia who I understand is allied with the current Syrian government. While I don't anticipate another world war on the scale of the two recorded in our history books, US involvement does not seem conducive to a swifter end to the conflict.

News reports tell of intelligence of a possible/likely chemical attacks, and yet it appears that this knowledge was not used to the advantage of the Syrian rebels, whom we supposedly support. If we truly want to oust the Assad regime, why don't we offer intelligence and training services, but let them do their own fighting. Again, I'm probably too ignorant, but I can't help having my own thoughts on the matter.

As I read the historical narrative by Henty of the Crimean War, I am appalled by the numerous tactical errors which cost thousands of lives unnecessarily. Errors of pride on the part of the French and British officers stalled decision making, causing a neat window of opportunity to strike before the Russians had fortified the little village of Sevastopol was lost. Further errors of communication ended in the loss of life celebrated in the great poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade. As the mistakes piled up, during the summer hundreds were lost to cholera, and during the winter to starvation, exposure, and cold. In battle after battle, generals led their troops against impossible odds, all because they did not have the humility to listen to those who were more familiar with the situation. The individual soldiers gained much glory for their bravery and stolidness, but the war could have been over in a month except for pride without losing so many honorable young men at such great cost to the allied nations.

Crimea was a very different situation than what we see in today's news, but human nature has not changed. Pride and ambition rear their ugly heads and pull men's hearts and dragging nations into war--even civil war. Where before granaries were destroyed and villages razed, raped, and ravaged to gain control of areas, now chemicals and gasses do their work.

Is the world getting worse? In modern warfare I think there is less loss of life and we have more possibilities of saving the wounded. Indeed there are regimes who hunger for power, but the world will no longer allow one nation to dominate so much of the world as the empires of old. Seems to me evidence that the Kingdom of God is gaining power over the powers of this world. (Once more, I must credit another's mind for my thoughts: Victorious Eschatology by Howard Eberle.)

I cannot stop the missile Obama may authorize, but I can send a few of my own Heavenward. I cannot stop the chemical warfare by Assad, but I can fight for the souls of my own children and a few others over whom I have influence. I cannot rid Congress of pride and ambition, but I can look into my own heart and check any noxious attitudes that may be present. I have a battle to fight, but the Lord prepares my fingers for the war.

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