This is the second article in a series of seven.
Author’s note: The propaganda required to motivate nations to war one against another is full of lies and inspires hate. I hope that as you personally explore our situation that you will seek council from the scriptures and from the Lord directly through the Holy Ghost. The spirit of contention is not from God. As it says in Ecclesiastes, there is a time and a season for war. If we get this right it will help us avoid being stained by the blood and sins of this generation.
Can God Protect us from Nukes? An In-Depth Examination of the Morality of Preemptive War
- The Rationale for Preemptive War
- The Fruit of Our Actions
- Logical Fallacies
- Is Doing Nothing a Valid Option?
- Modern Weapons, Modern Media & Terrorism
- What God has Done
- Will God Save Us?
Part 2 – The Fruit of Our Actions
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. (“Political Observations” (1795-04-20); also in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison (1865), Vol. IV, p. 491)
In the previous article, The Rationale for Preemptive War, we explored the concept of an imminent threat. In 2002 the Bush administration decided that “We must adapt the concept of imminent threat to the capabilities and objectives of today’s adversaries.” The National Security Strategy of the United States, September 2002 (Referenced as NSSUS below). Previously we had held to the concept that an imminent threat required three simultaneous conditions: ability to cause death or harm, opportunity to do so, and jeopardy (visible immediate threatening action). The reason that courts have held that a reasonable man must observe these three criteria to use lethal force is that it is our best chance to avoid disproportionate and/or mistaken response. In other words it is our best mortal criteria for avoiding killing or attacking an innocent party. We also determined that the matter of “Who started it?” is vital to the morality of a cause. (If you have not yet, please read the previous article: The Rationale for Preemptive War)
9/11/2001 was not an act of war or the contest of nations as Webster describes it in his 1828 dictionary. It was an act of terrorism. It was mass murder. We responded with acts of war to curb terrorism and exact revenge. We associated non-guilty parties with the alleged perpetrators and invaded their sovereign lands. As a nation we were in a frenzy. Our overwhelming military response has expanded abroad, and we are creating a police state here at home. Once the events of September 11th had taken place there was no other immediate threat. We responded disproportionately. It was an act of revenge.
Let us presume it an undisputed fact that Osama Bin Laden was behind the 9/11/2001 attacks. As a nation we promptly invaded Afghanistan and took over the country, solely for the reason that the Taliban “harbored” the terrorists. Was the nation of Afghanistan preparing an imminent attack? No. They were a nation in peace. They happened to contain a very small group of people that we suspected of a very heinous mass murder. Those elements were remnants of the Mujahideen, now called Al Qeada, a group aided by the CIA to oppose the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Did we present the government of Afghanistan any conclusive evidence of the guilt of these people? For the US public at large the smoking wreck at ground zero was enough evidence. No legal case was made. The general legal process between nations to remove such criminals has traditionally been extradition and diplomacy. Our action was rushed and purely retaliatory. It was offensive war against the nation of Afghanistan. To say it is absurd that I would recommend diplomacy with the Taliban is to miss the point. They posed no imminent threat.
Who started our fight with the nation of Afghanistan? The US Government. Was the nation of Afghanistan responsible for the 9/11 attacks? Admittedly they were not. Ten years later have we left their nation in peace? No. We deposed their government and we maintain a large presence both civil and military. Most military forces are outside contractors. For all practical intents and purposes we occupy and control the country to this day. This was not a “surgical strike.” This was not a proportionate response.
Note: Don’t accuse me of arguing that the Taliban were good and righteous leaders. I make absolutely no comment on their fitness to lead their nation or their morality. It is simply undisputed that they were not bothering us. Saying that it is better now that they are gone is arrogant and completely illogical. Too many of our brothers and sisters in that nation have been killed for that to make sense.
“Behold the voice of the Lord came unto me, saying: Vengeance is mine, and I will repay” (Mormon 3:14-15)
In our next foray to apply this new rationale for war, it turns out we were simply wrong. We invaded Iraq upon the premise that they were linked to Al Qeada and were reconstituting their WMD programs. We did not find that Iraq had a WMD program and did not find credible links to Al Qeada. We were sorely mistaken. Even by our own new standards, our actions were not justified. And this is why we had previously held to better standards than those contained in the 2002 NSSUS. It was so that we would not have the blood of so many innocents on our hands. We invaded their country under incorrect pretense. The fact that Saddam was a “bad guy” in hind sight is not good enough. Invading Iraq in 2003 was offensive war. And we are still there. Have you considered how many hundreds of thousands have died there at our hands? Have you considered how many millions of lives were turned upside down? Inevitably someone will comment that most Iraqi’s are happy that we invaded because they hated Sadam. Aside from being highly speculative, it is completely irrelevant. We started it on false pretense. They posed absolutely no imminent threat.
In recent years, the US has become involved in Lybia, Egypt, Syria and other Middle-Eastern countries. We have troops on the ground actively participating in destabilizing the current governments of many of these countries. In the most blatant of “newspeak” our efforts in Lybia were termed “kinetic military action.” Regardless of our distaste for any of these regimes, none of them engaged even remotely in any action that would even satisfy the our post 9/11 definition of imminent threat justifying preemptive war. Lybia had even given up its WMD program to try to avoid our wrath.
At a minimum we can demonstrate two obvious examples of aggressive war against nations that posed no “imminent threat” even by the 2002 NSSUS standard as well as a large amount of questionable activity. The results of our actions in the Middle East have demonstrably created less stability, not more. The end result will be a broader war involving Iran and perhaps the rest of the world.
In the previous article, we discussed numerous examples of Nephite leadership restraining from engaging in vengeful response, even after being attacked. When they adhered to the principles of non-aggression they were delivered by the Lord (Alma 48:11-17). When they engaged in offensive and vengeful war the results were disastrous. Vengeance belongs to the Lord. The consequences of not following the Lord’s law of non-aggression are manifold. Among those are ultimate defeat and destruction.
And it was because the armies of the Nephites went up unto the Lamanites that they began to be smitten; for were it not for that, the Lamanites could have had no power over them. But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed. (Mormon 4:4-5)
James Madison’s comments (quoted above) on war were amazingly astute. He indicates that war enslaves not only one’s enemy but it enslaves oneself. The tools of enslavement that he lists are armies, debts and taxes. He boldly reveals that these are the tools used by “the few” to dominate “the many”. If we are to be painfully honest with ourselves we must examine the effects of our warring upon our own nation and society.
In the wake of the events of 9/11, our legislatures granted nearly unlimited power to the executive branch. Our national debt has exploded. Many municipal and state police forces have been militarized in large measure and turned upon the American people. Increased taxes loom, and the inflation tax has stolen much of our wealth. Our financial system has been restructured to favor those deemed “too big to fail.”
There have been an alarming multitude of infringements upon our individual liberties. To name only a few: The NSA has been recording and analyzing virtually all digital communication (email and phone) in the United States for the last 10 years. The NSA facility in Bluffdale Utah will have the capacity to indefinitely store virtually every digital communication of the citizens of this country. One needs only visit an airport to witness the Department of Homeland Security wantonly and recklessly violating the bodily privacy of Americans. It happens to millions of innocents every day. We are in essence presumed guilty until we prove our innocence. The DHS is also incrementally rolling out their intrusions in shopping malls and transit stations where they can get away with it. The federal government, largely through the DHS, is propagandizing our law enforcement to believe that Ron Paul supporters, Libertarians, Christians, gun owners and returning veterans are likely terrorist threats. These are documented and admitted attacks on reason and liberty. (See footnotes.) And there are many more verifiable offenses.
But it’s ok if it keeps me safe!
Let’s put this in perspective. The wartime restrictions on liberty during World War II lasted about 5 years. Our current tyranny has become increasingly intolerable over the last 11 years with no end in sight. In reality, it is an astronomical overreaction to a threat (terrorism) that is statistically less likely to kill you than a bee sting (See footnotes). This is why the NSSUS declares “terrorism” and not a nation to be the enemy. It is omnipresent and impossible to kill.
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neitherLiberty nor Safety. (Benjamin Franklin, 1775)
Franklin’s words are self-evident truth. One cannot be safe if they give up their liberty. Machinations and propaganda are required to convince an otherwise commonsensical nation that they should give up liberty to be safe and free. Orwell wrote in his famous novel 1984, that the party’s slogans were “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery.” Through obvious propaganda the state held the people in check. In 1984, the activities of the state benefited only the ruling party.
In the Book of Mormon we see numerous examples of the elite marshalling the armies and the powers of government to get power and gain. Amalickiah conspired with the lower judges of the land to set up a monarchy for this reason (Alma 46). He gained control through murder, deceit, conspiracy, and false-flag terrorism. He maintained it by putting men on the towers to propagandize the public with lies and hate.
In the Book of Helaman and 3rd Nephi we read of the activities of the secret combinations. Their goals were to get power and gain through government. We read in Helaman 6:39 that they were successful in obtaining “sole management” of the government. And thus we see that they were in an awful state, and ripening for an everlasting destruction. (verse 40) Just as in our day, these secret combinations were supported by the mainstream.
The Gadianton Robbers from the Book of Mormon are loose among us. The King-men, and women, are running our government. And, worst of all, we are blindly electing them, or appointing them so they can continue to destroy the things we cherish most. (John Widtsoe, General Conference, April 1944)
In summary, Madison’s words were prophetic. Our actions since 9/11/2001 have enslaved numerous nations and further enslaved our own country. We have the blood of many innocents on our hands. Our actions do not meet the criteria of justifiable wars. By redefining our principles we have offended God and reason. Please prayerfully consider your support for our offensive and aggressive military actions. I fully support defending this nation after the manner of Captain Moroni. Unfortunately our actions abroad may precipitate the need for us to defend our own homes here on our own soil. If we are willing to repent God may yet deliver us.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. (Goethe)
– The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)
– MIAC Strategic Report and this
– DHS Domestic Extremism Lexicon and this
– Naked Body Scanners
– TSA on US streets and this
– Odds of dying due to terrorism versus other low probabilities like Bee Sting and this