18 June 13

Comments on war and warfare, from a decorated veteran and dear friend, in SA:

“Years ago, I volunteered and went to war after my National Service. Towards the end of the (Angolan) War, our church decided to gather at a special meeting at Broederstroom to denounce the War, along with all who so gallantly served and died in it, all in a cynical effort to curry favor with the new government.

I abruptly resigned from that church, after declaring to the head clergyman that my God is not a political whore, and that my church should not be one either. He implored me to reconsider, and I remember saying this to him:

‘All these years, we covered your sorry, pacifist asses in the dust and mud of Central Africa. I will rather take my chances with my God, who stood by me through countless perilous moments, than wait for yours, who apparently caters exclusively to those who hide behind braver men than themselves, while stuffing their own pockets.

I will see you at the gates of Heaven, sir, and I sincerely hope you make it past the fiery river, without boots.

I will be wearing mine!’

Today, I wonder why I ever naively believed I fought for God and country. I know now that what I was really fighting for was my comrades, family, and regiment. You know, my friend, that is quite enough!

I miss the simplicity of war.”

Comment: Me too!

“When the time is ripe, war must come, reason or no reason, for justifications are invariably fictitious. War is, in short, a permanent human obligation.”

William James