by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer
A story which I often recount involves taking my wife to a movie. She had recently immigrated from South Korea. The movie was A Bridge Too Far. A scene in that movie shows a German soldier approaching British lines under a white flag. A British officer stands up and responds to the German demand for surrender by refusing. The German soldier then returns to the shelter of his lines, as does the British officer, and the bloody fighting soon resumes.
When my wife saw the German soldier standing in full view of the British riflemen, she whispered to me, “Why don’t they shoot him?”
I was both horrified and amused, and answered, “They can’t shoot him. He’s under a white flag!”
My wife was amazed. “Oh,” she said. “Gentleman war.” Warfare in Asia had never become ritualized as it had in Europe. We take for granted that we do not shoot an enemy under a flag of truce, but most of the world knows nothing of this practice.
It was during the so-called Dark Ages that certain civilized behaviors first began to be widely introduced into the conduct of warfare. This came about because, in Europe, most of the combatants were Christian, and most were governed more or less by the Roman Catholic Pope, who gave orders that warfare was to be restrained by certain rules. At first, little improvement was made, but by the time of the Renaissance, war in Europe (and later in the Americas) was no longer what it had been in ancient times. Granted, war remained ugly, but even in the meat grinder of World War I, medics of both sides could usually operate on the battlefield with immunity from enemy fire. White flags were honored, and the flag of the Red Cross was respected by all.
In pre-medieval times, before the Popes had moderated the practice of war, losing armies were slaughtered, any survivors were enslaved, and conquered nations were looted and crushed under the heel of unrelenting tyranny. We in America can scarcely imagine what it was like to have lived under the constant threat that hordes of merciless barbarians would suddenly appear, killing and burning their way through villages and cities, carrying off one’s family, who were never to be heard from again. Yet this was what life was like in ancient times throughout the entire world.
While today humanitarians complain about water-boarding, in ancient times, captured enemies were often tortured hideously, merely for the amusement of the captors. A long list of barbaric practices could be made, shocking and horrifying the average American.
We feel comforted knowing that those days are over—but are they really?
The American and European failures in Syria and Iraq are demonstrating that the age of barbarism is upon us still. It never did go away. We just closed our eyes to it. The modern-day terrorists who often are referred to as ISIS or ISIL, are nothing new to history. They are the Huns of yore, the Mongol Hordes in modern Islamic form. They are unimaginably ruthless, cruel and fanatical.
Not to worry. According to the White House, we are “monitoring the situation.” Indeed? One reporter all but openly mocked that claim during a press briefing. Monitoring the situation, he rebuked, monitoring? Tens of thousands of people are in imminent danger of being brutally massacred, and we are monitoring? The White House press secretary was reassuring. We are not merely monitoring the situation, he said. We are monitoring it “closely.” Oh. That makes it all better (yes, sarcasm).
One thing which utopian visionaries consistently fail to acknowledge is something called reality. Reality always trumps idealism. Community organizing is no match for suicidal armies. The Nazis and Japanese Imperialists of the 1940s were not negotiated into surrender, not until first we had killed every last enemy soldier who continued to resist. Even after the formal surrenders, more killing was needed to eliminate the mortal dangers posed by die-hards in both Germany and Japan.
One cannot reason with genocidal murderers. One can only kill them. But no! the proponents of peace at any price will counter. Why, killing them would make us just as evil. My reply is that is a disgusting argument, one which equates murder with self-defense, and equates atrocity with protection of the helpless. Anyone who contemplates the reality of the situation and still holds to that bankrupt position is despicable.
Another argument says that, for every terrorist we kill, we create many more. Oh, really? Then ask this question. When terrorists killed three thousand of us on nine-eleven, how many more of us did they create? As they killed more thousands of us in the military campaigns, they should have created enough of us to eliminate them forever.
Only the mathematics of the intentionally ignorant can fail to recognize that killing terrorists decreases their number. Any new terrorists coming into the battle are not there because their predecessors were killed, they are coming because their minds are poisoned by the same radical theology that motivated their dead forebears.
Yes, it all sounds horrible. It is horrible. However, the horror is not one of our making, rather, it is the making of those who issue edicts requiring everyone to think as they think or die, to obey their commands or be murdered.
Every American should be required to witness the videos made and distributed by the terrorists, videos joyfully displaying the beheaded corpses of those who made the fatal mistake of surrendering to a psychopathic enemy. Horrible, yes, but better to see these beheadings on video than to see them in person on the streets of our neighborhoods.
‘Oh, that’s fear-mongering,’ some will say. ‘ISIS is not coming here.’ But the Japanese did come to Pearl Harbor, Osama’s minions came to the World Trade Towers, and the Russians did invade Crimea just a few weeks ago, and then shot down a civilian airliner. The mainland Chinese are building a blue water navy, one for which they have no defensive need. Barack Obama warned the Syrian dictator to disarm or face the consequences, and the consequence turned out to be the exposing of Obama as a toothless tiger. He installed a Muslim Brotherhood terrorist to lead Egypt, a danger so extreme that the Egyptians expelled the Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt (and expelled many of them from the planet). Obama then offered Israel a so-called truce with Hamas – a truce which would in reality have been a complete capitulation to terrorism. All the while, Obama is dismantling our armed forces. There is no space here for a complete list of the treacheries being perpetrated by our apologist-in-chief.
In short, the US has become a shadow of its former presence as a force for good in the world, a presence which Obama clearly believes was a force for evil.
Into the vacuum are stepping the real forces of evil, forces not only capable of barbarism, but eager to practice it in its most malevolent form.
They are at the gates.