I note that eradicating the distinction between soldier and civilian and declaring open season on civilians in war is, well, evil and contrary to our Catholic faith. It’s what is known as “murder” in English. Time was that so-called “faithful conservative Catholics” knew this and did not dissent from this hoary fact of Catholic teaching but defended it.
However, times have changed and the cafeteria is now wide open on the right when it offends the sensibilities of neo-pagan war zealots who like to imagine that they are being brave when in fact they are merely indulging fantasies of brutality. Case in point, this accusation/comment that showed up in my combox in reply:
John Soldier, Fallujah, Iraq (188.8.131.52)
So, Mr. Shea,
what’s the proper procedure for waging a war when the enemy combatants wear dresses and scarves and pretend to be women so they can get close enough to detonate the bombs strapped to their chests, or for fighting the enemy combatants who use grocery stores and places of worship as munitions depots or fortified bunkers?
Just curious because those answers would really help out where the rubber hits the road. Since, you know, sometimes you’re obliged to deal with the reality that is in front of you. Like when it’s about to kill you.
Wow! What a devastating rejoinder from a Guy Who’s Been There. Unlike my panty-waisted self, he’s out there puttin’ it on the line! Who would dare so much as question him? And who would listen to a plump suburbanite like myself when he points out the Just War teaching says what it says about murdering civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Only, here’s the thing: You notice the IP address there? Turns out our brave boy in blue is himself a plump suburbanite writing from Laurel, MD, not Fallujah. He is the equivalent of a D&D; gamer living out a fantasy identity. Only instead of using that identity to do something healthy like slay a dragon, he is using it to muddy the waters of a serious conversation about the evils of murdering civilians by fantasizing about blowing away women and children in a red mist.
The notion that brutality is identical with “courage” and “realism” is a growing favorite on the right. It is, curiously, much of a muchness with the growing notion on the Left that abortion is likewise a “brave” act. Something in the psyche of human pride has to tell itself that when a particularly disgusting crime is committed, one is “courageously” defying an unreasonable God who is asking the impossible of you like a capricious tyrant. You have to tell yourself you are a hero (by, among other things, pretending to be a soldier in Fallujah when you are, in fact, a coward sitting on his fat butt in Laurel, Maryland). And, as with people who endlessly appealed to “24″ as the justification for torture, what we continually discover is that the “realist” is living in a complete fantasy world.