07 November 2009

Terror, terrorism and Ft. Hood

To the family and loved ones of those that have died in the recent tragedy at Ft. Hood you have my deepest condolences and sympathy for your sudden loss.  My words cannot express my feelings adequately.

To those that have been wounded in this attack, you also have my sympathy and my regard for surviving such an attack.  Many of your comrades around you were not wounded because of you just as the fallen have died in place of another so you, too, have received the sharp end of the unexpected.  My deepest regards to you, your families and loved ones, and I wish you a speedy recovery.

To Police Sergeant Kimberly Munley:  thank you for your courage and cool under fire while wounded.  You have saved many lives by your action and that of your fellow officers to end this tragedy and ensure that it would end.  My best and dearest wishes for a speedy recovery from your wounds and return to health.


Any act in which an individual reclaims their negative liberty of warfare, to act as an animal, is one that is of pure terror as it is the loss of civilized controls upon the self and a return to the state of an animal.  It does not matter if it is a calculated dropping of such restraints or pure blinding animal impulse overwhelming the individual: the source of such reclaiming does not change the event, itself, save when those dropping the restraints of civilization act together without cause.  Those that commit such acts do not deserve our pity nor our attempts to exculpate them by blaming such an uncivilized act on conditions.  Guilt or innocence is for a jury to decide, and then source and reason indicates level of punishment.  The presumption for any charged is innocence and proof must be beyond a reasonable doubt of a jury.  Juries can get it wrong, yes.  Trying an individual in the court of public opinion guarantees a wrong verdict as our media play up to emotions, not facts, and thus misguide our thinking via intent through lack of content.  That is why we have juries: to avoid emotional based conviction or decree of innocence as neither weighs the facts.

During my time working on the civil side of DoD, I visited many bases and facilities fully under military control.  The level of self-control and civility was and is astonishing and when any individual within the armed forces reverts to their animal nature it is a double pity as such an individual not only became uncivilized but betrayed the trust of their comrades in arms who depend upon them.  As we depend upon them to defend our Nation, this is the highest form of loss we can suffer as it erodes the trust within the very organization we use to keep us safe.  No higher loss of trust can be found, save for treason, and when plotted with malice aforethought and intent to change the course of a Nation through one's actions, then the act, itself, is treason as well as reclaiming one's negative liberty of Private War.

Those individuals who step forward to learn the trade of arms do just that: learn the trade of arms.  We ensure that they get the highest level of training not only in the arms but in themselves so that they come to understand themselves and their place in our common defense.  These individuals are trained in more than just arms, but in treatment of wounds, first aid and many other areas that allow them to survive the harshest conditions that humanity offers them, which is the battlefield.  The battlefield is that place where civilization falls apart most directly, and yet we try to place civilized rules so as to keep the carnage and atrocities down.  Our soldiers are taught to uphold civilization not where it is easy and comfortable, in their homes and offices, but where it is least likely to be upheld which is that chaotic field of battle.  That training is done to help distinguish between those that are uncivilized and need to be stopped, and those that are civilized and need to be protected.  Due to the chaotic nature of the battlefield this is never easy, and such laws of war have come about so that the innocent are not destroyed by the nature of war, itself.

When on such bases I never wondered if soldiers were kind, courteous and competent.  They were US soldiers.

Even on the most open of bases and facilities before 9/11 I did wonder about the lack of even side arms for self-protection.  As we have come to understand Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, we have come to learn that normalizing of the mind takes many forms and soldiers now employ those forms from immediate de-compression via violent video games to meditation and counseling.  Thus I had no worries about soldiers who had been in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Colombia, Philippines, and elsewhere being in harms way.  We have changed how we deal with the aftermath of battle upon the minds of our soldiers, and in many ways we now come to understand the more ritualized techniques of primitives and those before modern times that required similar forms of purification, understanding and re-acclimating themselves to civil society after the horrors of warfare.  They are far better prepared to identify danger and how to respond to lethal threats and even the non-lethal sort that involve warfare than any police officer can be.  While both see similar threats, the field of war goes far deeper into how a soldier will asses a lethal situation and respond.  While they could not respond to stop the attacker at Ft. Hood, they served instantly to care for the fallen and stabilize the wounded and save lives immediately.  There was no question of paperwork, training and instant reaction as that had all been done.  Not all who were there were veterans, that is true, but the response between soldiers in different units points to a coherence of understanding that goes far deeper than any civil set of forces that require higher levels of coordination between them outside of the immediate realm.  Soldiers responded to treat the wounded, secure the area, and ensure communications and supply lines for that is their job.

My question is simple:  why are our citizen soldiers denied the right of self-protection due to any citizen of the United States?

They are citizens first.

Soldiers second.

We trust them to fight for us and correctly identify the enemy in the heat of battle and uphold the highest laws of warfare in doing so.

Why do we not trust them as citizens with the positive right of self-defense?

If our Armed Forces were remiss in identifying an individual with troubles, a person with deep personal misgivings of the armed forces and their mission, then that must be addressed, to be sure.

But to deny our citizens the right to protect themselves openly when they are trained in the highest morals and ethics of warfare to distinguish between minor events and lethal ones on the urban battlefield?

A soldier by taking up arms to protect our Nation is a target on and off the battlefield as they are openly stating their willingness to die for us.  In uniform or out of it, they are targets of our enemies who wish to destroy our will to fight and our Nation.  There is no safety when there are lack of arms as those who revert to their base, animal instincts will always and ever find a way to kill to assert their will over others.

That is the nature of man.

That negative liberty and right of asserting one's will over others also creates, simultaneously, the positive right and liberty for self-defense, to uphold one's existence and to assert the civil right to survive without being threatened by death by those wishing to control you.  When taking that animal liberty against a citizen working with civil means, the positive liberty and right spring into being so that there is a higher authority to be invoked when man turned as animal against all mankind arises: yourself who will hold yourself accountable to civil laws for your actions.

Can we not entrust our soldiers to understand that at home, too?

They know the laws of war and the laws of peace and the differences between them.

If we, on the civil side, cannot make that distinction, then we are seeking to dissolve that compact which allows our society to flourish and inviting the law of nature to rule over us with no means to address it.

No good will ever come of that.


Beto_Ochoa said...

With the blood of the fallen still wet
The masters will now hedge the bet
No crisis wasted
Their power they tasted
This deathblow the closest one yet

With our heroes not yet in the ground
The masters forge slavery’s crown
And they’ll brook no dissent
Their savior is sent
The people’s good will to confound

So how will this tragedy end
Our country we’re sworn to defend
Freedom’s abrogation
The death of a nation
While we in the wilderness fend

A Jacksonian said...

Every good citizen makes his country's honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense and its conscious that he gains protection while he gives it.
-Andrew Jackson