One of the big reasons why I have been saying that we want to avoid a war in this country is the quote that is the headline for this post. It’s from a movie: Rules of Engagement. It stars Samuel L Jackson, a Marine commander who gets hammered for having his Marines fire into an armed crowd. One of the lines in the move sees Jackson say: “Did innocent people die? Innocent people always die.”
The civil war that both sides seem intent on having will be ugly. War isn’t a game where two sides engage in some football game where the players, rules, and boundaries are clearly defined. Americans think that war is some sort of game, a crucible where masculinity is defined. It isn’t. It’s messy. It won’t just be players getting targeted. The combatants will be targets. So will the people who deliver food. So will their families. Women. Children. The side who refuses to participate in that will lose. The following exchange took place at another blog:
ANON: no one is going to stand up to the jack-booted thugs nor will they retaliate in any goddamned way whatsoever: if Ruby Ridge wasn’t enough to muster the hearts and minds–not to mention Waco, then nothing will. One man (McVeigh) took action and that was it…but you do you.
BLOG OWNER: things change when they go after a man’s home and livelihood. Surely even you can figure that out. Maybe.
And that whole McVeigh thing you seem to imply that was so great….. that was terrorism, asshole. Innocent people died in that bombing.
They both make good points and are both mistaken. Anon fails to realize that people are resistant to fight, because they know that there is no going back. Once the fight is joined, things are going to get ugly. Once the first pushback occurs, innocent people will die. The OKC bombing? Yeah, that sort of thing will have to happen. Innocent people will die. Call it terrorism, call it war. There is no difference, especially when one force has a daycare center right in the building that contains legitimate targets.
Philosophically, what is the difference between the OKC bombing and the Allies bombing Dresden? How about firebombing Tokyo? Remember learning about Sherman’s march to the sea? Sherman said “We are not only fighting hostile armies, but a hostile people. It is necessary to make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.” His troops left a trail of destruction and dead civilians in its wake.
The northern troops gave no mercy. “it isn’t so sweet to secede,” one soldier wrote in a letter home, “as [they] thought it would be.”
That is war. I fear that it is coming. No quarter will be given.