Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Religion & The US Army: Not The Best Soul Mates

Scary Stuff, But This Is What The Pentagon Wants: An Army of Proselytizing Christians In Iraq

In the previous post, I have discussed at length, at least from the military perspective and to some extent, the political standpoint, of invoking Religion as a rallying point to refocus on the Bush Administration's unpopular war in Iraq, & how a shadow religious group has been making inroads, with the blessings of the Pentagon top brass, to evangelize to the military personnel of the US military.

The impetus to invoke the high heavens to provide a shroud of legitimacy is a historical reminder that even in the 21st century, we still rely on mandates from imaginary deities to sell wars to the general public. It is a stark fact, one that even the most optimistic atheist will have to lament but agree.....but.....

Taking things from a realistic perspective, juxtaposing a modern army fully equipped with weapons designed to kill en mass with archaic, Bronze Age beliefs is a gross mismatch, as I intend to illustrate.


Land Pandur II: A Typical Armored Personnel Carrier. This is What The US army in Iraq Needs, Not Bibles

In what I felt was the biggest fiasco that has been leaked to the press by the incompetent Pentagon, we learned, to our disgust, that the Pentagon intended to smuggle in shipments of bible packages to its beleaguered troops, only to back down at the last minute to avoid embarrassing lawsuits with a secular watchdog.

This is a classic example of what I would like to coin as "misplaced priority": The top brass has become so distant & so disillusioned that it has all but lost touch with troops on the ground: Almost every week, we read about stories of regiments diving straight into patrols without adequate armor plates on the Humvees, soldiers running around with little or no body armor, & a high percentage of these soldiers were sent to Iraq with insufficient training to deal with insurgencies of the Vietnam War era-style.

Clearly, this is more than enough evidence to suggest palpable negligence.

In Sun Tzu's Art of War:

"The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected."

While I do not expect the American military brass to comprehend Sun Tzu's war treatise (Considering that they are all awaiting for the Rapture and hugging their bibles), it is quite unpardonable that when 100,000 or more troops are sent into a desert hell hole, that even basic needs are not adequately met. And to even have the temerity to invoke religious support by sending non-essential bibles on transport craft that would have been better used to transport body and vehicle armor instead spells of high treason.

Too Many Gods In The Cauldron?

Gods: Like Cooks, Too Many Deities Will Ruin Battle Plans

Another potential hot spot when it comes to inciting religious sentiments is the multi-religious element: Unlike the ancient Crusades, or even in more recent times, say the US Army fighting in the WWII theater, the US army is a potpourri of numerous races and cultures: Asians, South Americans & even the odd Muslim brethren mix around with the standard rednecks in a some what "ragtag" military, a reflection and reminder that first and foremost, the population of the United States of America is essentially a migrant population.

Given the multiracial and multicultural identity, any attempts to introduce a singular, mutually exclusive religion into the military with the intention to "galvanize" military morale becomes a sheer fire way to disaster.

Even within the ranks of a single religious cult, say Christianity for example, various factions or denominations vie viciously to guard their masses from straying from their respective flocks, not to mention that however minor their doctrinal differences despite coming under one umbrella of Jebus, chances are, given the opportunity, you will not expect the respective members of these denominations to slit each other's throats.

In short, the army may end up alienating military men and women who do not wish to be brainwashed and strong-armed by these unwelcome religious ethics of their army superiors. The potential for desertion caused by this doctrinal objection may be too much for the Pentagon to stomach.

Such is the divisive nature of religions to exclude other faiths, that unless you can be pretty sure that virtually everyone is inclined to one standard, rigorous religion, it is quite detrimental to introduce a religious element in today's modern army.

God & The Army: Not The Best Bed Fellows

The idea of a "God smite thy enemies" prayer is a practice steeped in generations of ill-conceived barbarity: Considering that both warring factions would be praying earnestly for the destruction of their adversaries, the question of whom the supposed deities may be helping may simply boil down to who is praying to the relevant, bloodthirsty god.

It may sound a little odd, coming from an atheist, but invoking a deity once in a while in less unctuous occasions (e.g employing chaplains to oversee a funeral), once in a very blue moon is generally harmless enough, but to advocate the practice of religion en mass & ubiquitously throughout the rank and file of the military spells a recipe for disaster.

Last but not least, it would be a potential PR nightmare if US soldiers insist on proselytizing their new-found Christian faith, courtesy of Pentagon-approved bibles and bible software. Given the unpopularity of the Iraqi invasion amongst anti-American Arabs, the last thing the American troops really need is an increased incursion of insurgents and road side bombs.

"Once again the songs of the fatherland roared to the heavens along the endless marching columns, and for the last time the Lord's grace smiled on His ungrateful children. "

- Adolf Hitler reflecting on World War I, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 7


handmaiden said...

Apparently it takes religion to stoke up a war...
Dubya the theologian

Anonymous said...

First of all, you informatio or should I say the lack of information regarding the war is atrocious. Im guessing you havn't served over in Iraq or Afghan and if you did you must have been a node ranger. You can not deny Soldiers the bible, koran, or wiccan doctrine. Secondly we were not allowed to openly wear crosses or any other type of religous artifact. So before you start rambling on about how religions particulary Christianity you should do your research so you dont sound like a uneducated monkey. And religion has been the cause of war in the middle east for thousands of years so don't try to throw into the mix religion started this war for the US. Use you God given brain and realize genocide, unfair treatment of national citizens and a terroist threat caused this war. Peace

BEAST FCD said...