It was the esteemed George Washington who cautioned against entangling alliances in his Farewell Address to the nation in 1796.
It is therefore ironic to see 21st Century conservatives, those who claim greatest kinship with Washington, typically voicing the strongest approval of America’s unending overseas military exploits. The father of our country is often quoted, but seldom emulated when it comes to a position of neutrality in foreign affairs.
This issue surfaced recently in Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate on the Republican ticket. This was presumably to energize his campaign by appealing to TeaParty conservatives. What exactly was it in Paul Ryan’s record that would presumably appeal to Christian conservatives?
Joel McDurmon laid it out clearly in a recent article about Paul Ryan on the American Vision News site. Ryan is all for preserving and expanding the American empire and will make the office of Vice President once again “a nest of neocons.”
MYTH: America has a long record of going to war only when necessary to preserve freedom for herself or an ally.
Curiously it is Christians who are particularly vulnerable to this myth. The tide of patriotism runs high in many Christian homes. Christian families have no qualms about their sons serving in the U. S. Marine Corp in particular, indeed are usually bursting with pride to tell of it.
Occasionally the term “just war” is thrown out as a standard, against which to evaluate a military operation. What is a just war? If we knew the answer to that question, we would be in better position to evaluate America’s foreign policy. Such a war is fought according to Biblical principles of warfare.
1) First and foremost a just war is defensive in nature. Multiplying horses (offensive weapons) was among the three things that God forbade the Israelite kings to do (Dt. 17:16). A MythBuster’s investigation concluded that America’s track record is less than exemplary. For example…..
- Civil War: Lincoln refused to meet with a southern peace delegation and goaded the south into firing the first shot at Fort Sumter which gave him a pretext to invade the South. Lincoln was frustrated by the South constantly complaining about import taxes, ironically collected at Ft. Sumter.
- Spanish American War: A mysterious bomb explosion in the battleship Maine was all the pretext Teddy Roosevelt needed to liberate the Cubans from the barbaric Spaniards. Barbaric at least by Hearst yellow-journalism standards. Meantime, Admiral Dewey “liberated” Philippines from the Spanish in the Battle of Manila Bay. U.S. ground forces subsequently made them an American protectorate, in spite of Filipino preference for not being protected.
- WWI: In spite of German warnings, American shipping plies waters in sub-infested war zone. Sinking of Luisitania gives Wilson all the pretext he needs to enter the war and lead the drive for one-world government during peace negotiations afterward
- WWII: FDR goads Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor giving him all the pretext he needs to enter the war and lead the drive for one-world government during the peace negotiations afterward.
- 9-11: Twin Towers of World Trade Center in NYC are brought down allegedly by two jetliners. The government’s official version of events has so many holes it would sink in a bathtub. Subsequent security measures prep American population for police state tactics at airports, etc.
2) A just war is non-interventionist. Josiah was one of Israel’s best kings, but his life was sadly cut short by an act of foreign military adventurism. Josiah intervened in a quarrel that was not his own and paid with his life (II Chr 35:20-25). Thus, the Bush Doctrine of Preemptive Force does not pass Biblical muster.
3) A just war could involve temporary alliances even with non-Christian nations to counter an act of aggression. Abraham teamed up temporarily with pagan kings to rescue his people, but refused a permanent alliance (Gen. 14).
4) A just war is not waged against civilian non-combatants (Dt. 20:14). Sherman’s march of pillage from Atlanta to the sea under the direction of Abraham Lincoln was an easily avoided atrocity. His objective was to destroy southern culture.
5) A just war does not involve wanton destruction of life and property. Allied bombing of civilians at Dresden and Hiroshima/Nagasaki during WWII were barbaric and unnecessary. God commanded his people not to cut down the fruit trees when they laid siege to a city (Dt. 20:19,20).
6) A just war is prefaced by an offer of peace (Dt. 20-10-15). When Judah laid siege to a city they were to offer terms of peace. Lincoln spurned such an offer and baited the South to fire the first shot at Ft Sumter.
7) A just war is not fought to control by force a geographical/cultural entity that desires independence. Lincoln’s waging war against the South, who had peacefully seceded was unbiblical. When Israel seceded from Judah, God told Rehoboam to let them go (I Kg. 12:24).
8) A just war against a tyrant must be led by a duly ordained lesser magistrate, not a revolutionary mob. We see many examples of this in the book of Judges.
Case Closed: MythBusters concludes that the majority of America’s foreign wars – past and present — are in violation of most of these principles. A large offensive force of almost 1,000 military bases is currently maintained overseas and U.S. forces are frequently employed to enforce globalist objectives on subject nations. “American leadership” is a euphemism for domination.
Christians should refrain from voluntary participation lest they be found guilty of partaking in the sins of the nation. They should appeal to local magistrates for relief as outlined in the Apolitical Pastor series in the July Archives.