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PoliCon
09-05-2009, 09:17 AM
September 04, 2009
Teaching American kids that compassion for deadly enemies can be . . . deadly
By Bookworm
Back in 1991, during the First Gulf War, the media was awash with profiles of American troops expressing sympathy for the pathetic Iraqi soldiers Saddam Hussein had placed in the desert opposite American tanks. The stories definitely showed off American magnanimity, but my parents were still horrified. Each time one of those profiles came on, one of them would holler out, "You have to hate your enemy to win a war."

My parents knew what they were talking about. My Dad was a refuge from Germany and, once in the British military, fought the Germans all over Southern Europe and North Africa. He survived the evacuation at Crete and made a stand at El Alamein. My mother spent her war years interned in a Japanese concentration camp.

Aside from native fortitude and the blessing of youth, the one thing that drove my parents them to fight and survive was hatred. They truly and deeply hated their enemy. Compassion was not a part of the equation.

Let's fast-forward 70 years. My family and I are proud members of the Navy League, a wonderful organization that supports the U.S. Navy. One of the direct benefits for us is that, during Fleet Week, we get royal treatment from the Navy. With those delights around the corner, I asked my son what his expectations were for the week. Instantly, visions of battleships danced in his head. His wish was to see a ship that had actually been in battle.

He was chagrined to learn that our American Navy has not had to engage in battles recently. The ongoing wars, I told him, are land wars. I hastened to assure him, though, that the Navy doesn't just sit around and eat peanuts. Instead, it drills constantly in case the worst occurs, and is always vigilant. Indeed, I said, the Navy can be a target and, to illustrate this point, I told him about the attack on the U.S.S. Cole.

He was horrified. "Who did that?"

"Al Qaeda," I replied. "The same group that blew up the World Trade Center."

He had an opinion on that: "Al Qaeda's evil, isn't it?" "

Yes," I agreed, "it's evil."

Had the conversation ended there, it would have been a blip in my day, and not a post at American Thinker. It didn't end there, however, because my son is the product of several years in the American public school system.

"Mommy," he said, "you can't really blame Al Qaeda people, can you? After all, it's their religion. They don't know that they're doing the wrong thing, because they believe that they're doing the right thing, just like we do."

CONTINUED (http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/09/teaching_american_kids_that_co.html)

FlaGator
09-05-2009, 09:33 AM
CONTINUED (http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/09/teaching_american_kids_that_co.html)

I guess that would all depend on what one's definition of compassion is, how one exhibits compassion and the nature of one's beliefs in relation to the enemy.

PoliCon
09-05-2009, 10:03 AM
good point.


Compassion - n.

Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. See synonyms at pity.

There is prolly an excessive dose of misguided and misplaced empathy mixed in . . .


Empath - n.

1. Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives. See synonyms at pity.
2. The attribution of one's own feelings to an object.

FlaGator
09-05-2009, 10:17 AM
good point.



There is prolly an excessive dose of misguided and misplaced empathy mixed in . . .

I tend to use Christ as my example when trying to determine if I should show compassion to my enemy or not because he is the only one who's actions can be viewed as correct beyond any doubt. I don't trust my own judgment on this.

On Edit: Be careful moving. Back aches suck.

PoliCon
09-05-2009, 05:41 PM
I tend to use Christ as my example when trying to determine if I should show compassion to my enemy or not because he is the only one who's actions can be viewed as correct beyond any doubt. I don't trust my own judgment on this.

On Edit: Be careful moving. Back aches suck.

I agree we should look to God and to his revelation in scriptures on how to deal with our enemies. In the NT Christ gives us a very good exposition on how to deal with PERSONAL enemies. When it comes to dealing with the types of enemies that this article is speaking about - cultural/national enemies - we need to look to the OT and as much as it may come across as distasteful to some, Jericho is a prime example of the best practice for dealing with national enemies.