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The Death of Christmas — Guest Post by Uncle Mike

Last December 19th President Trump ordered the withdrawal of 2,000 American troops from Syria. The New York Times called the action “abrupt and chaotic” and reported:

The decision brought a storm of protest in Congress, even from Republican allies of Mr. Trump’s like Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who said he had been “blindsided.” The House Democratic leader, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, suggested that the president had acted out of “personal or political objectives” rather than national security interests. …

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other top national security officials argued that a withdrawal would, essentially, surrender Western influence in Syria to Russia and Iran. …

Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of United States Central Command, and Brett H. McGurk, the American envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State, fiercely protested the military withdrawal, administration officials said. …

In a letter to Mr. Trump, Mr. Graham and five other senators, from both parties, implored him to reconsider his decision.

The next day, Dec. 20th, Defense Secretary Jim (Mad Dog) Mattis resigned. Various pundits from both the Left and Right spoke of the nation’s foreign and domestic policies “plunging into chaos.

There is no joy in Mudville when Johnny comes marching home: no ticker-tape parades, no flag waving throngs, no soldiers kissing girls, no grateful nation breathing a sigh of relief.

It’s Christmas and our GI’s have returned from the combat zone, many without having lost their limbs, and no one from any part of the geo-political spectrum is happy about it.

A somber nation with a nearly comatose citizenry is baffled and saddened by this seeming end to the slaughter of our boys and girls, not to mention those evil ragheads, in the deserts of Syria. And at Christmas no less!

We are stunned mute. The Holiday Spirit wanes and evaporates.

And the night would be silent except for the slow and measured drumbeat of war, a rhythmic pattern pulsing “Christmas is dead, Christmas is dead, Christmas is dead.”

You see, I am anti-war, and have been since I was drafted back in the Nam days, when my life became threatened by bullets and bombs, when sudden death became a daily occurrence — in yet another useless slaughter and savagery from the Masters of War. The anti-war movement was co-opted by communists by 1970 or so, and has been moribund ever since. We have been at war continuously ever since, too. The dead and maimed keep rolling home. Nobody who is anybody cares though, as far as I can tell.

That darn Trump did the unthinkable by surprise. He actually removed American soldiers from a combat zone and at Christmas to boot. All the craven coward war mongers had a sh*t fit about it. How dare he!

Jesus was/is the Prince of Peace. Christians have forgotten that, mostly, but it wouldn’t hurt to recall that fact on the Lamb of God’s birthday.

I yearn for peace, and I think many of my fellow Americans do too. Our small voices are lost in the large cacophony of saber rattling by “leaders” who have never been in combat, who think the severing of limbs is heroic, who lust for the blood of their supposed enemies without having experienced the reality of it.

For one day, though, for one lousy day, I wish the hyenas would retire and let the Reason for the Season sink in.

16 thoughts on “The Death of Christmas — Guest Post by Uncle Mike Leave a comment

  1. It was interesting until I hit “I am anti-war”. Two things—most rational people are against the idea of a war and use it as a last resort. Second, “anti-war” signals pacifism that screams out “go ahead and destroy me, my country, my life, my family” as I do nothing to fight against the evil in the world. It is the ultimate surrender to evil. That would be especially true since evil is very PRO-war. What you’re really saying is you’re not for stopping evil but rather surrendering and allowing it to proliferate. (Of course, if the anti-war people had dominated society at an early stage, there would be no USA, no advanced civilizations and global warming wouldn’t be preached, so I suppose there is an upside to the whole idea. In less than a century, all of them would have been killed and eternal evil dicatatorships would be the norm.)

    In a world of “Hate Trump” and where morality is defined by WHO says or does something, NOT by the act or statement itself, no one should be surprised by this development. Trump is wrong to bring peace to earth anywhere because, because, because “TRUMP”. Insanity runs rampant. (Note: Insanity brings more war, so anti-war people, be ready. You can hate or deny reality, but you can’t escape it. Failure to fight evil before the insanity took over results in very bad outcomes. Some fought, most buried their heads in the sand. Now, insanity and evil are pretty much in charge. Welcome to the new Dark Ages.)

  2. Sheri, you should shroud your enemies in love, bless them, and not commit violence or hurt upon them. It’s almost funny how people who (falsely) profess to be Christians refuse to follow the teachings of ol’ hippie, liberal Jesus when it doesn’t fit with their own preconceptions. Heck, unconditional love might even work, we’ve never tried it.

  3. A beautiful thought you have. Please know you aren’t alone and you are appreciated. The “leaders” are all warmongers because they don’t have to fight themselves. Fighting to protect your own farm is one thing. Subduing a far distant population because it will help the oil economy is another. Especially when who you are really helping is some family with a big stake in exon or whatever equivalent. The American people, really all people, should absolutely refuse to fight and die for the geopolitical ambitions of sociopathic assholes. These wars do not benefit anyone but sociopaths. You can stop them in their tracks by saying no. Unfortunately, the only balls anyone has grown is to cut off said balls and claim to be a woman.

    To get back to the point, the US is more than capable of becoming self-sufficient. Perhaps some luxuries would be lost, but not much. The US is rich in natural resources. Used wisely, they could be god’s shining beacon. Its a great gift. We don’t need anything from these other countries, like syria, iraq, whatever after fracking eliminated the need for foriegn oil. We can withdraw and experience good times.

    Of course they won’t do the right thing. They leaders are by default negative. We can just watch and protest from the sidelines but what will it do? I spread information. That is my task. I have to remember isaiah way tooo much. It is so difficult to be a voice of reason in an insane world. Which is why you deserve some appreciation. YOU are doing the right thing. Continue. When in doubt, read about isaiah’s job.

  4. Bringing home the troops doesn’t really bring peace. The squabble will continue. We just won’t be involved in it. Maybe we shouldn’t be and Trump is right. But tsk-tsking it from afar won’t bring peace.

  5. Bringing home the troops doesn’t really bring peace. The squabble will continue. We just won’t be involved in it. Maybe we shouldn’t be and Trump is right. But tsk-tsking it from afar won’t bring peace.

  6. Shecky and Sheri, can’t we all just agree that you’re both wrong? I kid. Kinda.

    Jesus is not a different God from the God of the Old Testament. God is a man of war (Exodus 15:3).

    War is sometimes a regrettable necessity, and morally licit, as has been the majority opinion of all Christians and before them Jews since as far back as we can go, attested to through Scripture and tradition. Unfortunately, we’ve, as Americans, been fighting wars at times and in ways almost guaranteed to not really win or accomplish much. That is senseless and awful. Pulling out of Syria? Why the hell were we there in the first place? This last election both Democrats and the establishment Republicans wanted to go to war with Russia and Syria to defend Al Qaeda (the “moderate” opposition to Assad, paradoxically, the only defender of Christians in the middle east). In Iraq and Afghanistan we’ve permitted the persecution of Christians, forbidding them to defend themselves and letting our “allies” imprison them and menace them with execution.

    The flip is that it isn’t really loving your enemies to let them run riot regardless of how pretty a picture it is of “unconditional love” softening the hearts of men elbows deep in blood. Many Christians have tried that all the time and been murdered for their troubles when they might have escaped. Pacifism kills.

    Sometimes you have to fight and sometimes you have to let martyrdom happen. All mediated by prudence and the will of God. Nobody wants war the same way nobody should want surgery, it’s just there are times when it’s a better option. Unfortunately, we’ve been fighting wars like maniacs, not really winning or losing, just sort of bleeding for a while.

  7. Sheri —

    To arms! Let’s not forget the evils in China, North Korea, etc.

    Some of of say, “Thank goodness Adlai Stevenson was a self-admitted ‘coward’ during Cuban Crisis.”

    We’d rather not countenance the 200 million dead required to satisfy your thirst.

  8. There are a couple of interesting reasons for the US to stay in Syria, as given by the NYT.

    Firstly to help the Kurds against Turkey. Which is weird as Turkey is also in NATO, as well as Great Britain. Turkey can now move against the Kurds, but that means invading Syria on a large scale. Which means Russia and Iran getting involved. I cannot see Turkey asking for help from NATO in that case. Also, the Kurds helped the US to further their own goals, so the argument that abandoning them will make other groups in the area more distrustfull is not very strong.

    Secondly Israel. Israel would want the US to stay. But basically, Assad won the Syrian Civil War, with the help of Russia and Iran. The US staying will not make a difference. Getting the sanctions against Iran to be implemented again will make a difference, but Trump’s enemies want the US to stay and the sanctions gone.

  9. I was just going to point out that the powers that be at the BBC and Doctor Who producers tried to kill Christmas this year by eschewing the annual (post-modern) Dr Who Christmas special and had it on New Year’s day instead.

  10. Just the response I expected, sadly. For clarification, I am not always a pacifist; I am always anti-war. There is a difference.

    By definition: war is the takeover of territory by force, or threat of force, usually by an armed militia.

    War may be violent, but all violence is not war. When a “non-violent” mob takes over the streets, it is an act of war even if no shots are fired. When you get shot by the cops while pushing smack to school children, it is violent but not war.

    The war on illiteracy is not real war. Federal land takeover (USFS, BLM, NPS, etc.) of property for other than “the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings” (US Constitution Article I Section 8 Paragraph 17) is war.

    If you want my property, make me an offer. Maybe we can work out deal. Legal transactions are the proper way to transfer territorial title and ownership. Don’t bring a tank and foot soldiers with guns drawn.

    That kind of behavior is primitive, stupid, violent, and beneath you. I hope. Don’t make me shoot back. I don’t want to be in that movie. I want to love you. Don’t make it impossible to do so.

  11. Thanks, Uncle Mike.

    War for the purpose of protecting American interests.

    No war for advancing the interests of foreigners.

    Our problem is that foreigners, with their American willing accomplices, have so confused the public that it is nearly impossible to define “American interests” any more.

    Schools for girls in Afghanistan?

    Weapons for Islamic extremists to fight Assad in Syria?

    Killing Kaddafy?

    Empowering Israel’s occupation of other’s land?

    Making Mali safe for French oil companies?

    Keeping Russians out of Crimea?

    How are any of those American interests?

    Pro-war here. But only when necessary to defend and protect our own interests.

  12. While experiencing the horrors of war may turn one anti-war, it does not adequately inform one about that stance. War is hell, for those who fight it and civilians caught up in it, and that is known not only by anti-war people, but often by those who advocate for war in particular circumstances.

    I was for the Vietnam War, and backed that up by volunteering for it, although the consequence was far less dire than experienced by Uncle Mike. Although I daily risked sudden death, it was rarely due to someone trying to kill me, because the circumstances didn’t place me there except briefly. I lost a couple of good friends, but didn’t witness their demise.

    Anyway… it is easy to characterize those who advocate for a particular violent policy as being callous or not appreciating that war is horrible. It is also quite often inappropriate. George H. W. Bush sent a large force to war, and Bush himself had experienced the horrors first hand and barely survived.

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