"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Recent debates and a brief (re)introduction

(redacted)

Now, a short digression. There's been a large increase in traffic on this site, which I attribute to getting linked through Five Feet of Fury for the last week. So, I feel like I should introduce myself to all you new visitors to this digital corner of my mind. I am a United States Marine Corps helicopter pilot, currently stationed in Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. How I came to join the Marine Corps (and get linked through a Canadian blog while part of it) is a moderately unusual story. I was born and raised in Canada to a Canadian father and American mother, and lived in Toronto until I went off to college. During those eighteen years, however, I regularly visited the States to see my mom's side of the family and many historical - mostly Civil War - sites (a fetish of my dad's). The more exposed to America I was growing up, the more I became attracted to it; and in the course of learning its violent and precarious early history, the more I was interested in those who stood at the front line defending it. In my freshman year of college, I turned that interest into reality by volunteering to take a commission in the Marine Corps once I graduated. 9/11 cemented that decision, and I vowed to make it my personal business to ensure that my family and friends would never again have to see what we saw that Tuesday morning. I've been in the Corps for the last five years, and this is my first deployment. I am married with a son whose first birthday I missed while on this deployment, but whom I very much look forward to seeing when I get back. I am Catholic and conservative (though less and less willing to call myself a Republican). You can read about many of my experiences in Iraq throughout my blog. I also dabble in political and foreign policy commentary, book and movie reviews, and random humor. Thank you for your patronage and please keep stopping by, I try and update this at least two or three times a week!

3 comments:

Matt said...

I'm interested in your statement that you are less and less interested in calling yourself a Republican. In this, the most perfect of all possible worlds, we live in a two party system and, whether we like it or not, we inevitably have to choose one of two parties to support. To do so is not a failing, no matter the imperfection of our preferred party, but a simple function of the socio-political structure of our country. I just finished yet another book by Joseph Ellis on the founding where it was hammered home the inevitability of parties developing given the structure of the Constitution. He uses the more interesting argument that the msot impressive achievement of the Founders was to create a structure to continue the argument and that structure, inevitably, would feature parties to embody the variety of contrasting interests inherent in such a large polity. As much as we'd like to think that the disinterested partisanship of Adams or Washington is a replicable model for contemporary society, it really isn't so; we have to pick which of the two are best of poor alternatives and do our best to advance our agendas within that larger template. You are a passionate, patriotic American who has a clear idea where he wants to see the country go; to divert such a resource beyond the political structure we have inherited would be a great loss to anyone who really cares about the direction of their country. Pick a side my friend and stick with it, whomever you choose (obviously I have a clear idea where you'll go) will be the better for it.

Cincinnatus said...

Well, it's not like I'm going to start casting 'protest' votes for the Libertarian Party (though I'll always entertain voting for the candidate I think best, should he/she be Republican, Libertarian, Green, etc); I'll wager you'll find me casting my ballot for John McCain in November (and, given my options out in California, for whomever isn't Nancy Pelosi or Barbara Boxer). And it's not so much that I have differences with the platform of the Republican Party; on the contrary, there's a great deal there that I agree with. I have simply become very disappointed in how the standard-bearers of the party have failed to live up to the admirable values and history of their predecessors, and this extends from the rank-and-file to (believe it or not) the top. Ultimately I am less concerned with defining myself by a party than by a set of principles in which I strongly believe. I am a conservative and will be one for the foreseeable future; and I will therefore vote for whichever candidate (and party) best represents those principles which I value. For the time being, the GOP is the party most aligned with those principles; in the future, if another party better embodies conservative principles, I'll have no qualms about voting for them.

Kathy Shaidle said...

Thanks for your ad on FiveFeetOfFury.com. Your support means a lot!