I’m not writing this to argue with anyone. I’m just sifting through my own thoughts on this, analyzing changes and adjusting to cultural changes. If you have more information or calm analysis, perhaps not opinion (esp. flaming), I would like to add it to the pot.
Because in America we don’t see soldiers in camouflage, pass tanks on the roads, hear war planes buzzing overhead or the staccato of gunfire …. we forget that America is at war. America is in a war. In the Middle East. And though the average citizen rarely thinks about this, it actually is something we need to think through collectively. Because the tactics of war have changed in ways that now involve every-day citizens.
Throughout the ages, war tactics change and adapt. In the Bible times, it’s recorded that there was chariot warfare; that they slashed open pregnant women, tore down walls around entire cities, forced famines and droughts by besieging cities, cut off big toes and thumbs, took slaves, etc.
Closer to our time, war was with armies lined up on fields facing each other. (These days, that seems crazy.) Horses, swords, guns, cannons. Then guerrilla warfare involved small bands making attacks on the outskirts of the larger foe. And airplanes, bombs.It goes on and on.
Inventions change war tactics. Technology changes war tactics. War involves a lot of Public Relations, too, if you think of it, and the methods of PR change. (We were just looking at old Soviet PR posters, for example). The overall sensibilities of a culture influence war tactics, too.
So, we’re constantly changing when it comes to war.
In some ways, terror has always been a war tactic. Just the horrific sight of the enormous armies, their equipment, costumes, etc., is designed to make people afraid and capitulate to the demands of the enemy.
The reason I’m saying all this: America and especially France (and Britain? and others?) are in war. We are at war. (I don’t live in the States, so I don’t feel it in the same way, but in some ways, living closer to the warring borders, I become more aware of it.)
So, the general style of tactics used today by certain armies have been labeled “terror” by the western world. It’s interesting to stop and think about that word: Terror. Acts of war committed to incite intense fear in order to achieve the desires of the enemy.
Here are current war tactics we need to consider:
- There is no defined “war zone” for an act of terror. In fact, it seems like the more civilian, the better.
- It’s no longer a question of strength or numbers. One person with a little stuff can do a lot of damage.
- Death for the “soldier” is not problematical. The foe is not trying to limit its own casualties.
- Social media is used as a war device, to spread the terror even more, through live streaming. No hiding, no self-protection.
There’s more, I’m sure.
But my goal here.
My goal here is just to put the pieces together. So we can be more able to have conversations that unite, rather than that divide and anger. Or just not confuse war with irrelevant questions. Or let the news media lead us by the nose into whatever they want to be the hot political buzz of the day. Division is also a war tactic. And we need to be wise. None of us has all the information. Few of us are actually in a place to make and implement changes of which we so certainly speak. Power changes perspective. And humbleness is a powerful perspective.
It’s messy. There is no one right answer on how to deal with these new war tactics. It’s very messy. But it calls for a lot of working together and looking for both justice and mercy (in the immigration question, for example, which is also a long-time war tactic. How to balance safety of many with helping others? An eternal question.). It calls for clearing our minds and focusing on living out the love of God to the fullest extent we know how. It calls for the rising up of great men and women who can create and implement creative, compassionate answers for individuals and for large groups.
May God help us.
P.S. One idea I had as I thought about this: Maybe we should form prayer groups to pray for vulnerable men and women, that they not be recruited into the ranks of the army that wants to see them die a “hero’s” death. Pray for those vulnerable souls, that God would redirect them ….