Principle 02: No ONE Decides who I should Hate

Most of us do not have mortal enemies. We are quite comfortable letting other people pursue their lives as they see fit. Live and let live would be an accurate summary. However, when it comes to war, our government presumes to tell us not only whom we should hate, but that we should actively support that hatred with our political support, our money, and the lives of our friends, family, and fellow countrymen in the killing of people who have as much right to be alive as we do.

But while the call to battle for a just war is always invoked, as it is practiced, it is more often than not a deception. George Bush famously said after 911 “you are either with us or against us.” This tribal thinking is exactly what the government counts on when it takes our country to war for bogus reasons, ulterior motives, and fabricated lies. Its justifications will sound lofty. We fight for our freedom, our way of life, for other freedom fighters, for international law, to topple dictators, to stop communism or fascism, or to stop them over there, before they come over here.

We must rise above the tribal thinking and presume a call to arms is unjustified until we can unemotionally assess real facts. It is our tax dollars that are being spent, our sons and daughters who are dying, and our international reputation that is often being undermined, all for no apparent advantage to the country. The people must lead the leaders.

The moral justification of defending oneself is correct and necessary. Pacifism isn’t the order of the day. Walking compliantly to the gas chambers is not a scenario any person or group should face. But a cavalier attitude about the use of force is immoral. To instinctively and reflexively justify the use of force against any country that opposes us is an arrogant, unthinking, and a lazy approach to determine when our nation is really threatened. Defending our liberties and lives is honorable. Fighting at times for international order may be necessary. But fighting, for the dominance of others or for corporate advantage, are acts of empire which are not worthy of a real Republic of freedom loving, peaceable, citizens.

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