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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Michael Yon: Jungle Law

I do not normally frequent the "war blogs", but yesterday I clicked my way through to Michael Yon's blog for the first time. Yon is a free-lance reporter/blogger imbedded with American troops in Iraq. His post "Jungle Law" is worth reading for a number of reasons, not the least of which is his excellent first hand reporting from the world's deadliest place. Yon's blog reports include his own opinion on the situation in Iraq. For example:
"I get the impression that people at home are losing faith in the effort, though we are winning."
Yon goes on to detail a recent mission, including the death of a young American soldier, Nils Thompson:

"Though he'd just turned 19, Thompson already had earned respect from officers and men in the unit. Many quiet tears marked the true pain of the loss. A few soldiers wondered, Do people at home even care?"
One of the reasons I tend to stay away from the war blogs is that I recognize, in myself, a dark side that enjoys them. Tales of death and destruction appeal to our worst instincts, and I try not to get too engrossed in them. But I also see war as a "necessary evil". That is, war may be evil, but sometimes it is necessary. There is a tradition of pacifism within Christianity that runs parallel with a tradition of "just war" theory. I believe these two, thesis and antithesis, compliment and inform each other. You wouldn't want to have one without the other. That is why I think it is good and healthy to debate whether a particular use of force is evil, necessary, or both.

As for Michael Yon and Nils Thompson, people DO care. I can't say that all people care, but I believe that most do. Most people recognize that we are losing many of our finest young men and women in Iraq and we hope and pray that our cause is just and that our sacrifice will not be in vain.

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