Thursday, May 19, 2005

Memorial Day

For Memorial Day, words of wisdom from Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893): “Every government has as much of a duty to avoid war as a ship's captain has to avoid a shipwreck.”

When foreign leaders fail in their governmental duty, a nation, through no fault of its own is cast upon the rocky shoals of war. At such times, it becomes necessary to remember those who fell in the act of protecting their friends and neighbors. Since the Civil War, their memory is marked on Memorial Day.

How many do we recall? How many family members who we knew in life? How many have died in our service, in our defense? Sadly, with time, most are now nameless. These are their numbers:

The American Revolution (1775-1783) – approximately.......4,435
The War of 1812 (1812-1815) – approximately........2,260
The Mexican War (1846-1848) – approximately......13,283
The Civil War (1861-1865) – approximately....133,821
The Spanish American War (1898) – approximately........2,446
World War I (1914-1918) – approximately....116,708
World War II (1939-1945) – approximately....407,316
The Korean War (1950-1953) – approximately......36,512
The Vietnam War (1954-1975) – approximately......58,193
The Persian Gulf War (1990-1991) – approximately...........148
The Afghanistan War (2003- ?) – count goes on.............217
The Iraq War (2003- ?) – count goes on..........1,647

For each casualty, at least 10 wounded soldiers and 15 civilian casualties. Civilian wounded, collateral damage, is seldom known. The Tomb of the Unknowns, Memorial Day, a time to remember the cost of war. It is the day on which we mark the words of the Delphi Oracle, “He who attacks first – loses.”

“Words have meaning.” Insurgency – a rising up in active revolt. Revolt – rebellion against, or in defiance of, authority. Authority – the power, or right, to enforce obedience or to give orders.

What makes an Iraqi an “Insurgent”? Does America represent “authority” in their land? “Partisans” – an armed group fighting secretly against an occupying force. Words do have meaning.

The Koran decrees that, when kuffaar (disbelievers) attack and occupy a Muslim country, Jihad, as an action of self-defense, is mandatory. Physical Jihad – armed force by a few – relieves that obligation from the general Islamic community; who must then wage Jihad with their wealth and words.

According to Islamic scholarly consensus, self-defense is fard‘ayn (an individual obligation) upon all Muslims, not just those of the nation which is being attacked an occupied. It is said, “Whoever dies without having fought or having resolved to fight has died following one of the branches of hypocrisy.”

To an Islamic fundamentalist, “hypocrisy” is the only sin from which there is no redemption.

Saddam Hussein is in prison; his government no more. Just as there are those in this nation who claim religious conviction and express belief in scriptural prophecy, there are those in the Islamic world who do the same. A most curious prediction for Memorial Day 2007 – derived from Koran and scripture:

The return of a Hashemite monarchy – Mohammad predicted a Hashemite would come to power a year after a rare astrological event which will occur both this year and next. It is the precursor to events we know as “revealed”.

A Memorial Day wish: that the need to count, and counting, stop; the memorialized remembered.

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