Den ”etiske” krigaren

Idag kom jag över en artikel som heter ”The Ethical Warrior” och är skriven av en Jack Hoban. Jack Hoban är ”a former active duty U.S. Marine Corps Captain and ‘subject matter expert’ for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). He is a long-time practitioner of martial arts and student of the late Robert L. Humphrey, noted conflict resolution specialist and author of ‘Values For A New Millennium'”.

I denna artikel summeras precis allt som är fel med USA:s krig mot terroristerna i Irak. Somliga undrar desperat (andra med en viss förnekan) varför USA – världens ekonomiska, politiska och militära supermakt – inte kan besegra några ynkliga terrorister i Irak. Yaron Brook med flera har i många artiklar, inte minst de i The Objective Standard, förklarat grundligen vad problemet är. Problemet är att USA:s militär är kraftigt hämmad av den altruistiska överväganden, formulerade av teorin om ”rättvisa” krig. De som vill avfärda denna artikel som ”objektivistisk propaganda”, eftersom de helt felaktigt har fått för sig att terroristerna i Irak motiveras av hämndbegär för USA:s ”massmord” i Irak, borde läsa vad Jack Hoban skriver.

Jack Hoban börjar med att konstatera att terroristerna och USA:s soldater är egentligen inte så annorlunda. ”The core of MCMAP is the Ethical Warrior Training. This focus has led to a need for a clarification of the intangibles that make up the Warrior Ethic. Even the USMC Core Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment required a hard look. After all, don’t our enemies display courage and commitment too? Yes they do. And there is ‘honor among thieves.’ So what makes us different?” Svaret står enligt honom att finna i USA:s självständighetsförklaring. Enligt USA:s självständighetsförklaring är alla människor skapade som lika inför lagen, men Hoban tar detta, felaktigt, som att betyda att alla människor är lika mycket värda. Vad innebär detta enligt Hoban?

Insurgents operate as if all men are not created equal. They don’t respect the lives of those they consider non-observant of their fanatic cultural, political, and/or religious values. And they will kill anyone — even innocent women and children — to reach their goals.

Warrior Ethics have respect for human equality as the premise — just as it is stated in our philosophically enabling document, the Declaration of Independence. Warrior Ethics charge us to act differently than insurgents — more respectful of all life — killing only to protect lives and when we have to.

The Ethical Warrior shows respect for the value of life, regardless of the relative values of culture or behavior. This is a nuance that is very hard to put into words. But it is the secret of stopping cross-cultural violence. It may be the secret to winning the global insurgency.

Winning hearts and minds? Respect for culture won’t necessarily do it. Respect for others’ religious beliefs won’t necessarily do it. Our religions, cultures, behaviors may not be reconcilable. However, even when cultures seem irreconcilable, conflict can often be adequately resolved — and the killing stopped — if a deeper, more fundamental universal value can be activated mutually. That value is the life value as expressed by an acknowledgement of human equality.

Let’s not be naïve, American forces must and will close with and kill insurgent combatants. Yet, the role of the Ethical Warrior is not only to kill, but also to protect life. Whose life? Self and others’. Which others? All others, if we can. Even our enemies (as the U.S. forces are often called upon to do), if we can.

Alltså, den ”etiska krigaren” är villig att offra sitt liv för att skydda andra – vilka andra som helst – även fienden. Varför? Och hur ska detta göra att man vinner kriget mot islamisterna? Är det ändå inte meningen att vi ska döda terroristerna och fullständigt krossa staterna som understöder dem?

Är det verkligen ett mysterium att Irak är en röra om det är denna etik som styr USA:s militära överväganden? Är det verkligen ett mysterium att terroristerna inte har gett upp? Att de lever och frodas ännu? Att de ännu åtnjuter stöd och sympatier från stora delar av befolkningen? Var det genom att dö för fienden som de allierade vann mot nazisterna och japanerna under andra världskriget? Vad var det nu George S Patton sade? ”No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country”.

(Sett ur detta perspektiv är George Bushs agerande inte ett dugg underligt. Jag antar att George Bush, som den ”etiske presidenten”, just nu aktivt agerar för att skydda Iran, fienden, genom att inte stoppa dem från att döda amerikanska soldater i Irak eller från att skaffa sig kärnvapen.)

Det är perverst att höra hur folk missbrukar USA:s självständighetsdeklaration för att motivera den orgie av självuppoffringar som pågår i Irak just nu. USA:s grundare slogs inte mot Storbritannien för detta. De slogs för deras rätt att leva – inte deras moraliska skyldighet att offras. Och hade de slagits mot britterna enligt samma principer som USA nu slåss mot terroristerna i Irak hade vi aldrig haft ett USA idag. De hade inte ens känt sig moraliskt berättigade att förklara sig självständiga.

En reaktion på ”Den ”etiske” krigaren

  1. As an admirer of Ayn Rand’s books I read your critique of my essay with a smile. I understand your point, but I am sorry – I don’t agree. Objectivism is a compelling philosophy. Yet, I believe it to be incomplete and, thus, inconsistent with human nature. Human being are others protectors; that’s our basic nature. Anyone with a child can tell you that. Human beings are not born ”tabla rasa.” Anyone with two children can tell you that. So, let’s try to find a ”human nature guided” way toward peace. It certainly isn’t to sacrifice ourselves to the terrorists, I don’t think I said that. But is killing everybody that doesn’t share our relative values the answer? We need to kill or capture only those who use terror and kill others. Not an easy task in counterinsurgency warfare where the enemy is interspersed with the population. But the point of the article is that we must not kill others over relative values. They, on the other hand, DO kill over relative values. They will kill anyone not adhering to their narrow, religious, philosophical and criminal – in other words, relative – values. You think I said that we are not much different than our enemies. You misread my meaning. We are PROFOUNDLY different from our enemies in our respect for the intrinsic value of life – all life. But when you look at the relative values without that fundamental premise – well, they may look the same. That’s the problem with ethical relativism that I tried to point out. Sorry, if that wasn’t clear.

    Now, here is another point. If we are born blank slates, then ALL values are relative. Right? And that is what scares me.

    When you believe that human beings are born a blank slate, you are sorely tempted to try to ”make” them perfect through philosophy and structure. Got blank people? Let’s make a perfect society so that they will become perfect. If you think they are too selfish, make them selfless through state-ism. If they are too selfless, make them more selfish through philosophies like Objectivism. Two sides of the same coin – Ms. Rand and her archenemy Marx. But Objectivism eschews force, you may say, statism doesn’t. In my opinion, the only reason someone hasn’t come forward with some kind of militant form of Objectivism is that no one cares. Objectivism in a novel is interesting: it correctly points out that human beings have a ”self” that must be respected and honored. But it is incomplete in the way it stresses only one half of our human nature. Isn’t our proclivity to help others natural, as well? Like parents who care for their children – not because they ”deserve it,” but because they love them. Like Marines and firemen who rush to the defense of others who they don’t even know, not because they deserve it, but because life has intrinsic value – all life.

    Less clear, perhaps, is the notion that those who FORCE others to be selfless may be immoral under certain circumstances (although I may ”force” an older child to help his little sister put on her shoes). We can thank Ms. Rand for helping to clarify that for us. But in real life ”selfishness” is unnatural and, so, ultimately uncompelling. That is why Objectivism never became and won’t become a real political movement – thankfully. People have a dual nature – self preservation and species preservation – but selfishness is just not as compelling as selflessness. And our human nature doesn’t tilt toward selfishness as our predominant proclivity.

    But what do we do when people are too selfless – as they may be now? Kill them? Believe me, Marines kill people. But not because of their relative values. We kill to protect life – oxymoronic as that sounds. Ayn Rand posited that ”life is the standard of value.” I would say that life is the universal value: we are born with that value, no blank slate. And it is a dual value – self and all other. It must be all others otherwise life would be a relative value. So, the goal is not to become selfish, the goal is to get balance. Getting that right balance between self and others is the art of being human. We can work the balance out in a fair society, and that is what we are fighting for. Ms. Rand is right. When force is used to assert your relative values over my life value, that force must be confronted. And that is the job of the Ethical Warrior.

    Thank you for reading.

    Jack Hoban

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