Walking a Mile in our Enemies' Boots

As Americans, whenever we wage war as a nation, we usually find a reason to justify our actions.

We wage war because we've been attacked, or because we feel gravely threatened by the actions of another nation or people group. We believe if we should fail to act and engage in war, more American lives may be lost, and our way of life may be in jeopardy.

Generally speaking, most Americans support whatever war or conflict we engage in.

We see ourselves as fundamentally good, and our causes just. More often than not, if our political leaders feel the need to wage war, we are quick to give them our support and blessings. We generally only become critical of our nations' wars when they last longer than we think is necessary, when there is no clear objective, or when they become too severe for our tastes. It is only then that we begin to question what our real motives for fighting may have been all along.

One thing I've noticed that we seldom ever do as a nation is to sincerely question the justness of our enemies' cause. All we become interested in is the perceived threat against us.

Once it is established that they are a threat to us, we cease to care about what is going on in their head, and the reasons they feel so compelled to wage war against our nation. Whatever their reasons are of no consequence.

All that matters to us is that we know they want to kill us.

Which begs the question, is our concern then simply the fact that our lives are in danger, or are we really concerned about which side is acting morally just? Do we simply rationalize that because we face the possibility of harm, that automatically makes our side the right one?

If we are to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," like Jesus said, then how do you feel about another nation waging a "just war" against you?

We generally have no problem picking up the sword to wage "just war" against our enemies. If somebody shoots us, we are going to shoot back at them. They are evil monsters, and we feel they must die.

But what happens if we are the instigators, and are guilty of firing the first shot? Are you ok with them attacking you in response?

My guess is that even if we were guilty as Americans of firing the first shot and instigating a war, that we would have strong objections to our enemies deciding to fight back against us.

Indeed, if our enemies decided that we simply were too dangerous for the rest of the world, and that our government needed to be overthrown, we would be willing to fight to the death to prevent them from doing such, no matter how guilty we were of injustice.

A major problem with "just war theory" is that nobody wants to be on the receiving end of such justice. We don't mind dishing it out, but we definitely aren't willing to receive that which we so freely give.

If we were to walk a mile in our enemies' boots, what would you would think and feel?

Do you think our enemies are often attacking us simply because they are merely aggressors that hate us, and simply want to kill us?

Or, do you think our enemies are more like us?

They want to fight us because they feel that they are somehow being wronged and that their lives are threatened. Perhaps they don't really know who fired the first shot and who instigated the war. Perhaps they don't really care. Maybe all they know and care about is that their nation is being invaded by a foreign military, and that they feel compelled to fight against us for the same reasons we would fight against them should they ever do the same to us.

Let's walk a mile in our enemies' boots.

Let's do what Jesus said, and treat them the same way we would want to be treated.

Let's end the madness of engaging in war on the basis of just war theory.

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