Is morality the key to winning any war?
Moral judgement is something we are taught from a very early stage in our development.
Certainly here in Britain morality is the essential first skill that the majority of us are taught in the family system and in our school system. Living well amongst others seems to be a critical part of social integration.
Without morality there will inevitably be chaos.
Is it clear then that all wars will be won or lost simply by the very nature of human morality. That central core instinct of what is right to do. We are taught in our homes and in our schools that to hurt others is simply unacceptable. To kill them is totally unjust. Live and let live is the central key.
Yet it does seem to me that there has got to be exceptions to this rule. One of these exceptions was world war two.
Never have I been so adamant that steps to end a reign of mass destruction of another race were so very justified. Would I have fought for that cause-yes I would. Because to embark on a mission to overwhelm another country seems to me to be an egocentric way of taking your views and enforcing them onto other human beings. The Falklands war was in my opinion another justified campaign , yes there was horrific loss of life on both sides. Yet was it morally justifiable -yes I believe it was. Our Islands, a part of our nation had to be recovered at any cost.
Was then the intervention in Bosnia also justifiable-in my opinion yes it was. Yet again the same theme shows itself- other human beings being killed because of their religion. They needed the help and they received it thanks to that response from those people in power who new of the need for moral intervention.
When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait he stepped over the boundaries of another nation. He wanted to integrate another set of rules -his own, on a separate group of people who where living in peace at that time. So once again a stand had to be made-the question of morality forced other human beings to respond in kind. Yes yet again horrific loss of life on both sides, yet still I believe that the moral high ground was maintained.
So I believe that in the quiet of the British soldiers mind is that key question of morality- is this right what I am doing here-does it feel right to be in this country fighting these people. Whether we like it or not that thought will indeed create the central drive towards success or failure. That success relates to every battle that any soldier serves in. Also the perceived enemy will also have that deep grounded central question in the quiet of their minds. Is this fight justified. Am I doing the right thing in this battlefield. Now these facts will make or break the long term outcome of Any war fought anywhere in the world.
In fact many wars have been won by countries with all the odds stacked against them, be it facing superior firepower or facing many, many more soldiers on the side of their opponents. These well known battles have been won in my opinion because of the deep human factor of morality. The battle of Britain, and the Vietnam war and Russia in Afghanistan are just three of many outcomes changed by countries with the moral high ground.
That deep unbreakable belief that they will win because they have the moral high ground. For example this is our country we have done nothing to yours get out or we will make you go. Now this ideology cannot be changed be simply trying to win hearts and minds. This has got to be based on the total open truth about the fairness of the given task. Or put in simple terms âis this the right thing to be doingâ.
Because the soldiers on the ground have got to believe deep in their hearts that the war they are engaged in is morally justifiable. If the internalised moral code of the soldier is compromised through the reality of what he is doing- then the outcome of any conflict will be predetermined. So there must be a clear moral argument for any war in any land at any given time. I hear that General Sir Richard Dannatt may be fired from his post .
Could this be because he has questioned the whole morality of the double stretch situation that Britain finds itself in.
Yet could it be that Tony Blair wanted to use the resources at his disposal to prove himself a tough leader. Was it then simply his own ego at work when he made the choice to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It has been known before in the history books that men have made choices that were flawed from the start.
Now we know that many good leaders of our nation have suggested that it is time to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. Given the fact that so many good men are saying it is time to go could it be then that Tony Blair does not want to be seen as a failure.
Make no mistake after 911 the moral high ground was Americas for the taking. They had to respond in some way. Yet has that moral benefit been squandered by heading off in very badly thought out directions.
In my opinion stupid directions that lost the upper hand of truth and morality. I do not want to see the British army broken states General Sir Richard Dannatt, very severe predictions, spoken by a very senior man, who is trained to see the outcome of battlefield choices made in the heat of the moment. Indeed that is what he is good at. So when a man with his expertise speaks we all should listen. Very intently
Was it ever right to question the judgement of our leadership. Should we just go wherever we are sent even though it seems that only a few people in these two countries that we invaded and âkicked the door inâ are the cause of horrific acts. Is it right then to invade a whole nation just because of a few people. Is that morally right.
Hitler was beaten because what he was doing was morally wrong- the inner truth of that war gave all our service men and women a drive and power that reached into the psyche of each individual and brought out innovations to beat the beast that was and I am proud of every man woman and child of that time who endured and overcame those odds.
So what is the moral justification for enduring in Iraq and Afghanistan. Is this mission just being chased by people whoâs egos insist that they will succeed. In my opinion morality stands in the way on both war fronts. Will more bombs and loss of life change that deep foundation of the inner truth that is - morality. I have recently heard said that approximately 655,000 people have died as a result of the invasion of Iraq. Even if only half of those people had only one child each that still makes 327,500 children who are bound to grow up very, very angry wouldnât you be more that a little pised at why dad is not coming home.
That is a terrible legacy to leave all of our children. Some people in power state that now is not the right time to leave Iraq or Afghanistan. I bet they are the ones who supported the invasion in the first place.
I doubt that there will ever be a right time to pull out of this situation. Someone will have to say enough is enough. That person will have to be very, very strong. Yet whoever that person turns out to be in my opinion- morality- will be on their side.