Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Dog Tags Vs. Hash Tags

 

Unknown-2A chilling picture has been making the rounds lately. It shows our First Lady with a sad face, holding up a hand drawn placard with #Bringbackourgirls written on it, a response to the abduction of more than 250 Nigerian schoolgirls by the islamist group Boko Haram. Though Mrs. Obama’s feelings are no doubt sincere, her actions will not bring one child back.

I’m glad neither my father nor my grandfather is alive to have seen this photo. They never had to teach us German or Japanese due to the fact that they were willing to don dog tags. I’m sure they would have preferred hashtags, had they been the rage back then.

I realize that’s not politically correct to say today, but those men understood the code. It goes back to before Herodotus and was memorialized in The Song of Roland in the mid-12th century. Call it chivalry, call it the “Knightly code of honor,” call it what you will: it is the bedrock of Western Civilization.

The strong are obligated to succor the weak. It’s that simple.

We’re not talking about military expansionism, gunboat diplomacy, or imperialism here. This isn’t about the less technologically advanced being conquered by the strong at the point of a gun, long bow, or sarrisa. This isn’t about Commodore Matthew Perry sailing into Edo (Tokyo Bay) and forcing a weaker nation to open its ports to a stronger one. This is not about coveting future military bases in the Philippines, galloping up San Juan Hill, or annexing land from Mexico. This is about adhering to the code, especially when the weak are being exploited by those who operate on the simplistic moral principle of “might makes right.”

I’m a Westerner. I have no truck with Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram. Perhaps he is on solid moral ground. Maybe it is immoral to educate young women. Perhaps in Allah’s eyes it is a sin. I was raised differently, but that does not make me correct.

I actually have great respect for Sharia law. However, having been raised in a liberal democracy, Sharia appears to me to be packaged with traditions that are not only literally “foreign,” but quite incomprehensible as well. That doesn’t mean that severing wrists of thieves or stoning adulteresses or homosexuals is wrong. It’s just not the way we were raised.

If Abubakar Shekau’s interpretation of the Quran is that the swiftest way to heaven is to slit the throat of the infidel, who am I to argue? If he thinks genital mutilation is the path of the righteous, where do I come off telling him he’s in error? He was raised by his parents, neighbors, and teachers with a certain belief system, just like I was raised by mine with a slightly different one.

He is free to swing his fist whenever or wherever he wants—with the possible exception of when it interferes with my nose. I would never lecture him regarding the route to heaven and slitting the throat of the infidel. Perhaps he is spot on. However, as an infidel, it is incumbent upon me to take certain precautions—even if I’m disposed to helping him (or any of my human brothers) achieve salvation.

And just as he was raised to believe what he does, I was raised to believe that both good and evil exist. We were taught that there were evil people out there who would hurt you, sometimes just for sport—and certainly for gain.

Some were mentally ill. Others were sociopaths, alcoholics, drug addicts, had been molested as children, or came from dysfunctional families. Some were victims of extreme poverty or injustice. Whatever the cause of their evil, each family member was raised to be alert to possible rape, theft, kidnapping, even murder. It was incumbent upon the father to protect the family, the mother to protect the children, and the older brothers to protect the younger siblings. It was the way of our world.

We weren’t supposed to just help old ladies across the street. We were expected to come to the aid of any lady being attacked by a man, or any child being bullied by someone bigger or stronger. If we couldn’t handle it on our own we were taught to go to the police.

That’s where we are with Boko Haram. In our world, kidnapping children is not “on,” even if it is viewed as a religious obligation by Mr. Haram and his friends. All Western nations should unite behind this concept. It was the original reason for the United Nations: that, together, nations could jointly use force to prevent bullying nations from extending their borders unilaterally, or to stop warlords and political or religious groups from terrorizing innocents. If sovereign governments couldn’t do it, the United Nations was meant to step in. Of course, today, for a myriad number of reasons, they are powerless and incapable of coming to anyone’s aid—even little girls.

Unknown-1-1We wish we never had to call a cop, but not one of us would hesitate to do it if we saw a group of men abducting children on a street in our own community. The world stage is no different. (And let’s suspend the canard that “we can’t be the world’s policemen.” Of course we can — and we should, with the aid of other western countries). In fact, if we interceded earlier and more often, there would probably be fewer large military conflicts.

The French Special Forces did it in Niger a year ago. They, we, or, even better, a coalition of the willing should just go — sovereignty be damned — and clean up the mess in Nigeria — as we should clean up the minor messes with the Somalian pirates, Yemen, etc.

Not every one of these things need turn into an Iraq (which clearly would have been safer today had some troops stayed) or Vietnam. And no, I would not volunteer my child to go. But I’m in awe of people like my father and those parents who do let their kids join the military, serve their country, and live up to the code.

Trust me. A few dozen members of Seal Team Six wearing dog tags could accomplish a whole lot more than 10 million Michelles and Beyonces sporting hashtags.

 

There are 25 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. iWe Reagan
    iWeJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What’s with all the moral equivocation in the top half of this article? 

    If you believe killing innocents is wrong then all of your “Who am I to argue?” pablums are mendacious.

    This post is thoroughly incoherent.

    • #1
    • May 13, 2014, at 3:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. jmelvin Member

    Excellent thoughts Mr. Warren.

    • #2
    • May 13, 2014, at 3:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  3. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    iWc:

    What’s with all the moral equivocation in the top half of this article?

    If you believe killing innocents is wrong then all of your “Who am I to argue?” pablums are mendacious.

    This post is thoroughly incoherent.

     Don’t sugar coat it, give it to me straight!
    Rather than “mendacious” one might think of it as “Antiphrasis” a rhetorical device based on irony, where in one says something that appears “ridiculous”–to further emphasize the point. But who am I to argue?

    • #3
    • May 13, 2014, at 3:41 PM PDT
    • Like
  4. Nick Stuart Inactive

    How is rescuing these girls the US’s problem? The government of Nigeria doesn’t seem that exercised. 

    Michelle Obama simply seems temperamentally incapable of minding her own business, or avoiding embarrassing the country she’s only proud of when it’s handing her something. The hashtag nonsense she and functionaries in the State Department are engaging in only make the US seem feckless and weak, better to say nothing.

    • #4
    • May 13, 2014, at 4:15 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. flownover Member

    Well it looks like a special ops team is headed to Nigeria to kill some of them . Let’s hope they do so without ROE or anything in any shape from the UN . 
    It may be the first the smart thing I have seen from this crowd yet . But I remain cynical. The search for 200 Christian girls has been completely shredded in facts,in scale when compared to millions locked behind hijab and out of schools-hospitals, hashtagged into mediocrity. The hauteur of Clinton or Samantha Power commenting after their sorry role in Ruanda makes me queasy ( rage has been worn smooth) .
    I urge everyone to read Aayan Ali Hirsi, what a clear voice from the darkness. Her courage and voice are priceless ( unless you go to Brandeis) and her journey incredible. If she is not one of the five most important women in the world, then I’m Orianna Fallaci ( RIP) or Claire Berlinski. -believe me folks there is no greater gap

    • #5
    • May 13, 2014, at 4:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. iWe Reagan
    iWeJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jeffrey Earl Warren:

     

    a rhetorical device based on irony, where in one says something that appears “ridiculous”–to further emphasize the point.

    It fails to emphasize the point. On the contrary, it reads like liberal apologia that the majority of the public believes to be true.

    • #6
    • May 13, 2014, at 4:57 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Yeah, I agree with iWc, sometimes sarcasm doesn’t translate, and this one missed. Now I’m not sure whether or not you honestly believe the West should do something for these girls.

    I’ll say flat out I think we have a moral responsibility because we have the ability to do something about it.

    • #7
    • May 13, 2014, at 6:29 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Zafar Member

    yellow ribbons never brought anybody home either.

    hashtags build consensus for dogtags.

    • #8
    • May 13, 2014, at 7:31 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Annefy Member

    Mr Warren: I love you to pieces and I enjoy your posts. That having been said, I have one quibble. Dennis Prager had a caller last week that brought up the subject of “letting” your child join the armed forces. which inspired me to post on FB. Because I am lazy, here’s a cut and paste of my post: 

    There’s a convo happening right now on Dennis Prager and I wish I could get on. A man has asked if Dennis would be willing to possibly sacrifice his sons to fight in the middle east. What I would say if someone asked me: it’s not your choice. Your son is a man and should be treated thusly. If your adult child makes a decision to join the armed services, it is a decision that should be respected. Cracks me up: everyone complains about kids not growing into adulthood quickly enough. I guess we should only treat them as adults when it’s a decision that we agree with? And then I would say a bad word.

    • #9
    • May 13, 2014, at 7:36 PM PDT
    • Like
  10. Annefy Member

    edited because … oh, never mind.

    • #10
    • May 13, 2014, at 7:39 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Kay of MT Member

    Oh my Jeff, I think you missed the point. You know I love you right? So, into the wood shed with you while I get the razor strap. Your punishment is to read every word of the Koran, in the order in which it was written. There is indeed goodness and wickedness in this world, and Islam is the most evil and wicked, right down to it’s core. The reason Jefferson had the Koran was to read it and find out what he was fighting, and he formed our navy to stop them.

    Well, a team is on the way to help, an Israeli security team, the little country everybody loves to hate:

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4519297,00.html

    • #11
    • May 13, 2014, at 8:51 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    Western Chauvinist: I’ll say flat out I think we have a moral responsibility because we have the ability to do something about it.

     Didn’t I say that? That is the entire point of the piece. Apparently the use of irony and sarcasm clouded many peoples’ minds. Point noted, for sure.

    • #12
    • May 13, 2014, at 9:05 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    Nick Stuart:

    How is rescuing these girls the US’s problem? The government of Nigeria doesn’t seem that exercised.

    It is our problem because of the code. Either one follows it or not. The strong are obligated to succor the weak–from Herodotus to the Song of Roland it is out there. That is our heritage. That is what our fathers and grandfathers did. It amazes me that the sense of irony and sarcasm caused so many to miss the point.

    I have a lot of work to do on my communication skills–or need to find a different format.

    • #13
    • May 13, 2014, at 9:09 PM PDT
    • Like
  14. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    Western Chauvinist:

    Yeah, I agree with iWc, sometimes sarcasm doesn’t translate, and this one missed. Now I’m not sure whether or not you honestly believe the West should do something for these girls.

    I’ll say flat out I think we have a moral responsibility because we have the ability to do something about it. The entire piece is an argument for sending in Seal Team Six or other Special Ops.

    See Above. The entire piece is rife with why we are morally obligated to go in here–and elsewhere. The entire piece is about sending in force to overcome evil. As I said, I have a lot of work to do on my communication skills, or need to find a different outlet.

    • #14
    • May 13, 2014, at 9:10 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    iWc:

    Jeffrey Earl Warren:

    a rhetorical device based on irony, where in one says something that appears “ridiculous”–to further emphasize the point.

    It fails to emphasize the point. On the contrary, it reads like liberal apologia that the majority of the public believes to be true.

    This cracks me up, but has been a real learning experience. I say over and over again that we must follow the code and that the strong (us) are obligated to succor the weak. I say we should send in Seal Team Six. Yet, because there is mention (which is true–that if we were honest with ourselves, we’d have to admit know one knows for sure weather the West’s interpretation of the world is any better than Islam’s–that we still have to use force (call out the cops) to defeat them as our parents defeated evil in their day. The piece ends with the mention of the superiority of dog tags to hash tags, but for some reason several, though not all, readers refuse to believe it just because there is some language which allows for doubt as to “Which side God is on.”

    I wouldn’t have expected that kind of thought police here, but I guess it is everywhere.

    • #15
    • May 13, 2014, at 9:18 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. iWe Reagan
    iWeJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    No need to be defensive.

    I am hardly the Thought Police. Your stuff is usually so very good that this one surprised me, that is all. 

    BTW: the “code” of which you speak is older than Herodotus. 

    Remember what Amalek did to you as you were leaving Egypt. He happened upon you, and struck the weakest people trailing behind, when you were exhausted. (Deut. 25:17-18)

    We are commanded to eradicate Amalek – those who target the weak.

    • #16
    • May 14, 2014, at 3:08 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    iWc:

    No need to be defensive.

    I am hardly the Thought Police. Your stuff is usually so very good that this one surprised me, that is all.

    BTW: the “code” of which you speak is older than Herodotus.

    Remember what Amalek did to you as you were leaving Egypt. He happened upon you, and struck the weakest people trailing behind, when you were exhausted. (Deut. 25:17-18)

    We are commanded to eradicate Amalek – those who target the weak.

     Amalek: I should have looked it up. That is REALLY a good one. Thanks for passing it on

    • #17
    • May 14, 2014, at 6:14 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

     

    Jeffrey Earl Warren:

    Western Chauvinist:

    Yeah, I agree with iWc, sometimes sarcasm doesn’t translate, and this one missed. Now I’m not sure whether or not you honestly believe the West should do something for these girls.

    Perhaps these two sentences from the piece will answer your question. My apologies for the ironic statements missing the mark. Apparently, my rhetorical skills need some work.

    “The strong are obligated to succor the weak. It’s that simple.”

    “Trust me. A few dozen members of Seal Team Six wearing dog tags could accomplish a whole lot more than 10 million Michelles and Beyonces sporting hashtags.”

    • #18
    • May 14, 2014, at 9:06 AM PDT
    • Like
  19. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    iWc:

    It fails to emphasize the point. On the contrary, it reads like liberal apologia that the majority of the public believes to be true.

     It puzzles me that anyone could read this sentence , “Perhaps it is immoral to educate young women.”–and not know that it is mockingly hyperbolic?

    An how can a piece which is built around the following two sentences by confused with “Liberal apologia?”

    “The strong are obligated to succor the weak. It’s that simple.”

    “Trust me. A few dozen members of Seal Team Six wearing dog tags could accomplish a whole lot more than 10 million Michelles and Beyonces sporting hashtags.”

    As I mentioned above, clearly, my rhetorical skills need a lot of work.

    • #19
    • May 14, 2014, at 9:28 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Whoa. We’re on the same side on the issue of sending help (Special Ops). But, yeah, some of us are absolutists on kidnapping twelve-year-old girls, murdering their brothers, forcing them to convert, and “marrying” them off. I’m willing to call it evil and am very secure in believing I’m on God’s side on the issue. You?

    • #20
    • May 14, 2014, at 5:01 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Wylee Coyote Member
    Wylee CoyoteJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I think there is a strong moral and practical case to send some of our people in. But I have a question to ask our liberal friends who are clamoring for action:

    Are you going to be a giant sissy? 

    -If an IED claims some of ours, are you going to suddenly pretend you were never in favor of this mission?

    -If a village gets hit and Boko Haram starts parading around dead or allegedly dead civilians, are you going to rend your garments and yell for hearings?

    -If one of the girls gets killed during a rescue, and global hashtag sophisticates start going on about ham-fisted Yankee imperial thuggery, will you take up for our guys, or are you going to be a giant sissy?

    -And most of all, if it turns out that in order to find the girls, somebody from MARSOC or the CIA grabbed a Boko boy in the jungle and slapped him around a bit, are you going to be a giant sissy?

    ‘Cause unless the answer is no, we had best stay home. Hashtags are easy, armed combat is not.

    • #21
    • May 15, 2014, at 3:02 AM PDT
    • Like
  22. Doctor Bass Monkey Inactive

    This whole hashtag campaign is the distillation of everything wrong with the Left’s concept of our place in the world. We have been reduced to having pictures of women holding up signs begging with the enemy to release their hostages. If Boko Haram even has internet access, do those in charge here really think this accomplishes anything other than making us look even weaker than they perceive us to be? There is already an impression in that region of the world that the West is weak and soft and lacks the fortitude to defeat them, and I see nothing here that counters that impression.

    This campaign of ineffectual social media pleading is nothing but a sop to assuage the guilt of those who won’t lift a finger to actually do something, whether it’s freeing those girls or killing the evil men terrorizing that region. Holding a sign and making a sad face evidently passes for 21st century action, but instead of being proud of vain gestures we should be ashamed we have been reduced to this. In projecting naked weakness, it is worse than doing nothing.

    • #22
    • May 15, 2014, at 11:06 AM PDT
    • Like
  23. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    Western Chauvinist:

    Whoa. We’re on the same side on the issue of sending help (Special Ops). But, yeah, some of us are absolutists on kidnapping twelve-year-old girls, murdering their brothers, forcing them to convert, and “marrying” them off. I’m willing to call it evil and am very secure in believing I’m on God’s side on the issue. You?

     I assume yours is a rhetorical question. The piece calls for Dog Tags over hash tags and attempts to mock those who think they can end suffering (or save innocents) my tweeting sympathetic “selfies” to one another.

    I think the following two sentences from the screed should unequivcably answer your question (and I admit to being surprised it is asked).

    “The strong are obligated to succor the weak. It’s that simple.”

    “Trust me. A few dozen members of Seal Team Six wearing dog tags could accomplish a whole lot more than 10 million Michelles and Beyonces sporting hashtags.”

    I don’t know how much clearer one can make it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    • #23
    • May 15, 2014, at 4:40 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    Whiskey Sam:

    This whole hashtag campaign is the distillation of everything wrong with the Left’s concept of our place in the world. We have been reduced to having pictures of women holding up signs begging with the enemy to release their hostages. If Boko Haram even has internet access, do those in charge here really think this accomplishes anything other than making us look even weaker than they perceive us to be? There is already an impression in that region of the world that the West is weak and soft and lacks the fortitude to defeat them, and I see nothing here that counters that impression.

    This campaign of ineffectual social media pleading is nothing but a sop to assuage the guilt of those who won’t lift a finger to actually do something, whether it’s freeing those girls or killing the evil men terrorizing that region. Holding a sign and making a sad face evidently passes for 21st century action, but instead of being proud of vain gestures we should be ashamed we have been reduced to this. In projecting naked weakness, it is worse than doing nothing.

     You’ve nailed it. Were not real, living breathing, children and families suffering, this episode reads like a Saturday Night Live skit.

    • #24
    • May 15, 2014, at 4:42 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Kay of MT Member

    My sister is no longer talking to me as I made the statement to her that FLOUS was just plain stupid. Sister stated, “She is starting a movement” have you no compassion? I told her I have no compassion with stupidity, she is married to the one person in the world who has the power to do something positive. Looks like the “hash tags” are working well. Boko Haram may be annoyed.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/20/nigerian-city-jos-two-deadly-explosions

    • #25
    • May 21, 2014, at 8:59 AM PDT
    • Like

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.