Wednesday, May 25, 2005

"New Testament" the book, the movie, the tank

Bene Diction points to an official Marine photo of a new piece of hardware in Iraq, an M-1A1 Abrams sporting the name "New Testament." The story makes no reference to the name of its poster child, but says...

As the Global War on Terrorism progresses, the Marine Corps continues to use an intimidating pieces of machinery on the ground …the M-1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank.

The tanks, which weigh up to 70 tons and provide awesome firepower, were introduced into the Marine Corps during the early 1990s and are usually incorporated into initial ground assaults.

“When insurgents see us rolling into town, they may set off an (improvised explosive device),” said Gunnery Sgt. Richard J. Layton, a tank commander with 4th Tank Company, 1st Tank Battalion in support of 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment. “But, that doesn’t phase these big guys and we just keep rolling right through it. It dissuades some of the insurgents from attacking us when they see that their best weapon is useless against us.”

Bene Diction, agreeing with Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost (Outpost? Isn't that derived from military origins?), doesn't believe the name is appropriate. He quotes from Evangelical Outpost.

What troubles me most about the photo is not the offensive naming of a weapon of war after a sacred religious text. Having spent nearly half my life in the Corps, I’m well aware of the level of idiocy and offensiveness that my fellow Marines are capable of reaching. No, what bothers me is that no one put a stop to this display of ignorance and disrespect before it was included on the official website for the Marine Corps.

To which he adds...

I completely agree with Joe on this. Reading the comment section, no amount of justification, approval, explanation or deviation from the topic is going to cut it.I think the US public needs to see photos like this. And I think they need to read a clear explanation from a former Marine about why this photo does not belong on a government santioned site.

My first reaction to their comments was agreement. But then I remembered looking at the coat of arms of the British Crown and finding the motto Dieu et mon droit.

"God and my right" has been around for a millinium, tying faith with earthly power. Seems to me the crusades were driven by the same Christian ferver gone amuck. Lest anyone think the impulse has disappeared, take a look at the second Google reference I got. And how many faithful Americans will reverently bow their heads in churches across the country this Sunday, praying for victory in war and protection for our men and women in uniform?

Words like "idiocy and offensiveness...idiocy and disrespect" are not my words, but they seem to apply well here. I was in the military, too. I saw the same qualities up close and personal. I entered the Army objecting to its raison d'etre and I was honorably discharged two years later the same way.

When we wage war we become that which we want to destroy. Spare me righteous indignation and inverted political correctness on behalf of the Kingdom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if UK troops serving in Iraq are permitted to paint similar religious themes on their equipment.

Outpost is a military term. You'd have to talk to Joe about that one. He started his blog when he was in the Marines.

One commenter dismissed the concern saying Iraqis don't read english so it was no big deal.

History is littered with war slogans about God. So, is that licence to keep doing it? This isn't about political correctness. When you served in the Armed Forces were you are talking about your right to freedom of worship?

That's a far cry from painting slogans on tanks in an occupied country. I agree men and women in combat need prayer, as do their families.
1647 US troops have died.
12,348 have been wounded.
Are we praying for the Iraqis too? 21,725 are known to be dead as of today.
Bene Diction