Losing Heart, Losing the War

The Captain speaks about what is happening on our southern border:

But even more to the point, we are losing the war at the border.  We will lose the war at the border until we cease and desist treating it as a law enforcement endeavor, change the rules for the use of force (away from the SCOTUS decision in Tennessee versus Garner), and deploy the U.S. Marines to the border.

The National Guard isn’t the answer.  I have dealt with this many times before, considering whether training has been done, arming orders have been issued, and weapons and ammunition have been checked out of the armory.  But the National Guard isn’t doing anything at all to effect border security.

While I loath every word that comes out of the mouth of this president and cannot stand to listen to him, and would in fact blame the fire ants in my back yard on his administration if I could get away with it, removal of the National Guard from the border (as he has ordered) has nothing to do with anything.  We have a larger, societal problem.  We aren’t ready to fight the war at the border any more than we were or are ready to fight the campaign in Afghanistan.

Leaving aside the posse comitatus issues which deploying Marines to the border might invoke, let’s consider the underlying message from the above.

As a country, we have lost the will to fight, really fight, and suffer and die and kill and otherwise engage in conduct which is nearly as old as mankind and entirely as messy. Despite believing (as most of us probably still do) that we have a remarkably good thing here in the USA, we lack the moral basis to declare that the regular, brutal violation of our nation’s sovereign borders is sufficient cause for putting those violators on the wrong side of a fight to the death.

I am reminded of the quote by John Stuart Mill:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse…. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

He wrote that in 1862, in the midst of that most horrible of conflicts in which we as a nation have ever participated. One might go so far as to say that he personally knew of what he wrote–while far too many of us today benefit from the blood shed in past conflicts and are far too involved in ourselves to concern ourselves with anything beyond our own personal safety, and comfort, and pleasure.

If that is not losing heart, then I do not know what else it might be called.