Speaking at Pearl Harbour, Japan’s prime minister has offered Americans his “eternal condolences” for the deaths inflicted by his country on US soldiers in the 1941 attack. I believe the emperor of Japan is regarded as a god by his people, but it’s a bit presumptuous for a mere prime minister to express “eternal” condolences: he should leave such promises to the one true God who alone can deal in the business of eternity. Condolences – eternal or not – are one thing while apologies are another. The PM stopped short of making an apology. But he did make an astonishing promise: he said his country would “never wage war again.”
The man should be arrested, charged with treasonous intent and locked up.
“Never” means “never.” I think, in this case, the Japanese for “never” is “zettai ni.” And it means “In no circumstances.”
So the PM has pledged that Japan will not go war even if his country and people are attacked. That is a contemptible promise for a statesman to make.
Of course, there are those – so called “pacifists” – who would never make war. And pacifists tend to get a very good press. The fact remains that pacifism is fundamentally immoral. I may on my own behalf refuse to fight, but to refuse to fight to protect those for whom I have responsibility is both cowardly and wicked. To refuse to defend my country when it is under attack is a betrayal of all upon which I rely for my safety and well-being.
War is a very bad thing, but there are things worse than war: for instance, surrendering to tyrannous aggression. Redemption can indeed come through war – when men are prepared to shed their blood to redeem us from the enemy. I would go further and say that when our soldiers give their lives in battle, their sacrifice is joined to the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.
It is a bit much when so called “peace activists” presume to lecture soldiers about the nature of war. Soldiers do not like war – because it is they – and not the peace activists – who are called to fight. But soldiers know that there is a worse thing than war, and that is the triumph of evil. Sometimes war is the moral, the righteous, thing to do. The soldiers are the true peace activists, because peace is what they are fighting for. This is the lasting peace which only comes after victory. And the Bible itself warns us against those who “…cry peace where there is no peace.”
I wonder where soldiers get their courage from? Surely their love of our country and their fierce attachment to their Regiment. Through the knowledge that they are fighting a good fight. Through their loyalty to their comrades-in-arms.
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.