War Prayer

Discussion in 'Politics' started by DavidS, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    I sent this to friends of mine on August 25, 2001. Just a couple of weeks before 9/11. Please note, this short story is public domain. It was originally written in the early 1900s, probably around the time of the Spanish-American War. It's so interesting how you can apply this message to current events occurring today. By the way, after 9/11, I threw this away and haven't looked at it since... until today.

    The War Prayer
    by Mark Twain

    It was a time of great and exalting excitement.
    The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the nod of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

    It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

    Sunday morning came -- next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams -- visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation.

    "God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest! Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"

    Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory --

    An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair> descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconsciousof his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

    The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the startled minister did -- and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

    "I come from the Throne -- bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import -- that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of -- except he pause and think. "God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two -- one uttered, the other not.

    "Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this -- keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! Lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

    "You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which the pastor -- and also you in your hearts -- fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so!

    "You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. the whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory -- must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

    "O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounder , writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."

    [After a pause.] "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! -- The messenger of the Most High waits!"

    It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.
     
  2. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Usual belly acheing of the protester. As for OUR current wars both came to us because of actions of the other side. We did not cause them to do the things which left us little choice but to make war on them. Afghanistan CHOSE to harbor Bin Laden after a cowardly attack on the US. We did not force them to do this, we did not compel them to do this, We did not do anything to make Afghanistan CHOSE to harbor a mass murderer. We did warn them of the consequences of that action and we ask them to reconsider. They did not do so. There were no parades that I recall, no Sunday Pray sessions invoking God on our side. I am sure somewhere there might have been, but as a Nation we did no such thing.

    In the case of Iraq, they had 12 YEARS to change thier war like actions, to meet all the requirements of a Cease Fire they WILLINGLY signed to end the last War they had started. Again we did not cause them to start that first war, we did not compel them to attack Kuwait and threaten Saudi Arabia. We in fact pleaded with them to cease and desist. To return to their own borders. They refused. To end the humiliating defeat they suffered in 4 days they agreed to a cease fire and agreed in writing to meet specific conditions. For 12 LONG years they refused to honor the cease fire. They actively mislead and lied to inspectors and actively fostered the idea they still had weapons they had agreed to get rid of and AGREED to prove they got rid of them. For 4 of those years they expelled the inspectors and ignored their commitment, And during the entire 12 year period the routinely fired on and actively attacked Coalition forces trying to enforce the agreed on restrictions.

    Again no one forced them to not meet the requirements they agreed to, no oner forced them to attack allied aircraft or to fly in zones they were proscribed from doing so in. No one forced them to lie to the inspectors, to play shell games and to block inspections. No one forced them to expell the inspectors and to refuse them entry for 4 long years. In fact the gathering of troops to enforce the cease fire is the ONLY thing that got them to allow inspectors back in. But even that was not enough to stop them from still ying to the inspectors, from still playing shell cames and misleading the teams. Even with an absolute threat of armed attack they refused to live up to the cease fire they had willingly agreed to. They refused to stop claiming they had weapons they had agreed to eliminate and prove they had eliminated. No one forced them to bribe foreign Countries in the hope of lifting sanctions without ever meeting the requirements.

    We tried for 12 LONG years to get them to comply. How long was long enough? When was action allowed to force a hostile nation to meet its commitments to the International community? When was enough war mongering by Iraq enough to warrant action?
     
  3. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The Sarge and Dick Cheney are the only ones who still buy into this
     
  4. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Ya cause well Saddam did not violate the cease fire agreement for 12 years. The retard here is you buckaroo.
     
  5. JW Frogen
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    JW Frogen Gold Member

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    And Danes die for drawing cartoons.

    Please, if you can not understand the threat, at least do not help it.
     
  6. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The inspectors were in place in Iraq. They told Bush they did not see any evidence of WMDs. They told him they could prove it if they had more time. Bush knew if he gave them more time he would lose his reason for attacking. Bush ignored the advice of most of the world and CHOSE to attack immediately rather than wait for the job in Afghanistan to be completed.
    Bush was betting that once he attacked he would find something....ANYTHING that he could claim was a WMD and justify his attack.
    As we all know, Bush tore apart the country and found exactly....NOTHING

    Result ...TWO botched wars and the US entrenched in two civil wars simulataneously
     
  7. paperview
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    paperview Life is Good

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    I love Mark Twain.
     
  8. JW Frogen
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    JW Frogen Gold Member

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    So do I.

    He could write about South with satire, comedy, and yes, love, (there is love there) , but only because the North won.

    The South would not hear it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  9. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    The Inspectors stated that even with over 100 thousand troops on the Iraq Border Saddam Hussein was still lying to them and still playing a shell game. That he was still ordering his people not to cooperate and that he could not provide any evidence he destroyed any of the missing materials or weapons.

    AFTER the invasion we found that he had maintained , against the dictates of the ceasefire, stocks of source material to return to biological and chemical weapons production. That he maintained the Scientists and crucial equipment to return to the hunt for Nuclear weapons. We have proven that chenical weapons were still in existence and some were used as road side bombs. We have proven that all his Generals believed he still had weapons of Mass Destruction. We have absolute proof that almost every Foreign Government believed he still had weapons and still was making weapons. Further we have proof he was bribing Russia, China and France to lift the sanctions so he could freely return to such production and research.

    The only delusional people here are you retards that can not grasp simple facts.
     
  10. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    #1 - We did not know if Hussein had WMD's, but if he did, he hadn't used them for years.

    #2 - Hussein was doing nothing to antagonize his neighbors. His military had suffered a crushing defeat in the original Gulf War.

    Was it really worth it, today, to have gone into Iraq, lost close to 5,000 soldiers, hundreds of thousands if not close to a million Iraqi civilians, have the country almost completely decimated and spent close to $1 trillion over 10 years (gee does that number sound familiar) and have found shells and remnants of old wmds? No Saddam wasn't complying, I agree with you. He was baiting us into doing exactly what we did. But instead of funding resistance groups in Iraq, instead of supplying an anti-Saddam militia in Iraq with American weapons to do a coupe like we did in Iran in the 1950s, we went into a full scale war that was poorly planned, poorly executed and turned into a horrible war for the US and Iraq. Tell me, RGS, do you think the Iraq War was worth it? Do you think today we made the RIGHT decision to go into Iraq? Do you think the close to 5,000 US soldiers lost, the tens of thousands of US Soldiers wounded, the hundreds of thousands of Iraq civilians killed, the millions of Iraqis injured and hundreds of millions of dollars we spent to fund this war... was it worth it?
     

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