>>>WARNING - PLOT SPOILER: If you’ve never seen the movie Crimson Tide, you may want to skip to the end of the spoiler so you do not ruin a great thriller starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman.<<<
Not long after Ramsey is relieved of his duties, the U.S.S. Alabama came under attack from a Russian submarine, and a torpedo strike causes flooding in one of the sub’s compartments. While three sailors are in the compartment desperately trying to stop the flooding, Hunter has to make the decision to seal-off that section of the boat or lose the entire sub. His dilemma is obvious—if he issues the order to seal off the compartment, three men will die; however, if he orders his damage control party to get the three men to safety before sealing the compartment, the boat will sink and the entire crew will perish.
After a moment of what appears to be indecision, Hunter, in a voice barely above a whisper, says to his damage control person, Lt. Hellerman, “Seal the bay.” However, Hellerman is pleading with the men in the flooded compartment to come out. Consequently, in a manner more akin to a direct order, Hunter says, “Bilge bay con, I say again, seal the bay.” By now, Hellerman is begging Hunter to give the men more time to come out of the compartment, and it finally dawns on Hunter that he has to make the tough decision with a tone of voice that conveys the urgency of his order: “Lt. Hellerman! You have your orders! Now seal the [expletive] bay before we all go down!”
When Hellerman confirmed that the bay door had been closed, Hunter’s look of resignation that he had just sealed a watery tomb for three of his loyal subordinates buttressed Ramsey’s scorn that he was not ready to make the tough decisions.
_____________________ End Spoiler
According to former President George W. Bush’s recently published book, Decision Points, he authorized the military to shoot down any domestic planes that were acting suspicious after the attacks of September 11th. In fact, it is a matter of much debate whether it was the military which shot down Flight 93, or if the “Let’s roll” story of heroism—which has the passengers overtaking the terrorists—is the authentic account of that fateful day over the skies of Pennsylvania. We may never know the full story of the events that transpired on 9/11, and perhaps the romantic version of the passengers risking their lives to prevent another terrorist attack is true. However, there are times when the leader(s) of a nation must make decisions that will kill people, and often, some of those people are innocent.
Could you make the tough decision that would cost the lives of innocent citizens? If not, then you are not qualified to hold a post that preserves the sovereignty of a nation. It takes more to lead a country than to have the skill to manage a large bureaucracy. There are times when the leader(s) of a nation must make unequivocal decisions that will cost people their lives: plain and simple—there is a time to kill.
To be fair to every president who I have disagreed with, I will concede that there is no risk in criticizing a foreign policy decision from the stress-free environment of my home-office. Consequently, from the comfort of an easy-chair and with the aid of hindsight, I seem to always answer the ills of the world. However, it doesn’t take hindsight to know that it is a breach of natural law to drop a nuclear device on the innocent citizens of a vanquished foe.(1) It doesn’t take hindsight to know that lying to the public that your enemy has attacked one of your naval vessels in order to gain their support for a dubious war is also contrary to natural law.(2) It doesn’t take hindsight to know that if a democracy overthrows another nation’s democratically elected president in order to install a brutal dictator, the citizens of that country will see that democracy as the enemy.(3) It doesn’t take hindsight to predict that if the Western powers spearhead a military alliance that overthrows and then executes Saddam Hussein, over allegations that are later conceded to be false(4), and in similar fashion invade Libya, then other Muslim nations just might feel threatened. Consequently, these Islamic countries may pursue a nuclear arsenal as a defense measure against subsequent Western invasions.
Did President Truman wrestle with the decision to incinerate nearly 200,000 Japanese civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Or did President Johnson utter a quiet prayer, asking for forgiveness, after he stood before the American public and lied with pious conviction that North Vietnam had attacked a Navy warship in the Gulf of Tonkin? In the introduction of this series, I examined the biblical prophecy where more than one quarter of the world’s population, and perhaps as much as one half, will be killed by evil men whose aim is to seize control of a global civilization. Could you participate with that cabal of men to annihilate large chunks of humanity? These are the tough decisions that evil men must make in their quest for global domination. Although many would find themselves at odds with these choices, it is obvious that some very powerful people see the virtue in these highly questionable pursuits.
Many Western wartime leaders, policy makers and strategists were not born when the Eisenhower administration overthrew the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammad Mosaddegh. And their knowledge of history is too romantic to understand or to care of the implications associated with the Iranian coup. In 1953 Operation AJAX was carried out by the intelligence agencies of the United States and the United Kingdom in order to replace Mosaddegh with the American puppet, Mohammad-Rezā Shah Pahlavi, later known as the Shah of Iran.
Western arrogance may trigger a temporary case of amnesia regarding why it has been so despised in the Middle East; however, Iranians have not forgotten the Western aggression that installed the Shah. The war that is being waged by NATO on the Muslim populations of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, is a classic demonstration of the violent nature of the enmity between Western Civilization and Islam. This mutual hatred stretches back to the Persian Empire when it was overtaken by Alexander in the 4th Century BC, and there has been fierce hostility since. In fact, Islam is the only civilization that has put the survival of the West in doubt, and it has done it at least twice.
Conflicts between Western Civilization and Islam have been repeated over the centuries like a mantra: Fifty percent of wars involving pairs of states of different religions between 1820 and 1929 were wars between Muslims and Christians. Why has the deadly conflict between Western Christendom and Islam been a recurring theme in history? Civilizations are differentiated from each other by history, language, culture, tradition and, most important, religion. Religion is so central to our basic belief as humans, that not only are some people willing to die for their beliefs, but they will also kill if they believe that an enemy is threatening their faith. This is the dilemma that Muslims now find themselves facing—the destruction of nearly 1,500 years of history and tradition by the spread of Western society.
Deeply entrenched in Western society is the Judeo-Christian concept, leading historians, politicians and many citizens to embrace the idea that Western societies are Christian. However, there is a certain disconnect if one embraces the notion that the West is a Christian civilization and then observes the path of destruction that has been left in its wake wherever it has journeyed. It is difficult to reconcile the historical trek of Western Civilization with the philosophy of Christ. He espoused a way of life that not only encouraged His followers to live modestly, while considering the needs of others, but He also required demonstrating love to one’s enemies:
43.Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44.But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45.That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46.For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47.And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so (Matthew 5:43-47)?
The typical Westerner, who worships the meaning of the cross and makes every effort to abide by the precepts of their Christian faith, will most likely consider Jesus’ words above as one of the most famous sermons ever uttered. However, it may be difficult for that same Christian follower to recognize that Western Civilization has a different set of principles that governs its existence, and it does not come from the Sermon on the Mount. From the annihilation of the Native Americans to slavery to the destruction of numerous civilizations to the recent revelation that the United States Public Health System infected soldiers, prisoners and mental health patients in Guatemala with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases, it demonstrates that America’s allegiance, and by extension Western Civilization’s, comes from a manual other than the holy Scriptures.
The men who worship at the ‘sacred’ altar of Western power are more inclined to knead the values of Western society into every square mile of the globe than to permit the expansion of Islam, or even the true expression of Christianity, which demands loving your enemies and praying for them.
…to be continued
© 2011 by David R. Tolson
 Japan was negotiating the terms of surrender with the Allies during World War II prior to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; however, the Americans demanded an unconditional surrender - http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_Weber.html. Also, Truman convinced Stalin to break his 1941 non-aggression pact with Tokyo and team up with the Allies to bring a swift end to the war in the South Pacific.
 In August 4, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson came before the American people and advised them that hostile forces in the Gulf of Tonkin had attacked a naval destroyer; consequently, he was authorizing the military to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was jeopardized by Communist aggression. However, there never was an attack on the American forces. (There was an incident on August 2, 1964, but Johnson’s claim was that the North Vietnamese had engaged in a second attack.)
 In 1953, under the code name AJAX, American and British intelligence forces overthrew the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh and replaced him with Mohammad-Rezā Shah Pahlavi.
 President George W. Bush’s motivation for attacking Iraq was that Saddam Hussein participated in the September 11th attacks against the United States, and it was also alleged that he was developing weapons of mass destruction. However, it was eventually conceded that there was no connection between Saddam and the terrorist attacks and neither was Iraq actively pursuing a nuclear arsenal.