My youngest son, freshly returned from his mission, shared with me his observations on the Book of Mormon’s message for our day regarding war. War, of course, is one of the most common topics in that book. So much of the record describes people dealing with times of war. And one of the strongest messages about war is that while war is justified in defending one’s nation from the attacks of an enemy, my son wisely observed that the Book of Mormon teaches that invading an enemy for vengeance or preventative purposes is unjustified. Not just unjustified, but often disastrous. Well, it doesn’t take a rocket science to figure out that invading a foreign land, surrounded by the enemy in its strongholds, can be costly and disastrous. But is one of the best ways to crank up the profit machine for the organizations and the elite who profit from the carnage of war.
While recognizing the warnings against wars of aggression and proactive strikes, we also need to remember the Book of Mormon’s warnings that there are very evil people seeking power and wealth who use war as a tool. They have powerful P.R. engines–today we might call them the mainstream media–who work to stir people up to anger against a selected target. This happened regularly among the Lamanites but also among the Nephites. The Book of Mormon warns against “secret combinations” where elite power-seekers connive and make bloody deals to gain power and prestige, and along the way have no qualms about creating mass carnage in their quest for power. We see in the Book of Mormon that such people will stoop to killing their own people, and will not hesitate to frame someone for a vicious crime, as Amalickiah framed the servants of the king after his assassin killed the Lamanite king.
I hope we can learn a few lessons from the Book of Mormon and have the imagination to question some of the things we are told regarding Syria and the need for us to invade and attack this foreign country. Are there forces that can profit from the attack? Do those forces faithfully represent us? Could great evil and disaster, not to mention more ridiculous debt, come from another foreign war?
I read headlines on CNN the other day and shook my head at the lack of journalism in our society. Headlines touted the “clear evidence” of Assad’s guilt in chemical weapons attacks, and the “strong case” for attacking Syria. Nowhere was there any journalistic inquiry into what that evidence was and whether it may have been fabricated. Where was some healthy skepticism about the too-stupid-to-be-true concept of launching a chemical weapons attack the day after a UN chemical weapons inspector arrives in your country? Even brutes like Assad are not completely unaware of the stupidity of such a thing, about the only thing they could do to guarantee international opposition and invasion from powerful foreign forces. Was he suicidal?
Fortunately, there is still a touch of inquisitive journalism left in the world, evidenced by one reporter with CBS News, Tucker Seals, who dares to ask good questions. I wish him well in his IRS tax audit. There is also breaking news about evidence from some of the rebels in Syria that they were unintentionally responsible for the chemical weapons attack. On the other hand, an intentional attack on their own people to gain immediate support from the U.S. in overthrowing their enemy is exactly the kind of sickening act we can expect from some of the secret combination-like forces in the Middle East and elsewhere (doesn’t it raise questions when we are being asked to take the same side as Al Qaeda forces on anything over there?). It’s at least a topic for inquiry. But all such discussions will be silenced if possible, and we will be called upon to be “patriots” willing to march our young into harm’s way to support hidden objectives of elitists that have precious little to do with actually defending our borders, which generally remain wide open to any rogues who wish to amble across.
It’s time to take the Book of Mormon’s messages on war more seriously. And whether you believe that book or not, this is a good time to speak out and demand that we not fall into yet another foolish, no-win war, lured in once again by allegations of weapons of mass destruction.