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by Michael Peroutka

What makes someone a hero?

Is it just the fact that they died while trying to accomplish a task?

I don’t think so.   If someone was killed in the process of kidnapping your little girl, I don’t think you’d label him as a hero.

If someone dies while in military uniform and following the orders of his commanding officers, does that make him a hero?

Again, I don’t think so.  The Nazi officers and soldiers who slaughtered 6 million Jews were following Hitler’s orders and I don’t think you’d label them as heroes.  In fact, they offered “just following orders” as their defense at the Nuremburg trials, to no avail.

So it seems that with respect to military heroes, the rightness of the cause they pursue enters into play somehow, doesn’t it?

Well, how do we determine the “rightness of the cause” when we consider actions of the United States Military?

We need a standard don’t we?  Where do we find a standard for judging the “rightness” of a soldier’s cause?

In the American View, as set forth in the documents of our founding, we find two legal standards.

The first is Biblical in nature.  We must ask: “Is this a defensive war, or is my country acting aggressively and therefore immorally?” 

The second question is specific to the Constitution which states that only Congress has the authority to declare war.  And Congress has not done so, not since World War II.

So, then, if the rightness of the cause is absent, can we still call those who fight for wrong, heroes?

This is MAP for IOTC bringing you TAV.