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Bracing Views - Two Notes on the U.S. Military


Whenever I hear someone start prattling on about “surgical” bombing, I remember an appropriate response that I once heard: “Yeah, like in Civil War Surgery.”

For some reason, the thought that no one ever seems to question the absurd idea of “surgery” in connection with explosive ordnance (“Let’s perform a heart transplant using a hand grenade to open up the chest”) brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from the British pragmatist philosopher F. C. S. Schiler:

“Neither is there anything too ‘sacred,’ which generally means a fear that the things so denominated cannot bear investigation.”

Putting together the concepts of “surgery” (as in B-52) and “sacred” (as in “soldiers”) leads to:

Sacred Surgical Strikes . . .