Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Apparently, some people think we ARE in a Holy War

Get this, a company that makes the sighting system for the US Military's most common individual weapons has been putting Biblical references on them for probably close to 20 years. I've used these sights, and they are pretty damned good, but that's got nothing to do with the Bible verses. I personally don't care whether there is a reference to some mythological belief on my personal rifle. But I do worry about the message it is sending to our allies and our enemies.

We're involved in military action in parts of the world that are definitely not predominantly Christian. In fact, in some of those nations, discussing any religion other than Islam (even showing someone a Christian Bible) can be a crime. Yet here we are, on a supposedly sectarian nation-building endeavor, and even our weapons are screaming out "Jesus saves"!

I have to wonder what the Islamic terrorists will make of this revelation. Does anyone think that they'll ignore it and this story will end up swept under the proverbial rug? Not a chance, IMNSHO. This is a tailor-made recruiting dream for OBL and co. Not only are we having an occasional mishap where innocent civilians (all Muslim) are killed by various weapons, but now it comes out that those same weapons are marked with sectarian verses.

I worry that this revelation will fuel further indignation and outcry from the terrorists, and put our soldiers, civilians and everyone else in more danger. How many Iraqi and Afghan soliders who are being trained on these very weapons will refuse to use them now? Who will pay to have these sights replaced (an not-so-insignificant cost)?

The head of the company's sales and marketing division said "the inscriptions have always been there" and that there was nothing illegal about it. In a legal sense, he's right. This is a private company, and they've got the right to inscribe whatever nonsense they want on their wares. But the image it sends of our soldiers carrying weapons explicitly prosetylizing for Christianity while on a supposed secular mission in Islamic theocratic societies is chilling. The USA isn't on a Crusade, and we're not trying to be the new Empire of the world -- but stupidity like this sure gives the impression of just that.