THERE ARE, THE SAYING GOES, NO ATHEISTS IN FOXHOLES.
Most of us sacrifice nearly a third of our lives at an air-conditioned job for a paycheck. We thus become martyrs not to God, but to acquire a Mercedes or fancy home or fame or passing pleasures. We find it easy to be cynical and fashionably abstract.
The professional soldier is different. He or she is prepared daily to face two of the most powerful realities a human being can – to kill or be killed. The warriors who guard us while we sleep in our comfortable beds have made the ultimate commitment to duty, honor and country. They are willing to give what Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg called the “last full measure of devotion,” to lay down their lives for their nation and our safety.
Faith for most experienced soldiers is a necessity. After you have felt a bullet slice the air inches from your ear, or you have been splattered with the blood of a friend two feet away as an enemy shell shatters his skull, you recognize that death is close at hand. And in your guilty gratitude that this time death passed over you while claiming a comrade, you find yourself praying that God will come even closer to you than death.
Even those who bray loudest for the separation of church and state are reluctant to invade this most sacred space. They make few objections to tax dollars paying for military chaplains (although Bill and Hillary Clinton insisted on creating pagan chaplains). Even ACLU atheists seldom make public their hatred for taxpayer-funded tombstones in American military cemeteries that display a Christian cross, Star of David, or the crescent and star of Islam.
But this week one old soldier came under attack in the Leftist media for his outspoken religious faith. Did he go too far? Perhaps. But as my friend Paul Harvey says, you are about to learn the rest of the story – the half the Leftist media has kept hidden.
I mentioned this veteran soldier in my September 23 column because of his shocking connection to the Clintons and to Presidential candidate General Wesley Clark. This link to the prospective Democratic presidential or vice-presidential 2004 standard bearer is a major reason for the Leftist media’s half-truths.
Clark’s fellow general has profound reasons to reach out to God and pray for forgiveness, as you are about to learn. He has seen the devil face to face, again and again.
During the Clinton Administration he followed the Commander-in-Chief’s orders to carry out horrifying evil – the same evil whose innocent victims’ blood also covers the hands of his accomplice Wesley Clark.
But this, of course, is not why the Leftist media wants him silenced, punished and removed from every position of influence. His sin in their eyes is not that he once served Satan – but that he now seeks zealously to serve God.
“This is not our enemy,” said General William G. Boykin as he flashed a picture of Osama bin Laden onto a screen in front of the audience last June 21 in Sandy, Oregon’s Good Shepherd Community Church.
“This is not our enemy,” he said at the next slide photograph of Saddam Hussein.
"Not our enemy,” the General said to the next image, of North Korean communist dictator Kim Jung Il.
“Our real enemy is Satan,” said the General with his slight Southern drawl, his uniform described by one audience member as “laden with medals and honors.”
But what most shocked this liberal onlooker Jerry Chamkis, and left him “afraid of my own government,” was what Chamkis says General Boykin told this audience next: “George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States….he was appointed by God.”
The Los Angeles Times, still steaming from its failed Leftist smear attack on victorious Republican gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger, reported Thursday that General Boykin told the Oregon church audience that President Bush is “in the White House because God put him there.”
Boykin has become a target because by hitting him Leftists can now damage President Bush.
“The day before Boykin appeared at the pulpit in Oregon,” wrote military analyst William M. Arkin in a separate Thursday Op-Ed article in the Los Angeles Times, “the Pentagon announced that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had nominated the general for a third star and named him to a new position as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.”
(Arkin, a critic of military matters for NBC News, was an Army intelligence analyst 1974-1978. A rural resident of Howard Dean’s Vermont, this scholarly author of 10 books has also been a columnist for the disarmament-oriented Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, a crusader against land mines as consultant to Human Rights Watch, a consultant to the eco-zealot National Resources Defense Council, and a contributor to the Leftist magazine The Nation.)
The attack on Bush via Boykin, apparently coordinated through Arkin, was joined by Lisa Myers of NBC News, which on Wednesday night aired videotape of the general’s Oregon speech and slideshow.
And why, Boykin was reported saying, are terrorists out to destroy the United States? “They’re after us because we’re a Christian nation.”
“We are hated,” Arkin continues Boykin’s statement, “because we are a nation of believers.” And our “spiritual enemy,” he quotes the general saying, “will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus.”
Other countries, Arkin reports Boykin saying in 2002, “have lost their morals, lost their values. But America is still a Christian nation.”
“The battle we’re in is a spiritual battle,” Arkin quotes Boykin as telling the Oregon audience. “Satan wants to destroy this nation, he wants to destroy us as a nation, and he wants to destroy us as a Christian Army.”
According to Arkin, General Boykin, as he “spews this intolerant message while wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army…strongly suggests that this is an official and sanctioned view – and that the U.S. Army is indeed a Christian army” whose mission is to carry out a “Christian ‘jihad’.”
It is a “serious mistake,” writes Arkin, to allow Boykin to hold the “senior Pentagon policymaking position” to which the Bush Administration has appointed him – the “reinvigorating” of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s “High Value Target Plan” against bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and other terrorist leaders.
According to Arkin, “Boykin has made it clear that he takes his orders not from his Army superiors but from God – which is a worrisome line of command.”
Even more troubling to Arkin is that Boykin in Mogadishu once successfully hunted down a top lieutenant of warlord Mohammad Farah Aidid who had boasted that “They’ll never get me because Allah will protect me.”
“I knew that my God was bigger than his,” Arkin quotes Boykin as saying. “I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.”
“It is both imprudent and dangerous,” writes Arkin of Boykin, “to have a senior officer guiding the war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan who believes that Islam is an idolatrous, sacrilegious religion against which we are waging a holy war.”
Such quotes, of course, are not being reported in the larger context of what General William G. “Jerry” Boykin has been saying. Only days after this Oregon speech, for example, Boykin addressed a prayer breakfast at Fort Dix, during which, according to the base newspaper, the general “compared the radical Islamic fundamentalists to the radical ‘hooded Christians’ [apparently Ku Klux Klansmen] of the United States.
“’There are Muslims who worship here and support the United States,’ he said, pointing out that those who act violently in the name of their religion do not reflect the principles of Islam,” the base newspaper report continued.
“Nor do they reflect the principles of the Judeo-Christian roots of the United States, he said.
“’We will never walk away from Israel,’ Boykin declared.”
But this newspaper report also shows why Leftists want to force Bush to alienate Christian conservatives by firing Boykin.
“’If there is no God, there is no hope,’” it quotes the general as saying. “’Don’t let the media, the liberals, sway you in your faith. Pray for America, and we will be victorious. He’ll (Lord) never give more than you can take.’”
Questioned about Boykin’s reported remarks, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld on Thursday said he did not know the “full context” of what the general had said. He noted that President Bush regarded the war against terror “not as a war against a religion” but against those who “have tried to hijack a religion.”
We do know, said Rumsfeld, that General Boykin “is an officer that has an outstanding record in the United States armed forces.”
Boykin has served for more than a third of a century, much of it on far-flung battlefields such as Grenada, Colombia and Panama as one of the first commandos in today’s anti-terrorist American Special Forces.
When Democratic President Jimmy Carter half-heartedly sent commandos on a star-crossed mission to rescue U.S. hostages in Tehran, Iran, Boykin was there. He asked the commanding officer to lead his men in prayer for God’s grace and protection. The next day, he has movingly told, when aircraft collided and burned, 45 of his men escaped without serious injury “though equipment and ammunition melted from their backs.”
The movie “Black Hawk Down” depicted the 1993 horror in Somalia after another Democratic President, Bill Clinton, denied protective equipment requested by the troops he had sent there. Boykin was the commander of those downed special forces surrounded by warlord fighters, killed, stripped and dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. In his nightmares Boykin almost certainly can still hear their calls for backup and help over his radio.
This desecration and the weak Clinton response thereafter did much to inspire Osama bin Laden and other fanatics to regard the United States as a “paper tiger” that could be defeated.
It was in this context that Boykin denounced one underling of a Somali warlord as idolatrous for following a path of violence that violated the most fundamental tenants of Islam.
It would make no sense to a genuine Muslim for Boykin to proclaim his Christian God bigger – because Muslims of this region regard themselves as descendants of Abraham and worshippers of the One God of Abraham, the same God worshipped by their fellow “People of the Book,” Jews and Christians.
Boykin’s statement about his God being bigger (pushed by Leftist media critics as if it were an insult to Islam) has meaning to a Muslim only if intended to convey that this one person was in fact a pagan idolater pretending to be a Muslim while violating the Koran.
But as a loyal soldier and expert in unconventional warfare at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Boykin found himself serving the Clintons in a way that should terrify all Americans. As a young Colonel he was one of two military experts who met with Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno to plan what would be done to the Branch Davidians and their church at Waco, Texas.
The other officer at this meeting was one-star General Peter J. Schoomaker, second in command to General Wesley Clark at Fort Hood 40 miles south of Waco. Some evidence suggests that Schoomaker, representing his superior General Clark, and Boykin, representing the largely secret anti-terrorist “Delta Force,” proposed using potentially-lethal CS tear gas and its flammable carrier substance on the 80 or more men, women, children and babies inside the church at Waco.
What followed was the death of almost all the worshippers there by government explosives or fire, including two babies who were “fire aborted” as their pregnant mothers’ dying bodies convulsed in their death throes. When local fire trucks arrived to fight the blaze, Clinton operatives prevented them from approaching the hell-like inferno.
What nightmares must haunt General Boykin’s dreams, knowing that like “Good Germans” he and Schoomaker and Wesley Clark had been part of a conspiracy to violate the Posse Comitatus Act and its prohibition of the use of military weaponry against Americans within our borders? He was on the ground at Waco, hearing the screams of innocent women and children as they were burned alive at Bill and Hillary Clinton’s command.
Boykin is one of the few who are privy to the deeper, darker secrets of what happened before and during the holocaust at Waco. He almost certainly knows things about the depth of General Wesley Clark’s involvement that Clark and the Democratic Party would prefer to keep secret.
When General Boykin speaks of our enemy being Satan, he has seen and can recognize Satan. Perhaps this is why the allies of evil in our media are so eager to destroy this witness. Or perhaps this is the Democratic Party’s own doctrine of preemption, trying to smear Boykin as a Christian extremist so as to discredit him and damage President Bush at the same time.
General Boykin in fact is a Christian soldier. In those foxholes where he risked his life and was wounded again and again for our security, he was sustained by his faith and recognized that America’s religious freedom was a key part of what he was fighting to defend.
Do a Google search on the internet for the origin of “no atheists in foxholes” and you will discover that nobody is credited as the author of so obvious – and in our age of bullets, so relatively recent – a truism.
But you will also find that atheists find this saying offensive. It is not a criticism of atheism, they say again and again, but of foxholes. (Perhaps atheist humanists, for whom “man is the measure of all things” and the most noble being in their mythology, prefer “manholes” to foxholes.) One atheist assumption here appears to be that if religion disappeared, so would war.
Are they correct? If people had no transcendent belief, would they then see nothing as worth fighting for? Or as the 100 million people murdered over the past 100 years in the name of atheistic Marxism, would the loss of belief in God lead not to belief in nothing – but rather belief in anything? Would people rush to embrace any and every tawdry religion substitute or leader who pretended to speak with otherworldly authority?
Days ago a new study found that Republicans and conservatives tend to believe in traditional, time-tested values and in God. Democrats and liberals tend, instead, to believe in astrology, UFOs, magic, fortune-telling, occultism, moral relativism and situation ethics that bend with every breeze or whim.
Liberals, of course, have their dogmas. The group Americans United for Separation of Church and State roundly condemned General Boykin last April for inviting Southern Baptists to see his special forces training at Fort Bragg.
“It’s a war against the forces of darkness,” the group quoted from Boykin’s invitation flier. “The battle won’t be won with guns. It will be won on our knees.”
Apparently these purist mockers have forgotten 9-11, the vanished World Trade Center towers, the attacked Pentagon, the more than 3,000 dead. Apparently they have forgotten that we indeed ARE at war against enemies who hate us for, among other things, our religious beliefs.
General Boykin has fought more wars in more places for America than almost anybody else. He has learned in the costly, gritty school of experience what it takes to survive and win – physically, psychologically and spiritually.
He understands that if we are unwilling to get down on our knees now, we will certainly be driven to our knees later.
He understands that the most important armament any nation has is moral rearmament. If we cast our most enduring values aside, all the weapons on earth cannot save us. Whatever his flaws, General Boykin is not America’s enemy. He has demonstrated his faithfulness with a lifetime of loyal service and sacrifice to the United States. The enemy is those who would morally and spiritually disarm us.
“God has a plan for you,” the general told one group of believers in Daytona Beach, Florida, last January. “He has the plan and your job is to stay faithful and to get up everyday and put on that armor. Endure and wait to see what God has for you in this life. Endure!”