After 9/11, [recently retired three-star general William “Jerry”] Boykin went on the prayer-breakfast circuit to boast, in uniform, that his God was “bigger” than the Islamic divine of Somali warlord Osman Atto, whom Boykin had hunted. “I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol,” he declared, displaying as evidence photographs of black clouds over Mogadishu: the “demonic spirit” his troops had been fighting. “The principality of darkness,” he went on to declare, “a guy called Satan.” Under fire from congressional Democrats, Boykin claimed he hadn’t been speaking about Islam, but in a weird non sequitur he insisted, “My references to. . . our nation as a Christian nation are historically undeniable.” These strategic insights earned Boykin promotion to deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, a position in which he advised on interrogation techniques until August 2007.
He was pure, but was he holy? He needed direction. He found it in Romans 13: 'There is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God.'
'The idea of separation of church and state?' an Air Force Academy senior named Bruce Hrabak says. "There's this whole idea in America that it's in the Constitution, but it's not.'
After the talk, a young professor stood. "How can you support the presence of ROTC at a place like Dartmouth?" she asked. "It will militarize the campus and threaten our culture of tolerance."
"Wrong," replied Ricks. "It will liberalize the military." He explained that in a democracy, the military should be representative of the people. It should reflect the best of American society, not stand apart from it.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
his hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jold, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old lie: dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
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