Letters from Iwo Jima

8 10 2012

I have a friend from the Air Force Base who gave me this Clint Eastwood movie to watch. I normally do not watch too many movies, but on his advice I watched it while on vacation. It is based on letters from Japanese soldiers stationed on Iwo Jima during the battle and consequent overthrow. The letters were only recently discovered; they put a human face on the ones who were our declared enemies during WW2. They revealed an Army manipulated, mistreated, beat into submission, and desirous to go home and live normal lives. It portrays a culture of emperor worship and reverence to the homeland. It reveals their sense of doom at the impending invasion and desperation once the battle commenced.

The theme portrayed the senselessness of war, waged by the higher powers using the average person as pawns in their strategy of annihilation. As shown, brutality existed on both sides of the fight.

I am a patriot, believing that evil needs stopped when the independence of a nation is challenged. I also need reminded of the sacredness of the lives of the majority of enemies combatants who should not be classified as evil. Honestly, the movie made me very uncomfortable and challenged my way of looking at war. I could not watch all of it but had to fast forward the graphic realities of war. What I did see, still kept up at night thinking perhaps that I need to love my enemies as Jesus commanded.

Don’t get me wrong, the Americans who died on Iwo Jima are heroes and should be commended for their bravery in the midst of tremendous resistance and vicious fighting. Their mission was to render powerless an empire that was ruthless in their treatment of human life and its thirst for domination. Unfortunately, war is sometimes the only option to halt the spread of evil. Thank God for that thin line of green, blue, and camouflaged men and women called upon to put their lives on the line to halt such evil.

Needless to say, hating a race of people, a nation of people, the religious creed of a people, the political leanings of a people, is also evil.

Mt 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;




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