Major Mathew L. Golsteyn
While at war in Afghanistan Major Mathew L. Golsteyn killed a suspected Taliban bombmaker and known insurgent in 2010, to my knowledge he doesn’t deny this. A soldier's job is not a neat and tidy one, enemies have to be killed to protect your fellow soldiers. It is being reported that the insurgent was unarmed when killed. It is being reported that the insurgent was captured, detained, and then released as he was not on a list of targets to be killed. Later Golsteyn killed him; that much is what no one disputes. Golsteyn reportedly feared the insurgent and suspected bomb maker would continue to make bombs, bombs that would be used to kill allied Afghan forces, and I imagine would potentially kill American soldiers. I don't know exactly what happened out there, nearly a decade ago, but I'm sure that it was war. Now out of that war, Golsteyn faces prosecution.
It's time for decisive victory in the War on Terror, and to come home. I personally wouldn't have started this widespread war if it were at all avoidable (if it had been up to me), but since we're in the war the goal should be to let our soldiers win it quickly: shock and awe, destroy the enemy, come home. What we've done in this war instead is play many sides off each other: our military and intelligence agencies separately support revolutionary groups, that turn out to be terrorist groups fighting one another. Meanwhile we've also tied soldiers' hands behind their backs with insane rules of engagement which put them at risk. It's a recipe for endless war, in which we often fund and arm multiple opposing sides.
I hate war, especially wars of aggression: they are diametrically opposed to individual liberty (the rights to life, liberty, and property). We should strive to only fight wars of defense; in the meantime, while we are in such widespread war (in some regions I am sure it is for legitimate cause, in some cases we may be in wars of aggression) we need to come to a decisive conclusion in our favor, so that we can move forward. Our nation is widely hated and has many enemies who would take the war to our shores given the chance; as is demonstrated by terrorist attacks and plots.
Nation building has not changed that our nation is widely hated, constant mismanaged war has not changed that our nation is widely hated, funding other governments (tyrannical or not) has not changed that our nation is widely hated. To do none of the above would not change that our nation is widely hated, but at least we would spend less of our citizens' hard earned resources on people who hate our nation.
I don’t know what happened out there in 2010, I don’t pretend to:
- If Major Mathew L. Golsteyn murdered a civilian wrongfully he should be prosecuted. In such a case I hope justice is done, and I pray that Golsteyn would see the error of his ways. I would pray that so that Golsteyn might repent, and that God will forgive him. Murderer or not I hope that Major Mathew L. Golsteyn will learn to better serve the Lord so that he may have everlasting life in heaven. I pray for this for all people.
- If Major Mathew L. Golsteyn killed an enemy combatant (conventionally armed or not), it is war and he was a soldier doing his job to protect his brothers in arms, as untidy as it is. In such a case I also hope justice is done, in that Golsteyn is found not guilty of murder. I would pray that Golsteyn might be able to forgive himself for what had to be done in war, as I am sure God would have already forgiven him. Whatever the case, I pray that the insurgent and suspected bomb maker was able to repent of any of his wrong doings and turn towards God; I pray for him whether or not he was our enemy, because all men have rights. Though I sometimes want to (and I often fall short of my ideals, and do so) we should not wish damnation on fellow men. I wish I knew the name of the insurgent, so I could pray for him by name; as I am praying for Golsteyn while he faces prosecution.