Mightier Than the Pen

Tomorrow Matt Pottinger, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, will become Lieutenant Matt Pottinger, USMC: When people ask why I recently left The Wall Street Journal to join the Marines, I usually have a short answer. It felt like the time had come to stop reporting events and get more directly involved. But that’s not the whole answer, and how I got to this point wasn’t a straight line.
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A year ago, I was at my sister’s house using her husband’s laptop when I came across a video of an American in Iraq being beheaded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The details are beyond description here; let’s just say it was obscene. At first I admit I felt a touch of the terror they wanted me to feel, but then I felt the anger they didn’t. We often talk about how our policies are radicalizing young men in the Middle East to become our enemies, but rarely do we talk about how their actions are radicalizing us. In a brief moment of revulsion, sitting there in that living room, I became their blowback.

Of course, a single emotional moment does not justify a career change, and that’s not what happened to me. The next day I went to lunch at the Council on Foreign Relations where I happened to meet a Marine Corps colonel who’d just come back from Iraq. He gave me a no-nonsense assessment of what was happening there, but what got to me most was his description of how the Marines behaved and how they looked after each other in a hostile world. That struck me as a metaphor for how America should be in the world at large, and it also appealed to me on a personal level. At one point I said half-jokingly that, being 31 years old, it was a shame I was too old to serve. He sat back for a second and said, “I think I’ve still gotcha.”

But it wasn’t that simple. The must-read post of the day.

mudvillegazette.com/archives/003940.html

It would appear the man has lost sight of a very basic fact of life:

humanities.byu.edu/elc/student/idioms/proverbs/the_pen.html

Christ the King is mightier than sword or pen. This reminds me of the words of the then Cardinal Ratzinger in 1996. See redemptoristpublications.com/reality/julyaug05/relativism.html

Faced with a reporter’s question on the apparently greater power of evil in the modern world, he said: “This is the question that I would ask of God: Why does he remain so powerless? Why does he reign only in this curiously weak way, as a crucified man, as one who failed?"

He went on: 
“But apparently that is the way he wants to rule; that is the divine form of power. And the non-divine form of power obviously consists in imposing oneself and getting one’s way and coercing.”
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