It is the question all who have been to war face, for war is a godless endeavor. When love, compassion and human kindness are replaced by the vast, grotesque panorama of violence and destruction of war, God is banished.
Chris Hedges, Losing Moses on the Freeway, p. 177
But up close war is a soulless void...In this moral void, blessed by institutions at home, the hypocrisy of our social conventions are laid bare.
Killing and murder are each sinful...The failure of religious institutions, whose texts are unequivocal about murder, to address in times of war the sinful state of war has left them unable to speak to the reality of war.
"In theological terms, war is sin," writes Mahedy. "This has nothing to do with whether a particular war is justified or whether isolated incidents in a soldier's war were right or wrong. The point is that war as a human enterprise is a matter of sin. It is a form of hatred for one's fellow human beings. It produces alienation from others and nihilism, and it ultimatley represents a turning away from God."
Don't you just love when people try to be more righteous than God?
Seriously, take a quick look through the Bible, if you have to, to see what I mean. Hedges tries to tell us that war is godless, war is sinful. But to do that, he has to ignore the many times God told His people to go war, to conquer, even to totally obliterate a race of people. If war in itself is what he says, then God was telling His people to sin, which would be something God would not do.
In the first quote above, Hedges talks about love and compassion. I think he's using those words in ways they are not meant to be used here. For example, look at this.
The pattern of neighborhood that pilgrims and pioneers created was interwoven with the understanding of compassion that they gained from reading their Bibles. Hebrew and Greek words commonly translated as "compassion" are used over eighty times in the Bible. Their most frequent use is not as an isolated noun, but as the culmination of a process. Repeatedly, in Judges and other books, the Bible shows that when the Israelites had sinned they were to repent and turn away from their sin. Only then, as a rule, would God show compassion. Second Chronicles 30:9 states the process precisely: "the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face form you if you return to him." Nehemiah 9:27 notes that "when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers..."
...They read angry biblical descriptions of Israel as "a people without understanding; so their Maker has no compassion on them..." They read in Jeremiah of God telling Israel, "You have rejected me...I can no longer show compassion." They saw compassion as mutual obligation,...
Marvin Olasky, The Tragedy of American Compassion, pp. 217-218
Hedges' compassion, it would seem, is not a "mutual obligation". For him, it would seem, it was wrong to fight to try to keep a nation of people from falling into the slavery of Communism. May I be kept from a situation where my life or the life of one I love is in his hands to defend from another wishing to cause harm or even death.
The simplest way to answer Hedges and those like him is that simply point out that their claims that "war is sin" is unbiblical. Once they stop twisting Scripture like that, to fit their own agenda, then maybe questions of whether this or that battle or war is good or bad may be answered. But until then, no discussion can be had, and trying to equate killing in war to killing in cold blooded murder is like trying to equate loving marital sex with rape, and is equally distasteful.