The Dongola Times

(Anachronistic) Dispatches from the Kingdom of Makuria.
25th of September, 2015

Arming for the Fight: Truth

Those who believe that victory in war comes from men (rather than from God) will necessarily obsess about men; but the right thing is to know that victory comes from God—“who gives victory to kings, who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword”—and to obsess about God. For the king is not saved by his vast hordes, nor the warrior by his great strength; it is God who keeps alive those who trust in His unfailing love.

So, for instance, those who think victory comes from the preparations and machinations of men will see a lot of depth is Sun Tzu’s “War is deceit,” and his “Keep your plans as dark the night.” For such people, a spy or a leaker or a whistle-blower is a problem to overcome; as though it is impossible that God could just decree that, in spite of their best efforts, the spy or leaker or whistle-blower find out what they are planning, or that their well-concealed designs come to naught anyway.
Moreover, in computer security, we know that relying on “security by obscurity” is a foolish strategy; rather, it should be security in structure. In software, this means good cryptography; in war, this means getting victory by the will of God: that the enemy simply has no working response to our strategy and tactics, even if you placed it all clearly before him.

Moreover, it is the Republic of Uganda that we are fighting; they trust in large armies and strong warriors. Their best-laid plans will fail, their strategists will be deluded and their tacticians blinded. They will find out, when it is too late, that they have no plan to answer to our designs; that they have no strategy to survive our revolution; that they have to tactic to survive our assaults. The soldiers will notice this before their leaders do, and those who are not too scared to fight any more will be fighting their own leaders. They will end up consuming themselves, with every man’s sword against his brother.

Our winning strategy does not depend on being secret, but on being a true “check-mate”. That the enemy may even see it coming, but without an effective response; that the enemy sees clearly, even in advance, that he has been out-smarted and out-manœuvred, without any refuge from the revolution.
And, indeed, for this reason I will state out clearly three things concerning our fight:

  1. We do not break promises and covenants, even those made to/with our enemies.
  2. We do not give our enemies false information, if we give them any information at all.
  3. We do not conceal our identities whether by masks or by false names.

These three things, though not the only ones of this kind in our war doctrine, are related to each other and pertinent here. They are all about being truthful, and they are not going to be found among our enemies. They distinguish us, on top of bearing witness to the fact that we need not be deceitful to win. Many people will not agree with such a standard, and will not associate themselves with the warring side that puts so high a premium on being truthful even with enemies, even to the point of endangering the whole war effort; I mean, we don’t even conceal the identities of the revolutionaries!

Well, “this is like the days of Gideon to Me,” says the Lord. For as Gideon was required to whittle down his numbers by several tests, so also our numbers are whittled down—even to just one, if necessary—with the tests being, not of the body as in the days of Gideon, but of the heart: that we have among us only those who truly believe that our victory is inevitable, and that the real test for us is not before men, but before God, Who has already decreed our victory. We are required to win in truth; if we fight in deceitfulness, like our enemies do, it would be such a catastrophe if we won, that God will not actually permit that to happen. (Yes: we are truthful because God is using us to establish the Christian state by truthfulness, rather than that we should be truthful lest we fail to establish the Christian state by truthfulness. The details are in the Canons of Dort, but in short: it is neither possible that the Christian state could fail to be established, or that it could be established by deceit; the deceitful will not establish it, and yet it will be established. This is just the will of God.)

These three items above are just three of the conditions applied on all our revolutionaries, and one effect of the response to them is that they will serve to whittle the numbers in our ranks down. Another important effect of them is that should our revolutionaries get questioned, it can be safely assumed that, as a matter of fixed policy, we never require them to lie to their interrogators. They may conceal information for whatever reason; but if they reveal any information, it is truthful. —And, because lying to interrogators is a common way to survive or shorten torture, and yet that way is not permitted to us, we do not expect that any information know to our revolutionaries will be long concealed from wicked interrogators; and so be it.

Moreover, the notices that the revolution distributes are in the same spirit: we do not attack the armed operatives of the state without warning them by these notices, and also every mosque we are to take down will receive fore-warning by means of these notices.
All our enemies will get an opportunity to see us as mere messengers, when we bear them notice and warning; and when their hearts are hardenened so that they disregard the notices, that they may be destroyed, the next time they see us will be as warriors of the faith: revolutionaries of state, punishers of crime.
(And this is also why we may not cover our faces; because only criminals do that. But we are not committing crime; rather, we are punishing crime and those who abet it—and everything we have done, we have done in the open, that it may be known that we act in righteousness.)

Our promises and covenants are made before both God and man; so they are always solemn and, by policy, we do not break them.
Our revolutionaries can be known to our enemies by name and face, and with certainty; so they survive our enemies not because they are in hiding or living double-lives, but because they are truly safe.
Our revolutionaries are not required to lie to our enemies; so they may conceal information, but if they do not, they only reveal truth.