The idea that war is a secular crusade and involves the smiting of the wicked pervades how Americans discuss it. If you want to save your soul go to church. There is no holiness to be found on a battlefield and nations seek it at their own peril. War always amounts to a failure of normal ‘politics’ to resolve a contention, which is why it is ‘politics by other means.’ People are often willing to be cynical about normal politics but drop such skepticism when it comes to politics and organized violence, which is usually infinitely more ethically murky than normal politics often is.