The Corner

The Martyr-Soldier

Michael Monsoor was a half-Arab teenager living in the paradise that is Garden Grove in Orange County, Calif. At the age of twenty, he enlisted in the United States Navy, and two years later, on his second attempt, he was admitted to the elite Navy Seals. He had a tattoo of Saint Michael fighting the dragon on his shoulder, and the prayer of Saint Michael on his side.

He ended up in Ramadi, Iraq, “the graveyard of the Americans” according to graffiti in the city. One day Michael went up onto a roof with three of his fellow Seals. He positioned himself close to the exit, to keep watch for surprises. Someone threw a grenade, which bounced off his chest. It had a time fuse, allowing a couple of seconds of horror. He could have gotten away and saved himself. But Michael threw himself onto the grenade, absorbing almost all of the explosive shock and saving his companions.

Monsoor’s story reveals the great difference between the martyrdom of a suicide terrorist and the martyrdom in Judeo-Christian culture. Monsoor’s enemies were willing to die in order to bring death and sorrow to as many people as possible; Michael was willing to die so as to guarantee life and liberty for others. That’s why America, Israel, and the West will finally win the ghastly War on Terror.


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