Monday, July 25, 2005
Oh, the Humanity!
"If wishes were horses, all beggars would ride!" -- Unknown
In the last months, I have encountered people on the web who puzzle me greatly.
They are pacifists. True Pacifism is alien to me, perhaps because I was brought up during World War II in a military family. Several of my Uncles were in the services with my Father, and the wives everywhere we were based pitched in to help the war effort in whatever way they could find. A Conscientious Objector was a rare thing then, and they received the scorn of most.
The great puzzle to me is, what do they offer as an alternative to our current strife? We have a dedicated enemy who executes people in skyscrapers and other buildings with no regard for their humanity. One of their leaders, Osama bin Laden, whines that we should abandon the Israelis, remove ourselves from the Middle East altogether, and change our policies regarding Muslims completely. Then there would be peace. On what basis should I, or anyone else, believe him? Such a withdrawal in the face of bombing threats is sheer blackmail. Past experience with blackmailers is that they always come back for more. His very religion states that Muslims can do what they want with infidels: lie, cheat, steal, or even kill them. He is not to be believed.
But the pacifist claims we should go ahead and withdraw, seeking peace with Islam at whatever the cost. This is the same philosophy that Neville Chamberlain espoused when he claimed "Peace in our time!" after he came from his meeting with Hitler in Munich. Fifty million deaths and five years later, we had an armed peace, Germany, Italy, Holland, Belgium and France were destroyed, and untold misery had been visited on the people of Europe by the occupation of their countries.
Today, we have a different view. If a Hitler do-alike pops up on our screen, we react first, and ensure that he doesn't go any further. We have adopted the philosophy of preemption. We have strengthened our belief in the value of freedom for all people. The pacifist bemoans this approach, saying "there must be a better way! We need to talk more, and negotiate more."
I think twelve years of talking, negotiating, and sanctions being violated is quite enough. The time had come to enforce the UN resolutions, but, of course, the UN was immobilized by France and Germany.
But the pacifist drones and moans on. We are killing innocent people by the thousands! some of his claims are even false on this, but in truth, we have killed bystanders who didn't have the sense to get out of town. That is war. "You don't care about this loss of life," they claim. We do care, and have taken the most extrodinary precautions to avoid civilian casualties. But we press on, because we believe in the cause of freedom for the Iraqi people.
The pacifist screams: "You are inhuman!" I say we are saving countless men, woman, and children from a life that is zero, and a high probability of death by a tyrant. It is worth the pain and anguish.
But the pacifist wishes on.
If wishes were horses....