Friday, February 03, 2006

War Is Not The Answer- Most of the Time

War is not the answer, I keep seeing this on bumper stickers; and it is true.  The problem with this oversimplification is that its argument is an appeal to emotion.  The fact is that wars have and will continue to occur, despite the fact that there is nothing more destructive, unhelpful, and stupid as a human endeavor.  Violence is usually the option of the powerless; those who feel they are correct in all their assumptions and that they must eliminate anyone that fails to agree with them or see their point. Their frustration in not being able to convince others and their fear that they might be wrong is the motivation to violence.  This is the case with Muslim fundamentalists.  They might best be compared with cornered animals, they are frightened and are lashing out with as much energy as they can.

I have actually been in a war, and I can assure you that it is not much fun.  There is a strange thing about war for the individual though; it can be exhilarating.  The closer you come to dying or being hurt, the more alive you feel.  It is very odd to return to civilian life and find that at first life has not the  charm one expected.  Edginess and expectation is the norm, this goes away gradually but never really leaves you.  War fighting is truly boring until something happened, waiting for something to respond to, waiting for time to pass.  When your comrades are injured or killed the feeling is more than that of loss, there is an emptiness that you sort of get used to, and gladness that you are still alive or not hurt and an awareness of the transient nature of life.

There is another war on the way, I am referring to the apparent inevitability of war with Iran.  I hope I’m wrong about this but I don’t think so.  Let’s face it Iran intends to blow something up, most likely Israel.  At the least they intend nuclear blackmail in an effort to dominate their neighbors.  There can be no doubt that the cruel and brutal regime that rules Iran wants to expand its reach to the Arab nations.  Now what?

Even the Europeans and Canadians must pause and consider the situation.  The problem with war is it’s often forced upon unwilling combatants.  No one, not even the much maligned Pentagon, actually wants to step into a hail of hot metal shards or bullets.  The human body does not react well to large puncture wounds.  This war is coming and it will begin in the form of a series of allied air raids on key points in the Iranian countryside where known installations are located.  There will be so-called collateral damage.

No war has ever been won and very few have ever been completely finished.  Today’s world is the direct descendant of World War I, which can be traced back to the Napoleonic Wars, which go back to the French Revolution, you can do the rest.  So I agree that war is not the answer, but it is an argument and a last resort. In the case of Iraq it is undoubtedly true that the idea was good but the execution was bad.  Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld definitely underestimated the task of cleaning up; if they estimated it at all.  I am a big fan of President Bush and believe he operates in what he thinks is the best action to take.  For this reason you can get ready for Chapter whatever in the continuation of the War to End All Wars which started in August 1914 and which continues today with a few breaks to rearm.

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