Peace comes with a price

By John Pierre | Feb 05, 2014

"War is Hell."  I have no way of knowing who originated the comment, but I have been able to determine that William Tecumseh Sherman was quoted as uttering those words during his famous "march to the sea" during the war between the states in the 1860s.

It brings to mind the various well-meaning folks who vie for peace.  While their position is commendable, it would appear to be a completely wasted effort as there will always be war somewhere on this planet that we occupy.  Throughout the history of mankind there has never been a time when at least one nation wasn't at war with another.

Why is war inevitable?  Very simple.  We are human, and many humans are susceptible to personal greed and a need for power.  Greed for money or property or another's possessions are part of these human needs.

It could be argued that we shouldn't have gone to war in foreign countries in which the United States has often found itself involved.  We can find fault with the leaders who involved us in such travesties, but occasionally it is necessary to fight for the rights of people other than our families or next door neighbors.

Should we not have gone to war against Hitler who was killing Jews by the millions in his concentration camps?  He made it obvious that he wanted to rule the world when he took over France and was attempting to take over the United Kingdom.

The English, in many cases, are not only our forefathers but indeed our best friends on this planet.  Should we have allowed Der Fuhrer to destroy England?  It seems to me that we had to fight for freedom and for the English, not to mention the other countries that this monster took over and came near to destroying.

I have a friend, Fred Taucher, who escaped one of Hitler's concentration camps as a young man and, many years later, became an Edmonds resident.  He no longer lives here, but his story is still with us and has been published in many ways.  It's quite a story.

We have a few surviving WWII veterans right here in Edmonds.  I salute them along with the veterans of Korea, Vietnam and the Mideast.

The Second World War claimed hundreds of thousands of lives of our young men and women.  On the other side, millions of our enemies were lost fighting for the swastika.  It happened all over again with Korea, Vietnam (in both cases fighting the spread of communism) and against Arab butchery.

"War is Hell?"  Yes, but it is also inevitable.  Along the Edmonds waterfront, I once saw a man carrying a sign that said, "Pray for Peace ... Fight for Freedom."  I couldn't agree more.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Nathaniel R Brown | Feb 05, 2014 16:32

Fighting for peace is a "completely wasted effort"?

 

Well, Mr. Pierre, I am one of those "well-meaning folks" who continue to "vie for peace."  You see, I don't believe it is a completely wasted effort, not least when I see the wasteful and ruinous wars the US has recently engaged in, and the effect that these wars have had on our polity, our economy - and on the men who fought these wars, now committing suicide at an unprecedented and epidemic rate.

 

I am one of those who believe it is better to build than to destroy, and while war may sometimes indeed be inevitable - I join you in saluting those brave men who served in WWII (including the War with Japan, which you did not mention) - I believe that we serve our country and our soldiers by doing all we can to avoid wars.

 

You seem to imply that diplomatic efforts are wasted, that sanctions are doomed to fail, or even that better policies may avoid some conflicts altogether. This is not so, and it paints a dreadful picture of a humanity helpless to find better ways to deal with conflicts.

 

Some wars may be inevitable, but to give up on doing our best to avoid them is wicked.  Far from from being merely a "commendable" position, this is the position of wise, peace-inclined people the world over - not to mention the position of most of the world's religions.

 

By all means, prepare to fight for freedom.  But fight just as hard to avoid war.  To do otherwise is give in to all of mankind's worst impulses.  I suspect that you over-stated the case, and I hope you will agree with this.

 

 



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