War hasn’t been popular since WWII – although, I understand there were some anti-war dudes back then too – by and large, the country supported it. Many believed it would be the end of the world as we knew it and that it would all be for naught – but if we hadn’t entered WWII (spurred on by an unprovoked attack on American soil – any of this sound familiar?) we’d all be speaking German and possibly have only the color brown in our wardrobes.
Korea was an unpopular war – but I think mostly because we didn’t exactly finish the job. As evidenced by what’s going on in Korea today. A little fat dude with bad hair nuclear-izing his country, while most of his citizens starve to death (ah, the better to control them).
But, by far, I think the most unpopular war was Vietnam. Yep, that was stinker. Those who were tuning out, (big kudos to Timothy Leary) took exception to the idea that perhaps they might have to stand the watch for their country. They sure did take advantage of their personal freedoms but they sure didn’t want to have to actually defend them or protect them. Nah, that was better done by others. And they took it a step further too – by rejecting everything that was up to that point normal and American. Our military suddenly was the bad guy. The country was the bad guy. We who may have supported the fight against communism, were murderers, rapists and baby killers. Soldiers were spit upon and made to feel disgrace, all for the horrible act of going when their country called. And after years of war and thousands lost, the veterans of that war were at best ignored, and at worst tossed out like yesterdays’ trash. And it was decades before they were even thanked (much less honored) for their service. Do you remember that parade through New York City? I do. And I sat and wondered how many in that cheering crowd had made it their business to spit on these brave men and women just a few years before.
I wondered too, if all the voices drowning out common sense and reality, hadn’t been so loud if we’d have been able to finish the job there. If the millions who were murdered, tortured and turned into slaves of the Communist regime that claimed Vietnam after we left, would have had different lives. Better lives. I think they would have – but no, I don’t know.
I’m very familiar with all the arguments against war. It’s inhumane, it kills innocent civilians, we aren’t the world’s babysitter, it’s none of our business, it’s really a civil war, we shouldn’t be so imperialistic and on and on. That we are an evolved society and we should not have to resort to war to resolve our differences. We should be living on a higher plane and caring for our fellows. Let the United Nations resolve the woes of the world with diplomacy and charitable acts toward those less fortunate.
Well, I suppose those arguments have some validity. I don’t like the idea of killing people or being killed. I don’t like the idea of innocent civilians being killed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I too, would like to see us all live better, more evolved lives. There’s only one problem. We aren’t.
While technology races from one new discovery and innovation to the next – we aren’t anywhere near to catching up in that progression. People still hate. People still crave power. People still give in to their baser instincts. People still seek to control others in their greed and craving for riches and land. In other words, the things that actually cause war, still exist.
Bill Gates, Apple Computer, Starbuck’s Coffee and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream have done nothing to actually alleviate the human conditions that breed war. They sure have made our lives more convenient and even tastier, but they haven’t changed men’s hearts or souls. And to me, that is what one must do in order to live in a world without war and to have peace.
What people do not like to consider or face, is that indeed, there really is evil in this world. And they are personified by the likes of Kim, Hussein, Chavez, Castro, Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, et. al. Though they are probably a very small percentage of the population, the havoc they can wreak once given any sort of power is monstrous.
It only took a handful of brainwashed men and three planes to kill 3,000 of our citizens – and we didn’t even know who they were. They were not public figures, politicians, celebrities, religious leaders or 3rd world despots – they were ordinary men on a mission. One bred by hatred and fueled by denying these men and millions others, a normal life. Food, clothing, housing, a peaceful existence. If you starve a man long enough, it takes very little to turn them into whatever you want to turn them into. Killers. Priests. Religious zealots. Slaves.
So, the arguments to me, pro or con are beside the point. You’re arguing the wrong issue. The issue isn’t really whether war is right or wrong, good or bad. The issue is, how can we change the hearts and souls of men so they do not want to go to war in the first place?
12 thoughts on “War”
The problem these days is that the media coverage of the war only shows the bad side not what good we are doing there. Case in point, the kurds – they have built what Sadams regime destroyed and are extremely happy..The liberal media is bringing this country down as they did during the Viet Nam Era
While I’d have to agree that the media only uses what will sell newspapers (the worse the better, apparently) – my point is that no one is addressing what is causing war. Thanks for the input, Ger.
“What people do not like to consider or face, is that indeed, there really is evil in this world.”
People don’t like to acknowledge this. Why? Because people are obsessed with controlling the world around them. Evil is a variable that can’t be controlled.
I’d agree that there are those who want to control everything but I don’t think that is why people don’t like to face the fact that there is evil in the world. I think it’s more because most people are simply afraid of it – they don’t like to think about it, acknowledge it, etc., otherwise they might have to do something about it or admit that it could come to their house next.
Only the shadow knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men. Until it is purged, the rest of us must be prepared to defend ourselves from it.
You got it, Evyl. Too true.
One of the saddest things to me is how the soldiers do indeed get caught in the middle of the extremists groups, those for and opposed to the war. I know a few Vietnam vets, some which are extremely messed up from their time over there. I’ve seen them cry over the way they were spit on and treated after they came home. And this was years later. No matter what, the fact that there are men and women out there fighting for us to have the ability to sit in our homes on our cushy couches, watching bad reality tv, munching on chips, living high on the hog as we say down here-the freedom we all take for granted as Americans. It’s sad, but I think that perhaps it may be time to bring the majority of them home. Let them try their best to live some semblance of the life they had before their hearts were tainted by war. If that’s even possible. Great post WC, kim
Yep, it’s disgraceful how the Vietnam vets were treated – and I sure don’t want to see that happen to our current vets. Luckily, I don’t think we will. As to bringing them home – I personally think that that would make it worse for us and them. In life, regardless of what the situation, if you don’t finish what you begin, it haunts you and often comes back to bite you in the butt. And too, these guys want to complete their mission, by and large, to deny them that I think would only make them feel that their fallen had died in vain and I believe too, that that was part of what has devastated so many Vietnam vets.
All this aside, none of us are privy to the intelligence and details of the war and how it is being executed. We only know what the press tell us. And in some cases from the Milblogs. For us to make sweeping statements like it’s time to bring the troops home, to me, smacks of ignorance and arrogance.
In the greater scheme of things, do we want war? No, of course not. We all want ideal lives – but we can’t let that blind us to the fact that we must deal with reality too. Otherwise, we’d all be doing whatever the heck we wanted without a care in the world.
“we’d all be speaking German and possibly have only the color brown in our wardrobes.”
Yeah, those of us that’s forefathers were still alive at that point.
I still say that in Vietnam it was Congress that lost the war, actually we never lost a major battle, just pulled out. That was a political decision, not a military loss. Further, I think our presense there had a lot to do with the ultimate collapse of the USSR. Between that and Reagan arms build up the Ruskies were busy trying to compete with their military/industrial complex and the inherrent shortcomings of their Communist economic system couldn’t meet the test.
I agree with you – and I think most anyone else who knows anything about the Vietnam War. We did win it militarily. Politically, it was the sacrificial lamb. I often wonder if we hadn’t allowed that sacrifice if things would be different today – not just the fate of the Vietnamese, but our attitudes toward our country and I guess the bigger picture. Guess you can’t do the shoulda, woulda, coulda too much without your eyes crossing. But yes, I agree we won that war.
Ideas cause war – the ability to think in the abstract, to define your place in the world, to understand a sense of community, and that others are not part of it; to identify yourself in a group, and make representation of it.
The same ideas that cause art and religion cause war. It is the flip side of being human. The way to counter it is to learn toleration, to accept that people are different, and let them get on with it without being fearful of them.
Only problem is, if we ever achieve this, we may also lose our ability to have ideas. That would be utopian. Would that be a bore?
Thanks for visiting. I’m afraid though, I’m going to have to disagree with your premise. I don’t believe that ideas start war. Compulsions (usually evil) are what cause wars. Though most rational folks are able to restrain themselves from acting upon their compulsions.
I completely reject the premise that that which generates art and religion also generates war. To me, they simply don’t come from the same place. Art is the pursuit of beauty and aesthetics, religion the comtemplation of a higher spiritual awareess. I will agree however, that both art and religion have been twisted to prove these compulsions right or justified but they are not the same, nor born from the same seed.
Ideas are what resolve the craziness in the world – ideas are what compel humans to try better, they open doors to new ways of life and thinking. To me, it is the very lack of ideas that cause war. The insistence that things must be one way and no other, to force upon others the same compulsion that you are experiencing. The resistance to change and improvement. And almost always, there is someone behind the scenes feeding the flames and keeping it going.
Without war or craziness if you will, I believe we would have more art, more spiritual awareness and move onto bigger and better things in life. Heck, we might all learn to fly. I wouldn’t find that boring at all. Not one bit.
Thanks for your comments.
I have always been a supporter of the war. And I still am to a degree. I would love to see some reports of some of the good that’s been done over there, because I feel that a lot of good has been done over there. Trust me, I believe in the power of our military, the neccessity of our military.
On one hand, it is true that someone needs to put a stop to these acts of terrorism, esp. when radical Islamic groups have made it clear that they are hell bent and determined to put an end to this so called democracy we are spreading. They also hate us because we support Israel. All of the religious groups are still fighting over what they claim to be their ‘holy’ city, even Islam. Bottom line is: they don’t want democracy or freedoms. They want our power though. To me, the US is always damned if we do, damned if we don’t.
I also realize that most of the troops over there believe in their cause. I believe in their cause. I feel that we needed to make our presence known. Let these groups know that in no way will we tolerate the acts of violence that we experienced on our soil on 9/11. I think we’ve done that. And I also feel that there needs to be some sort of American presence still over there.
Yet, I still can’t help but think that after four years, some of these troops should be allowed to come home, let some other groups go. So many soldiers that I know come home for only a few months only to be issued new orders to go back over there, for a year or two years. It’s hard on them, and on their families. And I truly think that even though they signed up to defend our country when needed, that some of them have already done that. Do they all have to stay over there until they die or another radical group is destroyed? Is it fair to the wives or to the children of these soldiers to never see one another? Perhaps ever again?
And in the end, you have to wonder if said son or daughter will grow up saying it’s okay that my daddy/momma died because they were fighting for our freedom. How do children have the ability to decipher that information and really apply it to their lives until they are way older? And by that time, the loss runs deep. To me that is almost the same hullabalu as the whole, the Lord works in mysterious ways. It’s not an answer. It’s something people tell themselves to make things seem better. I don’t think that’s arrogant or ignorant at all. Because the fact of the matter is that it is easy for all of us to sit over here safe, and surrounded by those we love, and say whatever strikes us whenever the mood strikes us. It’s one of our freedoms as Americans, one of the things that they are over there fighting for. But the truth is, that none of us, unless we are directly involved in the war in some way, have any idea of what it is like to be involved in it, we can only speculate or imagine what it must be like. Just as I’ve done here in this comment. Still a great post girl, and a great reply to my comment. Kim
I have no desire for anyone to stay in the Middle East any longer than necessary. I agree that many of our guys/gals have been there for extended stints and would love for them to come home to their loved ones. I honestly don’t have any personal knowledge of how this works, how many it’s happened to, much less the solution.
I do know that war is sacrifice and it is hard to ask anyone to make that sacrifice. Our armed forces are voluntary. These brave folks have agreed to make the sacrifice. I thank them for that.
This post, however, was not about justifying any war, whether the current one or one previous. It was about what I believe to be the cause of war.
As always, appreciate your comments and thoughts.
The hard part for me in considering all of this, is that some of these people– evil as they may be– think that they are in the right, they do not, in fact, believe they have a heart in need of change. Make sense? And it’s hard to change people that do not want to change or belive that they need to change. No. The world is as it ever was– or rather, man is as he ever was.
Yes, and that is part of the problem. And there is a whole lot of that going around – everywhere. But I do believe that pretty much everyone is capable of change – I don’t believe any of us are carved in stone so to speak. Man, IMHO is not stuck with who he is today, he can be better tomorrow if he chooses to be so.
Education is the thing needed to prevent war. An educated population is not as likely to give in to charismatic dictator types or feel that their religion requires that they kill their neighbors. It also brings prosperity, which removes another cause of war.
As to Vietnam, we actually won that one, although the news media refused to say so. By the time we pulled out, the South Vietnamese were capable of defending their country with their own military. They only needed limited air support from the US, and massive amounts of supplies. They held out very nicely, until the Democrat controlled Congress cut the funds for those supplies. In the face of the Nixon scandal, President Ford didn’t have the political clout to force the issue. Thus, to make a political point, Democrats killed over a million people, and sent millions more to “reeducation camps” for a good round of torture.
You know, for some reason this sounds more like current events than history.
I think you may be onto something. Certainly education would help. Conflict often arises out of misunderstanding, so I suppose it would logically follow that if understanding was greater, conflict would be reduced.And education also would enable a person more resources to gain a better way of life. But I also think there is more to it than that. Jeez, this may mean I’ll have to do another post about this. Not sure my readers will be able to stand it.
I agree too about VN. And Ford was left in an untennable position to be sure.
Yes, it does sound a bit like current events, doesn’t it? 😉
Sadly, WC, you cannot change men and their penchant for violence. From the first cave man to knock his neighbor on the head to take his food (if you are an evolutionist) to Cain killing Abel (if you are a creationist), murder for gain has been here since day one. We are inherently flawed and no amount of psychobabble, education, law enforcement or national defense will stamp out the vile harbingers of violence.
War is an extension of this tendency for violence, obviously on a much grander scale, yet the simple motives haven’t changed; the need for power, a percieved wrong, jealousy, hate and fear.
On a lighter note, most of the world understands the futility of war and tries to act with civility. It’s just that we have to sometimes knock sense into other folks heads who don’t understand.
In order to solve war, we just need to make sure that everyone has shoes, a chicken in every pot and peace on Earth, good will towards men. Yup, pretty simple, huh?
Actually Ham, is sounds like we are pretty much in agreement, except that I believe that people can change. I don’t believe however, that it would be simple or easy – and there are many vested interests working against such a concept as well. So…nope not easy at all. But I do think it’s possible.
Hello again, WC.
There’s a great comment in the film, The Third Man, comparing the arts and warmongering of Germany to Switzerland, its 500 hundred years of peace, and its only art – the cuchoo clock. Yes, I’d agree with you that ideas usually come from peaceful intent, but maybe they hold a naivety that causes others in the same society to use them for more violent ends.
I’m thinking of Nazism, and what it owed to the ideas of philosophers Hegel and Nietzsche. Their ideas spoke of culture and freedom, but the ideas also contained the seeds of feelings of greatness and conquest.
Yes, I think you are quite right – many evil men have used art and aesthetics (and artists for that matter) to hook unsuspecting people into believing their was some higher purpose for their agendas. Although I do not think it was for any deeper appreciation of art or their fellow man – just a way to trick them into believing that their motives were altruistic, which of course, they were not.
i think you bring up an excellent point in regard to technology.
Tony, a character specializing in War History in Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Robber Bride” spoke about how war is about new technology, trying it out, seeing what develops from it. As long as there is a new weapon, there will be a war to go with it.
Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize.
Yikes, I guess that would make the rest of us guinea pigs then. Good to see you back, how was your vacation?