Thursday, August 10, 2006
War. What Is it Good For?
I hate war. When I was a kid at the movies, war scenes always terrified me far more than any horror flick ever could! Even as an adult, war scenes make me cry, cause me to lose sleep, terrorize me. I cannot even stand to read about war. From a very early age, I sensed that war was the ultimate evil.
And yeah, I don’t like violence, in general, and I don’t like guns (even though I have a really good aim, my dad taught us to shoot at tin cans in the desert when we were young), and I don’t like mean people, and I don’t even like anger!
One might say that I am a pacifist through and through.
Would I like it if we were not at war right now? Absolutely!
Imagine if you would, that you live on a street in a make-believe neighborhood. You are living your life to the best of your ability. You have friendly neighbors on this street, and sometimes you socialize at each other’s homes. Down the street, though, there is this one family that hates you. And, in fact it hates you so much that it wants to kill you and your family. And, in fact, it believes that if its members were to rape your daughters, torture and maim your sons, and kill you, that they would be doing a noble thing. They don’t care about laws or the land, morality, what’s right and wrong, or anything like that. To them, the only thing that is right is to destroy you.
There are other neighbors who feel the same way. They fight amongst themselves, and often you see patrol cars pulling up at their homes to try to settle some dispute or to arrest someone who kills or harms one of the others. But, they are unified in their hatred for you, and have secret meetings and plots.
As time goes on, the threats against you and your family grow, and there are even attempts to destroy you. There have been assaults on your home and family, and upon your neighbors. Oh, and by the way, you cannot move.
So, what do you do? Do you go have a chat with these people? Do you see if you can work out your differences? You tried that a long time ago, and they made it clear that they do not want to hear anything you have to say, and they have no desire to compromise or reason. They intend to destroy you, and that is all there is to it.
Sometimes there is no avoiding war. Sometimes one must defend oneself and one’s own. And when war cannot be avoided, we must be vigilant about protecting and defending.
So, the neighborhood forms a kind of group to protect and defend those being attacked. The group may need to use weapons and it may need to use force, and it may even need to spy a little to stay on top of the actions and plans of those who wish to destroy you.
Amazingly enough, there will be some who will be more angry at that little band trying to protect us than they are at the ones who would destroy us.
Throughout history, the story has been told and retold.
War is evil. It will be with us until the end of time. I hate war. But I realize that without war there would be many countries that would not be enjoying the freedoms they do today. Without war, Nazism would likely still be a major force, as one example among many (and thank goodness for the brave men and women of WWII who took on that evil!). Sometimes war is necessary.
As much of a Pacifist and violence-hater that I am, you can bet that if a rapist had invaded my home and attempted to assault my daughter, I would have used whatever force necessary to protect her. I would have risked my life. I would have called upon my good aim, if necessary.
I support our troops who are defending us. I support our leaders who are working hard to protect us. I am grateful that they prevented the deaths of innocent citizens flying from London in the last 24 hours.
War. What is it good for? For freeing the oppressed, for protecting the innocent, for preserving our freedoms.