Cross-posted by Gary Fouse
"...until they're forever banned....?
This July 4th, I was on the treadmill while our son was working in the garage on a cabinet. He had a tape going of Neil Young in concert. One of the songs was a rendition of "Blowing in the wind", a song written by Bob Dylan in the 1960s as a protest against war and injustice. It reminded me of that other hauntingly beautiful song of the 60s, "Where have all the flowers gone?" written by Pete Seeger as an anti-war song during the Viet Nam conflict. In both, the words are beautiful and mark their authors as great songwriters. Yet, when it comes to the subject of war, they are naive and simplistic. Let me tell you why on this day we commemorate our Independence, which was borne of a revolutionary war, and as we pause to honor our troops, past and present.
It is easy to talk of banning cannons (as Dylan does) or nuclear weapons as well. It is good to talk of outlawing war. But it is a Utopian vision that will never come to pass. What Dylan and Seeger have forgotten is that there will always be good and bad people in this world. Sometimes, extraordinarily bad people rise up to rule nations. Then you have bad nations with bad governments that mistreat their own people and usually, threaten and take over their neighbors.
Let's take Adolf Hitler, for example. One can write anti-war songs all day long and pass laws banning weapons and war in general. There was, indeed, a League of Nations in existence at the time, from which Hitler withdrew Germany. What did they do? What powers did they have to stop Hitler? It was up to the other European powers to stop Hitler. They chose not to-until he invaded Poland. World War Two was a war of survival for the Allies. We had to fight it, and we had to win it-both against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, two powerful nations ruled by evil governments. Had we not fought and won that war, no nation anywhere in the world would be living in freedom today-including those neutral nations like Switzerland and Sweden.
Today, we face other threats; Iran, North Korea, Islamic extremism. We are trying to deal with them in measured responses, but at some point, we may have to face them on the field of battle. (Of course, we are already fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.) Bob Dylan talked of banning weapons in "Blowing in the Wind". Seeger expressed the futility of sending soldiers off to fight wars in "Where have all the flowers gone?" Beautiful words, indeed. But are we not trying to ban "cannons" in Iran and North Korea (nuclear weapons)? If our current efforts through diplomacy and sanctions fail, what comes next? Do we wait until Seoul and Tokyo are wiped off the map and Tel Aviv as well? If that happens, do we continue to negotiate and pass sanctions in the UN? What then, Messers Dylan and Seeger? Or do we simply, in the name of peace, write off South Korea-a decent and developed nation and Israel and hope for the best in the "New World Order" to coin a phrase? Do you prefer to live under an international dictatorship?
Peace is grand, but war will never become a thing of the past, and anyone who thinks it will is naive. There is a lesson that the pacifist crowd has never learned; to quote Michael Medved, "pacifism never brings peace. What brings peace is a just and victorious war."
Happy 4th of July.