War cannot be summarized in trite one liners.
People try. “War is hell.” Of course it is.
There are similarities in different wars over the course of human history, but each one is different. Just as there are similarities in each battle fought, but each one is different.
American’s are tired of war. We have been tired of war for a long time. Vietnam changed the American psyche. American’s are not war mongers.
We just want to be left alone. We aren’t imperialists. We just want to preserve our freedom.
If other countries want freedom like ours, we are happy to help. But most Americans get a queasy feeling in their stomach when it involves troops.
There are certain times wars are worth fighting. Arguably, the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and the wars of the early 20th Century were worth it. The lines were not blurred between good and evil during those wars. It was a fight to the death between the chance at living free, and totalitarianism.
Ironically, most war endings are negotiated. Hitler’s ploy of the Battle of the Bulge wasn’t a last ditch effort to try and win. There was no way for that.
It was an effort to try and salvage what he could to try and win a stalemate and negotiate some form of ending. Many might say the Japanese negotiated the end of the war, but that was more of how is the surrender going to look rather than a negotiated “peace” like Korea or Vietnam.
After the US was attacked on September 11. I was not for going into battle as a reaction. This war is messy. After Colin Powell made the case at the United Nations, I was for it. Now that we are in it, it’s messy. The lines are so blurred between who the enemy is and isn’t. It’s extremely difficult to be a trooper in battle when the other side isn’t wearing a uniform.
However, some lines aren’t blurred. The terrorists on the other side are enemies of freedom. Sharia Law, and the tenants of most Muslim societies are not compatible with the core principles of the American Constitution. There really isn’t a negotiation between the two.
Wars don’t bring economic prosperity. The “broken window” economic theory is a fallacy. They tear down societies. They bring out the animal instincts in people. Instead of a fight for prosperity life becomes a fight for survival. That in itself changes things. Resources that could be allocated for production and raising of standards of living go into producing things that destroy standards of living.
We ought to avoid wars at almost all costs. If we can negotiate our way out of a war, it’s always cheaper in the long run. However, there comes a time when no negotiation is possible. Iran for example. How do you negotiate with that?
Today we remember the fallen. It’s a somber day. I hope you take a moment to reflect. There are a lot of veterans walking around the US today that remember a face from the past. Hopefully they will talk about their old friends. It keeps them alive today.
I love this quote about war. “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. ~ John Stuart Mill”
The quote goes to the root of the human existence. I would much rather fight for my freedom than live under a totalitarian regime. I hope you feel that way too.