Rachel Marsden

That's not to say that in supporting Western interests you can't also respect your competitor and attempt to understand their positions and actions. And right there, precisely at that nexus, is where diplomacy finds its only refuge. If you're looking for any sophistication in thought these days, it's in realizing that war is a normal, natural state, and admitting that you feel a natural affinity to one side, but that your opponents feel just as strongly in defending their own competing interests.

Here's how that looks in real life: The United States may have wanted to continue with the "civil society" commission in Russia and its mandate to help that country build democratic institutions. U.S. authorities are lamenting their recent withdrawal from the project due to Russia's lack of cooperation. But really, for how long would America be amenable to another country's representatives coming in and telling it how to run things on its own turf?

Likewise, the West might not be pleased that Russia is backing regimes in Iran and Syria, but these are countries Russia picked up as trade allies when the West left a vacuum. Dispose of those regimes, and you're messing with the food on their plate.

When you're able to put yourself in your competition's shoes and think like they do, then you can figure out what common points might help in building bridges. Usually that starts and ends with money -- another reality that the anti-war crowd doesn't appreciate. For them, peace can't come through capitalism or trade -- it has to come through unfettered acquiescence to their delusions.

Activists themselves are in large part responsible for some unpleasant components of modern warfare. Unsavory practices from the use of contractors to drones to attempts at media spin can be traced back to a single fact: A lot of people have difficulty accepting the realities of war, and they lack the complexity of thought required for its mitigation.

Rachel Marsden

Rachel Marsden is a columnist with Human Events Magazine, and Editor-In-Chief of GrandCentralPolitical News Syndicate.
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