Walter E. Williams

All of us should give some serious thought to some of the ideas contained in an article circulating the blogsphere titled "Why a Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant." So often our political leaders, "experts" and talking heads tell us that Islam is a peaceful religion and most Muslims are not out to destroy the West. We're told it's only that 1 percent, out of 1.2 billion Muslims, who are fanatical jihadists who believe America is the Great Satan, cause of all evil, and should be attacked and destroyed. In terms of national policy, it's irrelevant whether Islam is a peaceful religion and most Muslims are peaceful.

Think back to the 1930s when the Japanese murdered an estimated 3 million to 10 million people in China, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines and Indochina; and on December 7, 1941 when they attacked Pearl Harbor, killing over 2,400 Americans. I'm betting that most of Japan's at-the-time 60 million population were peace-loving people and would have wanted nothing to do with the brutal slaughter in China and the attack on the U.S. In formulating our response to the attack, should President Roosevelt have taken into account the fact that most Japanese are peace-loving people ruled by fanatics? Should our military have only gone after the Japanese pilots and their naval armada? I'd also wager that most Germans were peace-loving people and not part of the Nazi sadists wanting to wage war on their neighbors and exterminate the Jews. Again, should Roosevelt and Churchill have taken that into account in their response to German militarism? My answer is no and thank God it was their answer as well. Whether most Germans, Italians or Japanese were peace-loving or not was entirely irrelevant in formulating the Allied response to their militarism.

Horrible acts can be committed in countries where most of the people are peace-loving and simply want to be left alone to attend to their affairs. I imagine that described most of the people in the former Soviet Union; however, that did not stop the killing of an estimated 62 million people between 1917 and 1987. The same can be said of the Chinese people, but it didn't stop the killing of 35 million of their countrymen during Mao Zedong's reign. Whether most people of a country are peace-loving or not is not nearly as important as who's calling the shots.


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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