I recently read an article demanding total demilitarization of the world and that this would alone stop war. The author of that statement was correct when they said war is terrible. At the same time, how na’iuml;ve is it to think that war will go away? Sadly, it is my opinion, and the realistic opinion of most of the world, that war will never go away. As a future officer in the Army and a student of history, I feel that I do have somewhat of a legitimate say in this discussion, and I think that history long before the advent of guns proved that war does not just consist of guns. War is not always started with bad intentions or end with completely bad results. These total anti-war arguments are written in a country founded after a revolution that was the last resort after years of diplomacy and protest; after five years of bloodshed to keep it together when it seemed like the political process itself failed us; and after the free world was spared an awful fate from a horrible and ruthless dictator in WWII. It is an absolute insult to the brave servicemen and women who have fought and died throughout our history to call what they did horrible and on the same level as what Adolf Hitler, Mussolini and others have done. Our soldiers have fought wars largely brought on because of other people’s disgusting and horrible deeds. Yes, people will argue that wars such as Iraq and Vietnam are wars that were started with poor planning or reason whatsoever, BUT, when doing so, people are missing the point I am trying to make.
The point I am making is that while I agree that war is indeed a blight on society, some wars are fought for the protection of freedom and for the defense of human decency in a grander sense. Every time there is a crisis in the world with someone threatening to blow something up or kill hostages, civilians, etc., why don’t we march over there and hold up legal pads with concessions made to that country, as well as bags of cash? The reason is because evil tyrants do not care about decency and civility or what the other side is doing; all they care about is the hatred they harbor for humanity and the pillars of democracy themselves. I think it is quite ignorant and unrealistic to believe in the ‘I put my weapon down when you put yours down’ philosophy. I wonder if Hitler would have stopped if we just let him have France and a billion dollars (I hardly think he would have, but I could be wrong). War is not the only thing that causes death and destruction … hurricanes, earthquakes, disease and the like do too … perhaps we should look at solving this debate in a paradoxical sense: the end of life is the preservation of life. Sounds eerily like ‘The Matrix,’ wherein the machines save us by enslaving us, and I do not think that would serve anyone’s purpose in the end.
I would like to think the American servicemen who lay in rows in the fields of France, Iwo Jima, Bastogne and Gettysburg and Bunker Hill did not die in vain.
Here is a line from the new ‘Rocky’ movie that fits nicely into my argument.
‘Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place, and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.’
‘ ‘- Rocky
This is not a call to be cynical or to think that nothing can ever change for the better. I wholeheartedly believe it can. I just simply believe that people need to come to grips with basic reasoning before embarking on changing the world. How about starting with keeping countries like Iran from getting nuclear weapons and then moving on to helping improve the quality of life and level of freedom of people all over the world? I think that, if anything, will do wonders to help people come together and improve our society more than the destruction of the gun or bomb.