Friday, July 21, 2006

Does Pacifism Bring Peace?

Thomas Sowell at has a great article called Pacifists versus peace. [article moved to archive; requires membership to access]

As always, Sowell's writing hasn't an ounce of fat and he makes his case simply and clearly. As usual, he's absolutely right. And he's too much of a gentleman to suggest that vanity feeds the delusions of unconditional pacifists: he just thinks they're ignorant because the educational system isn't what it ought to be.

But people educate themselves in spite of schools, not because of them. Schools are mere tools in the hands of the curious. If one wants to know things, one can find them out with a little work, a lot of thought, a bit of moral courage and complete honesty. From Sowell's superlative essay:

If cease-fires actually promoted peace, the Middle East would be the most peaceful region on the face of the earth instead of the most violent.

There is a reason why General Sherman said "war is hell" more than a century ago. But he helped end the Civil War with his devastating march through Georgia -- not by cease fires or bowing to "world opinion"...

and more

There was a time when it would have been suicidal to threaten, much less attack, a nation with much stronger military power because one of the dangers to the attacker would be the prospect of being annihilated.

"World opinion," the U.N. and "peace movements" have eliminated that deterrent....

Deterrent: there's the operative word. What deterrence is there to war today? No sooner does one party gain an advantage than diplomatic ninnies call for a ceasefire. What for? For the animosity to seethe? For the two sides to reload? Do develop more devastating weapons? Today, Germany and Japan are peace-loving nations, precisely because they know first hand the cost of waging war. And because their defeats were decisive. Israel must do more than clear Hizb'allah to a point beyond their present military abilities -- they must crush them utterly.

The truth is, that the Arab world has been babied by diplomats. They fought on the wrong side of both world wars and for it they expect the spoils of the victors. The Germans haven't asked the French for Alsace and Lorraine because they were soundly beaten and knew it. The Arab world needs, more than anything else, the kind of shellacking that drives home the point that they will never prevail against Israel and that there is a permanent cost to war which one must be prepared to accept before one begins. Only then will the killing end.

1 comment:

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