War and Peace

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 13, 2006

To the Editor:

A constant source of amusement for me are those who write about war as though it is something waged for the sport of it. To them, it is as if we are the problem. According to their philosophy, if we just refused to go to war, peace would ensue uninterrupted. The terrorists would dissipate, forget their cause, and leave us alone.

Perhaps if we had used the biblical principle of turning the other cheek after 9/11 and offered up a couple of buildings in Chicago, the terrorists would have been satisfied. Surely, they wouldn’t go farther than the other cheek. Sorry, history is full of examples of appeasement not working. You need only look at Hitler during World War II or North Korea’s nuclear program to see the fallacy in this approach.

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Thank God, I live in a country where the majority of its citizens do not think this way. We could apply biblical principles to most any problem and immediately find a cure. If thieves would abide by The Ten Commandments and not steal, there wouldn’t be any thievery. As a matter of fact if everyone lived by The Ten Commandments, there would be little need for police except to direct rush hour traffic. We could all just live in peace and harmony and neighbors would always be as respectful of our feelings and possessions as we are of theirs. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world? I think it is called utopia, wonderful, but terribly nave and unrealistic.

Thank God, we have always had brave men and women willing to sacrifice even to the extent of giving their life for the common good of all. Men and women willing to defend against all enemies both foreign and domestic. Those who believe this land, its principles, and values are worthy of defending.

I’m reminded of a quote by John Stuart Mill (English economist & philosopher, 1806-1873) who states it as well as it can be said:

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings 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.”

If you don’t believe war is the absolute worse thing that could possibly befall human kind, just ask a combat veteran. On the other hand, if you asked the same combat veteran if he would do it again, I’m sure the majority would answer, yes. Why would they?

The reason is quite simple, to answer our country’s call to defend those rights and privileges guaranteed in our Constitution, to protect their families, communities and nation, to provide others with opportunities for freedom, and yes, even to protect those who haven’t a clue as to why war is sometimes necessary to protect a civilized society.

It is called being a patriot, a man, a woman of the United States of America.

James G. Smith, Public Relations Officer

The American Legion Post 20