History repeats when reason, communication are set asideWar really isn’t the answer, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have any more. Why is that?
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
War really isn’t the answer, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have any more. Why is that?
I don’t know all the answers, but here are a few. Some are like World War II and even though, it might have been prevented in other ways, the wholesale killing of Jews had to be stopped. Diplomacy is always the right way to go, but under those conditions, delay at all was too slow.
On the extreme other end, some wars are for make believe reasons. I sincerely believe our invasion of Iraq fit that description. There has to be some reason for going to war so we manufactured one; Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
One of the real reasons surmised by some was that President George W. Bush wanted to finish the job his father had stopped. Another was that the younger Bush felt that with a credit card war and tax cuts, our debt would grow until entitlement programs like Social Security could be privatized.
We know that Iraq’s oil was beckoning as the very large building we built there for future trading purposes signifies. Plus troops we leave for security reasons.
One of the most difficult reasons to justify war is to test out all the war machinery we’ve expensively produced. The manufacture of these weapons does put people to work, but there are peaceful products that could be constructed. Another purpose is being able to parade, float and fly ceremoniously our fanciest new weapons to warn potential enemies that we have a great armada and they had better not fool with us.
But as President Eisenhower warned us, we should not let the military industrial complex run our country.
One of the big disappointments in my life is that we didn’t learn our lesson after going to war in Vietnam. We had used the manufactured threat of communism as our justification, but we painfully learned that we had undertaken too large a task.
I liked Allan Sherman’s comment on that war in his book, “The Rape of the Ape:” “The war in Vietnam was Bluster’s Last Stand; it was going to be impossible for anyone, however hawkish, to squeeze out one drop of glory for this war.”
But it wasn’t Bluster’s Last Stand and we still haven’t learned, have we?
Where do we stand, at this time? We are obviously viewed around the world as another nation seeking global dominance.
History sadly, reviews others. We have troops in over 700 places about the world and sea and air, power that doesn’t quit.
The string is running out however; our debt has us stymied. Can we keep borrowing and indebting ourselves faster and further by interest payments alone? Do we reduce more of our social programs that have made us a great and caring nation?
It is my hope that we will cut back on our empire building and correct problems here at home. We should maintain a reasonably sized military, but with so many nuclear arsenals about the world, our best bet is diplomatic.
Let’s talk and reason together.
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at bernie3024@