PostHeaderIcon Deconstructing The Nature Of WAR

The United States of America has reached that sad (and terminal) condition where we are in a constant state of War.

As a people, we have been conditioned to accept War as a necessary thing. After all, was our very freedom as a nation not born in War?

The error in all this is that War, as a term of language, has become so general as to mean almost anything, good, bad or indifferent. We-the-sheeple seem to accept that all Wars are in our interest without stopping to examine each so-called “War” on its own merits (or lack of same). As a result, a condition (War) that we generally accept as always in our interest is increasingly used against us. Yet another example where ignorance is the true enemy – an enemy against which we are not waging any form of “War”. Let us examine a few of the attributes of this thing we call “War”.

Basically, War is a method by which something is intended to be “defeated’. Simple enough on the surface but, are we always sure we know exactly what is intended to be defeated and why? I submit that the answer is a definite “NO”.

IMHO, there is only one morally acceptable reason to wage a War and that is for defense. Defense of our individual selves, defense of our property, defense of our nation, defense of our moral standards. Said differently, the only morally acceptable reason to wage a War is to ‘defeat” an enemy that is clearly and actively attempting to deprive us of life, liberty or property.

That said, do all or our current (and recent) Wars conform to my moral test? Not by a long shot. Let us apply this test (using MY judgment) to the major Wars fought by the United States:

→ The Revolutionary War? Yes. Clearly a war to win individual and national freedom from a monarchy.

→ The War of 1812? Yes. Actually nothing more than a repeat of the Revolutionary War necessary to convince the British that the first American victory was not simply a fluke.

→ The Mexican War? No. This was obviously a War to conquer territory.

→ The American Civil War? No. The slavery issue might make it seem a War for freedom but, this was not the real reason for the War. This War was actually waged over the principles stated in our Constitution (and the Constitution lost).

→ The Spanish American War? No. Another War to conquer territory and one based on a false provocation (the sinking of the battleship Maine).

→ World War I? No. There was no reason to suspect a direct threat to the United States and the provocation was false (the sinking of the Lusitania which was illegally carrying munitions and which was sunk with the help of the British Admiralty).

→ World War II? Maybe. We were attacked by the Japanese but not without provocation on our part. Also, our shipping was attacked by the Germans but, again, not without provocation on our part. Whether the Germans would have launched a direct attack on the United States, after successfully conquering Europe, is a question that cannot be answered. Ditto with the Japanese had they successfully conquered most of Asia and Pacificia.

→ The Korean War? No. IMHO, this was the first War fought by the United States for the benefit of the so-called “Military / Industrial Complex”.

→ The Vietnam War? No. IMHO, another War fought partly for the benefit of the “Military / Industrial Complex” and partly to stroke the ego of a madman (LBJ).

→ All of the Wars since Vietnam? No. By this point, our “leaders” had discovered that, not only does War profit the “Military / Industrial Complex” (therefore the campaign coffers of politicians) but constant War also makes we-the-sheeple more willing to tolerate constant expansion of government and the consequent impact on our own freedom.

Heresy! I seem to be saying that, as a nation, we have fought only two clearly justified Wars in our history. Sorry friends but that is exactly what I am saying. I invite your objections, asking only that they be supported by facts and not simply anger at my having raised such an idea.

At least, the Wars above were against some clear “enemy” which could actually be defeated.

Which brings us to the “phoney Wars” including “the War of Drugs”, the War on Poverty”, “the War on Terror” and any number of other phoney wars against non-entities. Who is the actual enemy in these phoney Wars? If it is true that all Wars are intended to defeat someone (or something?) then who does the United States intend to defeat in these phoney Wars?

To paraphrase the late, great Pogo The Possum, “they have seen the enemy, and he is us”. In other words, IMHO, we-the-sheeple, or at least what remains of our freedom, is the target of these Wars. To make it even more audacious, most of we-the-sheeple actually allow ourselves to be convinced that we are the beneficiaries of these Wars rather than the intended victims. Again, I invite your objections, asking only that they be supported by facts and not simply anger at my having raised the idea.

My own proposal is that we-the-sheeple should demand an immediate end to ALL Wars currently being conducted by or in the United States. In addition to helping end the constant waste of funds that we cannot afford, this would do more to ensure our future freedom than any War we have even fought.

Think about it. Then respond – rationally.

Troy L Robinson

7 Responses to “Deconstructing The Nature Of WAR”

  • Larry Andrew says:

    Troy…you ask for a rational response based on facts to your post based on your opinion. My response is my opinion based on study and a lifetime of interest in all things political…which is your focus here, regardless of how you wish to parse the events leading to our involvement in our wars.

    Generally, I have evolved to now believe that all wars since WWII have been wrong and that, generally, our old man male leadership has sacrificed too many of our young as a result of testosterone based reactions to challenges to our policies. The exception may be the Cold War in which I participated peripherally….The west actually, I believe, saved millions from destruction and won that war without the loss of as many sons and daughters as happened in wars since. I realize one can argue, and I do, that some of the wars we fought, such as Korea, were really part of the cold war process. Some of the other “wars” you mention have been policy disasters that have cost us billions with no payoff. Other “wars” you mention are simply programs that use the term as a semantic term to justify the focus or emphasis to try to fix a perceived problem.

    You mention defense as the only justification for War..your bottom line. Yet, the so-called War on Terror doesn’t meet your test to justify it’s existence. Not sure how you square that but think the term was a way to identify an activity we needed to fight since there was no country or government that we could deal with in the same manner as we did in WWII or the Cold War.

    As I write this, we seem to be ready to send some of our forces to assist the anti-assad groups to overthrow the Syrian government. I don’t know who we are trying to kid but this decision cannot be considered anything but a decision to go to war. The unknown consequences of the decision could be enormous and move us towards WWIII with Russia and China as allies against the west. Some seem to be justifying this on humanitarian grounds. It is a slaughter and innocents are being killed by the thousands. Even so, I can’t see how we can continue to send our kids to fix such problems with no reasonable positive outcome that extends beyond a “feel good” righteousness that is terribly misplaced.

    • Troy says:

      Larry,
      The idea that defense is the only moral justification for war was originally expounded by Ayn Rand. I “borrowed” it because I totally agree with her.

      You mention defense as the only justification for War..your bottom line. Yet, the so-called War on Terror doesn’t meet your test to justify it’s existence. Not sure how you square that but think the term was a way to identify an activity we needed to fight since there was no country or government that we could deal with in the same manner as we did in WWII or the Cold War.

      Sorry to say I am unable to understand exactly what you were trying to convey in the above quote… please help my old brain out with a bit of clarification.

      Intervention in Syria can only lead to further disaster but, the Obamanation is desperate to divert attention from the scandals popping up everywhere. For my part, I am perfectly willing to let the two sides in Syria destroy each other as neither is worthy of support. It is sad that innocent folk are caught in the crossfire but our involvement, if true to past examples, would most likely increase the harm to the innocent. For instance, our successful attempt to bring down Saddam Hussein caused far more civilian casualties than were being caused by his tyranny.

      If only we would finally learn that free trade does more to promote peace and prosperity than any war ever fought.

      Troy

  • Larry Andrew says:

    Troy….sorry for the cumbersome effort on my part. My point was that the so-called War on Terror was, at least originally and perhaps still, based on defense. I was questioning how you dismiss that “War” if defense is or was truly the original purpose?

    • Troy says:

      My point was that the so-called War on Terror was, at least originally and perhaps still, based on defense. I was questioning how you dismiss that “War” if defense is or was truly the original purpose?

      Larry, In the first place, terrorism is a technique, not an entity. If the desired outcome of a war is to defeat an entity, then a war on a technique makes no sense whatever.

      Second, if we (our nation) truly wanted to defeat those who are most effectively using terrorism to terrorize us, we should obviously go after the entities most responsible for the continued attacks against us. Afghanistan was never more than a bit player and there is little evidence that Iraq was involved in any attack against us. IMHO, the number one source of funding and incentives for terrorism is Saudi Arabia. Rather than take action against them, we supply them with weapons, our oil purchases provide them with excess wealth that is used to fund terrorism, and our alleged president bows to and kisses the ring of their monarch. Next in line would be Iran which we seem to be afraid of.

      Third, IMHO, the real enemy in this situation is the Islamic religion, a fact of which we are in total denial.

      Fourth, IMHO, our own government’s various programs to make us “safer” are actually more of a threat to our liberty and prosperity than those who practice terrorism could ever be.

      Fifth, all phoney wars lack any sort of end game criteria. Thus, they can exist in perpetuity — ergo they are the “perfect” wars. Also, since they cannot be won (lacking any entity to defeat), there is an apparent and ongoing need for ever more spending, bigger “defense” organizations and a corresponding loss of our liberty.

      I trust you will find this response complete and to your satisfaction. Thanks for engaging in this exchange. My old brain certainly needs the exercise and, also, I learn a lot when you challenge me to explain.

      Troy

  • Larry Andrew says:

    Troy….I have a lot of trouble with the Syria issue since it is fast becoming far more than a civil war. Seems to me we are now moving to a war against Iran and Al Queda proxies. How to contain it is vexing for sure. Russia and China are players, Jordan is in jeopardy, Egypt is falling apart….what to do?

  • Troy says:

    …what to do?

    How about minding our own business. If our nation is directly attacked, clearly we should respond in kind. Otherwise, why need we do anything?

    Troy

  • ◄Dave► says:

    Good discussion. Real war, as in breaking things and killing people, is always about territory, one way or another. Whether fought offensively or defensively, war is the final stage of an irreconcilable dispute over access to, and/or control of, the resources of a given geographical territory, including its human resources. Too often, might makes right, and the wishes of the current individual inhabitants of said territory, are discounted or ignored by competing hegemonic forces.

    This postulate remains true for revolutions and/or civil wars, the differences between which are merely semantic. The only valid question is which side is the aggressor, and which has the morally superior claim, of being on righteous defense. The answer is not as easy to definitely discern as it might seem, and is often clouded by the mindset of the individual pondering it.

    At the time of the American Revolution, the King and Parliament of England had every right to regard their colonies in North America, as sovereign British territory. Regardless what we might think about it today, their ancestors had acquired it by accepted international protocols at the time, a century and a half before.

    Their inhabitants were British Subjects, including the contumacious malcontents engaged in acts of domestic terrorism, such as the Boston Tea Party and ambushing the Royal Army, while on a lawful mission to confiscate the crew-served weapons and munitions in a local militia armory. When these rebellious Colonists eventually got around to penning the Declaration of Independence a year later, it was a clear act of treason.

    Again, regardless of what one might think of the level of tyranny that precipitated it, the Crown was given little choice but to defend their territory and the overwhelming percentage of Loyal Subjects residing therein, by putting down this impertinent rebellion. Any other way one may wish to view it, the Declaration of Independence was first and foremost a formal declaration of civil war, signed by a cabal of traitors to their country. Nobody would have understood this any better, than the signers themselves.

    Now, with this perspective in mind, which side of this civil war was the aggressor and which the defender? Why?

    Then, for another mind exercise, when France chose to insinuate itself in this civil war on the side of the rebels, was that an act of aggression against England, or an act of compassion in defense of an oppressed population? What business did they have interfering in England’s internal affairs? Why?

    Finally, Troy, you seem to skip or dismiss our treaty obligations when analyzing our wars. Is this to suggest that we shouldn’t enter into mutual defense pacts, or that our obligations under them are somehow optional? Without getting into the wisdom of entering into any of them, Korea was an UN affair and Vietnam was a response to our SEATO treaty obligations.

    NATO drug us into Bosnia, Kosovo, and Czechoslovakia. Most of our adventures in the Middle East are colored by our treaty obligations to Israel’s survival. All of these are problematical; but would it be wise at this juncture to abandon all of our mutual defense treaties, and attempt isolationism? What should our reaction be, if China decided to invade Canada or Mexico? There is nothing simplistic about international affairs, and the balance of power on the world stage. ◄Dave►

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