by John Hawkins | July 9, 2008 1:00 pm
The title you’ve just read was stolen from an absolutely brilliant column from Ralph Peters that says something that people desperately need to hear,
“The point isn’t that military solutions are always the best solutions – any problem that can be resolved without bloodshed should be handled peaceably. But we’ve got to stop playing pretend: In this hate-plagued, often merciless world, events sometimes demand action, not just talk.
Our diplomats and “distinguished commentators” see the world from the 17th floor of a luxury hotel or the office of an English-speaking Cabinet member. The insular safety of their lives has convinced them that every problem has a peaceful solution if only we can all have a good chat.
But those who rule by the sword (or the fist, or engineered famines or outright genocide) don’t want to hash things out. They want to win. No elegant phrase has ever stopped a bullet in midflight.
…If the pen truly were mightier than the sword, the defense industry would be making ink, paper and keyboards, rather than smart bombs and body armor. A pen wielded by a talented writer may wound a target’s ego, but a sword will cut off the writer’s head.
Pacifists mean well. But they’re a dictator’s best friends. The man who won’t fight for justice abets the terrorist, the tyrant and the concentration-camp guard.
All decent men want peace. But wise men know that not all men are decent.
The use of the pen is an indulgence we can afford only because better men and women grip the sword on our behalf.”
Like I said, brilliant.
Too many people don’t understand that because we’ve fooled ourselves.
We think that because we have smart bombs, civilians shouldn’t be accidentally killed when we’re fighting.
We think that just because we’re civilized, our opponents will act in a civilized fashion as well.
We think that these cute little “rules of war” that we come up with should be followed, even if they cause us to lose the war.
All of that is wrong.
No matter how good we get, we are going to accidentally kill civilians. If anything, we’re far too concerned about the lives of enemy civilians whose lives, quite frankly aren’t worth as much as those of our soldiers.
No matter how civilized we are, we can’t count on our opponents to reciprocate. In fact, we have never fought an opponent that has adhered to the rules of the Geneva Convention, which makes it extremely silly for us to try to do so.
Last but not least, there is no rule of war more important than “win the war” by any method necessary, fairness be d*mned. The more we lose site of that, the harder it becomes to win wars and the more we’re going to suffer as a result.
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