Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow at Cato Institute:
Germany’s Lesson for America: Wars of Necessity, not Choice
Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow at Cato Institute: Germany’s Lesson for America: Wars of Necessity, not Choice
Mr Bandow’s article is ripe with on-point excerpts:
“The U.S. is a democracy and Americans like to think of themselves as setting a moral standard for the world. Yet since the end of the Cold War no country has more promiscuously used military force. Few of the conflicts presented even the barest claim of “defense” as justification.”
“American officials demonstrated a surprising lack of concern about the consequences of unleashing death and destruction upon other lands. The public tended to treat most wars, at least initially, like live video games.”
“But attitudes are different in the two nations which did the most to cause World War II and suffered the most as the conflict ground them underfoot.” (This statement matches perfectly with my conversational experiences with Canadian immigrants arriving from conditions of war, from Asia, Europe, and other parts of the globe. — People of good intention who have actually experienced conditions of war “at home” are very much reluctant warriors. By the worst of experience, and the best of reason, They are strongly motivated to avoid war!)
Mr. Bandow elaborates on his title’s point. He examines recent German population swift and unaccepting response to German President Horst Koehler’s remarks that justified war for reasons other than ‘last resort’. Mr Bandow further observes: “That comment (Koehler’s) would be unexceptional for an American politician to make,” and cites examples of American politician statements justifying war for non “last resort” reasons.
Here is my posted reply in the comments section to Mr. Bandow’s article:
This article should be posted and re-posted widely. If I have a ‘complaint’ it is that its tone lacks passion, but concede high-passion is not always effective in encouraging thoughtful deliberation.
Thoughtful “self-questioning” by Americans about our warring ways is long over-due.
It’s heartbreaking that common thought among ordinary citizens, who view themselves as “caring about people,” fails to equate suffering “here” with deep, unspeakably traumatic, suffering “there”. Caring restricted to “our own” is tribal and at least needs to be recognized as such.
Our hue/cry over our own suffering from PTSD does not seem to examine a ’cause’ of deep personal conflict between an individual believing hrimself “going to war” for “noble” cause then discovering the very real horror. We prefer to “fix” the sufferer so hre can return to killing!
Too many Americans relate to war “intellectually”, without “gut” input of the reality. Too many “Christians” relate to war without examining inconsistency with Christ’s teaching. Too many Americans do not ask: “How come we believe ‘just cause’ without questioning the wisdom?”
And far too many Americans give our warring brutality no thought at all! We instead speak of “shoes and ships, and sealing wax, and whether pigs have wings…” (Lewis Carroll: “Walrus and the Carpenter”).
A “too many Americans” observation not included in my article reply comment but should have been: Far too many Americans never think to ask: “What do people who have lived with war conditions have to share on the matter; what wisdom can we gain by asking them?”
My ‘at article site’ posted comment is one of many responses. Readers express their general agreement with Mr. Bandow’s article by making a number of points – all relevant, many different from mine. I recommend the article AND its comments!
We humans, I believe, (logically includes Americans!) are meant to eventually demonstrate a strong lean toward our better, more noble, potential.
My Best! –MaggieAnn