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Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Rebuttal: No One Read This!
My triple blog on pacifists garnered one written response. I quote: “I hope your home here in our country is never invaded by an enemy of any kind. And God forbid you defend yourself or your country. I wonder if Hitler, the Chinese, or any other government would accommodate the freedoms we take for granted here in America. I agree WAR is not answer, but for the attacked, it is a defense. Not to fight back may be Godly, but not very patriotic or manly.”
This gentleman and I long ago agreed that our viewpoints differ drastically, and I welcome the fact that he took the time to both read my words and thoughtfully respond to them. I would remind him of three things: first, that a patriot who loves his country can and should strive to point out to that country when he or she feels it is traveling down the wrong path – it is our right and our duty just as it is his to disagree; second, that dissent IS the power of democracy; and that, three, to choose not to kill or participate in the killing aspect of War is a matter of conscience, not cowardice.
More on the subject of invasion: When the United States was attacked in 1941, we had virtually no standing army at all. What we did have for a Pacific fleet was stationed at Pearl Harbor, the point of attack. It was not an attack on the US mainland nor an attempt to invade. The Japanese calculated that knocking out our fleet would buy them one year, during which they would consolidate their Pacific Empire and then hopefully sue for peace. But we responded mightily: in May in the Battle of the Coral Sea and June at Midway, we had already begun to turn the tide. Our ability to mobilize and militarize stunned the world.
If we ever were invaded, we would rally so fast that any invader would be rendered dizzy. And in today’s world, the prospect of invading, occupying and controlling as vast a country as America would be daunting. It has been stated that an occupying force needs one soldier for every ten inhabitants just to maintain control. That would require an armed force of thirty million men. Even if China put together that huge an army, plus the logistics to support and supply it, the price tag would devastate their economy. It is not fiscally possible to occupy the US. China does have the second largest military budget in the world, roughly 30 percent of the largest, which of course is the United States. There might be a madman who would consider it, but even if he could bring it off, resistance among the populace would wear him down. Much better to wage economic battles and erode the current worldwide control of Corporate America by, for example, buying up our public debt.
Hitler may have entertained plans to extend his dominance to the entire world, and reshape that world in his own image. But he wore his military thin, in the long run, by trying too much. Yes, we fought him, and yes, we were on the winning side, seventy years ago. The Greatest Generation deserves all due praise for meeting the challenges and enduring the sacrifices asked of them. And yes, the cause was just. But remember this: for all the righteousness of our side of WW2, Hitler tried to get us to go to bed with him against Stalin and Communism. We chose Stalin, and the post-war world was split among the victors with an iron curtain between the halves.
Jim, I do not think you have to worry about us being invaded. I also do not think you have to worry, for the present, about pacifists taking over the world. I don’t even think you have to worry overly about my being able to pollute the minds of future generations, because pacifism is not in style today, war is, especially in America, and no one seems to be paying any attention to a liberal from Montana who sees the world as it should be, and the United States for what it is. Our leadership still believes that war is a viable means of diplomacy, of getting what you want.
Mohandas Gandhi famously said, “In my humble opinion, non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.” War is evil even when good men wage it. And innocents die, which is supposed to be contrary to the teachings of every moral code to which those good men pledge their faith.
I was born in Holland in 1950. My parents immigrated to the US when I was two. I have many close friends and family on both continents. My wife Diane and I have been happily married since 1974. I have four children and one grandchild (two more are on the way). I love writing and sharing what I wrote most of all..