Category Archive 'Pacifism'
14 Oct 2015

James Webb’s Debate

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JimWebbDebating

Republican turncoat Jim Webb, who despite his Marine Corps and redneck backgrounds, who despite serving as Assistant Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan Adminstration, changed sides and ran for the Senate as a democrat opposing the War in Iraq, then in the Senate voted for Obamacare and everything else, all the rest of the way down the line with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, could be observed paying painfully for his treachery last night.

At last night’s “democrat”, read: Socialist Party Presidential Debate, Webb found himself largely ignored by moderator Anderson Cooper. Webb additionally had to pay the price for his infidelity by being obliged to publicly affirm all the sniveling left-wing poppycock that was meat-and-drink to his rivals.

Webb managed to equivocate on Gun Control simultaneously agreeing that we have not done a good job of keeping people “who should be kept from having guns” from obtaining firearms, while also defending the right of ordinary Americans to own guns to defend their families.

But equivocation could only go so far.

I admired Webb’s grit as he ate one very major toad, standing right up and faithfully saluting Affirmative Action and assuring America, right out loud, that African Americans were entitled to a specially-privileged national status on the basis of their history including Slavery and Jim Crow.

Webb is smart enough to know better, but he again carefully followed the Party line on Climate Change, declining to defend coal, citing his Senatorial support for alternative energy and proposing greater reliance on nuclear power.

Inevitably, in certain areas, especially on questions related to foreign policy and defense, Webb sounded like the only adult in the room, and he undoubtedly did himself some good with his answers in those areas.

But Webb finally really paid the price on one particular question.

The British newspaper Independent described the moment from the other side’s perspective.

Jim Webb was responsible for one of the most uncomfortable moments of the Democratic debate on Tuesday evening when his dark sense of humour failed to translate.

Webb served in the Marine infantry as a rifle platoon and company commander during the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star Medal, and other military honours for bravery.

The former Virginia senator was asked to name the enemy he was most proud of making in his political career during the debate.

“I’d have to say the enemy soldier that threw the grenade that wounded me, but he’s not around right now to talk to,” he said slowly after the other four candidates gave their answers, his mouth gradually breaking into a grin.

A few members of the audience managed an uneasy chuckle, but Moderator Anderson Cooper was keen to move on from his answer and quickly redirected the debate towards closing statements.

How exquisitely painful it must have been to former US Marine Officer James Webb to deliver the kind of line which would have his rivals at a Republican debate laughing appreciatively and the audience leaping to their feet applauding him, yet which, at a democrat party debate, lands on the floor like a dead fish, embarrassing his interlocutors and simply making his intended audience uncomfortable.

Poor Webb! The real price he is obliged to pay for stabbing his own kind in the back, and joining with the enemy, is having to pretend to be one of them and having to endure associating with them.

11 Aug 2014

No Room For Lions, Lefties Dream of a Peaceable Kingdom

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LionGiraffe

Nicholas James Pell, in Taki’s Magazine, deplores the radical Utopian Left’s desire to re-make predatory animals into vegetarians and remodel all of Nature into a “pan species welfare state.”

[O]ne of the curious things about leftist egalitarianism: it tends to eat everything in its path. The second you start believing that all men must be re-created equal, under penalty of law, the road to reasonable accommodations for people who think they’re elves or those who prefer to see multiple personality disorder as a lifestyle choice isn’t too long. And so we live in a world where grown men (or at least Ronan Farrow) get paid beaucoup bucks to go on television and bemoan the lack of ethnic diversity in cartoon smileys used by teenage girls for whom typing out whole words is too much of a bother.

Nor, when you accept the secular postmillennialist argument that humans need to wipe out every trace of injustice on Earth, is it that big of a leap to argue in favor of changing the genetic code of wild animals to make them stop eating meat—though it’s still not clear why the plan to eliminate suffering from the world doesn’t include anything about rescuing plants from consumption. Carnivorous animals, specifically lions, are singled out as “sociopathic killing machines.” David Pearce, the “independent philosopher” and transhumanist vegan who cooked up the Hedonistic Imperative, seems somewhat less interested in reprogramming carnivorous animals than he is in eliminating them.

To wit: “To judge that lions should exist is to affirm that it is better, in some sense, that sociopathic killing machines prowl the Earth rather than alternative herbivores.”

I’m somewhat sympathetic to the argument that people who have never field dressed an animal don’t get to to grouse about animal welfare.

Read the whole thing.

27 Jan 2014

The Impracticality of Pacifism

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The current fashionably-left-wing Pope on Sunday conducted a little ceremony in which two children, a little boy and a little girl supervised by the Holy Father himself, released a pair of white “doves of peace” from a window in the Apostolic Palace.

Nature clearly abhors this kind of nonsense, because the Pope’s doves were promptly set upon by a seagull and a jackdaw who chose to look upon them, not as symbols of peace, but rather as a free lunch. There was an obvious lesson for Pope Francis in all of this.

Washington Post story

The Independent story


16 Jan 2010

Looking Politically Correctly at Fort Hood

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Ralph Peters goes ballistic over the Pentagon’s report on the Fort Hood massacre.

Rarely in the course of human events has a report issued by any government agency been so cowardly and delusional. It’s so inept, it doesn’t even rise to cover-up level.

Protecting the Force: Lessons From Fort Hood” never mentions Islamist terror. Its 86 mind-numbing pages treat “the alleged perpetrator,” Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, as just another workplace shooter (guess they’re still looking for the pickup truck with the gun rack).

The report is so politically correct that its authors don’t even realize the extent of their political correctness — they’re body-and-soul creatures of the PC culture that murdered 12 soldiers and one Army civilian.

Reading the report, you get the feeling that, jeepers, things actually went pretty darned well down at Fort Hood. Commanders, first responders and everybody but the latest “American Idol” contestants come in for high praise.

The teensy bit of specific criticism is reserved for the “military medical officer supervisors” in Maj. Hasan’s chain of command at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. As if the problem started and ended there.

Unquestionably, the officers who let Hasan slide, despite his well-known wackiness and hatred of America, bear plenty of blame. But this disgraceful pretense of a report never asks why they didn’t stop Hasan’s career in its tracks.

The answer is straightforward: Hasan’s superiors feared — correctly — that any attempt to call attention to his radicalism or to prevent his promotion would backfire on them, destroying their careers, not his.

Hasan was a protected-species minority. Under the PC tyranny of today’s armed services, no non-minority officer was going to take him on.

This is a military that imposes rules of engagement that protect our enemies and kill our own troops and that court-martials heroic SEALs to appease a terrorist. Ain’t many colonels willing to hammer the Army’s sole Palestinian-American psychiatrist.

I thought myself that existing circumstances in which a fanatic can arm himself and simply proceed to gun down members of a crowd of completely unarmed uniformed military personal in the middle of an Army base in time of war speak volumes about contemporary American pacifism, hoplophobia, and identity problems in certain branches of the US Armed Forces. The US Army actually needed an armed female police officer to come to the rescue of soldiers being attacked by a single adversary.

They call them Armed Forces, don’t they? If US military personnel routinely carried sidearms, and knew how to use them, there wouldn’t be much chance of anyone succeeding in a massacre. An Islamic fanatic might draw a gun and shoot someone, but if everyone else had guns, his shooting spree would come to an abrupt halt very quickly.

01 Sep 2009

The Scourge of Contemporary Historiography

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Eugéne Delacroix (1798-1863), Atilla suivi de ses hordes, foule aux pieds libéralisme, Marxisme, et pacifisme, Bibliothèque, Palais Bourbon, Paris, 1843-47

Edward Luttwak, reviewing in the New Republic Christopher Kelly’s The End of Empire: Attila the Hun and the Fall of Rome, pauses to remark on the problems inherent in the myopic historical perspective regnant in contemporary Academia.

In our day, many historians do not have a problem with Attila or any other “Great Man of History.” They accept the very personal role of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and the rest in shaping history, “bottom-up” history notwithstanding; and so they can accept Attila’s importance as a historical factor as their Marxist predecessors could not. But they have a terrific problem with the Huns, and the reason for this is simple. It is the nullification of military historiography in contemporary academia. “Strategy” exists in a few government or political science departments, but such “strategists” steer clear of military history. The academic consensus that all wars are pointless apparently extends also to the study of their history.

There is almost no place, and almost no prestige, for anyone who wants to research and teach how and why battles and wars were won or lost–that is, military history strictly defined–as opposed to social history, economic history, and some forms of political history, including newly rehabilitated biographical approaches but excluding “kings and battles.” Even research on “presidents and wars” is unwelcome unless there are cognitive or psychological pathologies to be studied. And there is the added impediment that military historiography is an arcane field, requiring serious archival research, often in languages other than English.

While scholarly readers have an insatiable demand for military historiography, and students are very keenly interested in battles and wars, the faculties at our universities prefer to scant both. Appoint a military historian? The eminent Chicago Byzantinist Walter Emil Kaegi has explained why it almost never happens: tactics cannot matter, weapon techniques cannot matter, operational methods cannot matter, theater strategies cannot matter, because wars do not matter–as a subject of their own, rather than as epiphenomenal expressions of other causes and realities. Given the academic consensus that wars are almost entirely decided by social, economic, and political factors, there is simply no room for military history as such.

That makes it impossible to explain why anyone would have been bothered by the arrival of the Huns. …

The days are past when Christianity, poisoning by lead pipes, or any other cause could be invoked to explain the fall of one-half of the Roman Empire while disregarding the survival of the other half, though it was just as Christian or just as poisoned. Only the possibility that a military difference, a difference in strategy between east and west, might have determined the outcome has remained unexplored–until now

06 Nov 2008

An Opportunity, Not a Disaster

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David Smithee” is rejoicing over Obama’s election, taking the view that the democrats have overreached and we’ve got them where we want them. They’ve got their leftist president and a Congressional majority. Now they can try governing from the left, and just watch what happens to them.

As ancient Israel whined to have monarchs rule over them to be like their pagan neighbours, so too are American leftists smitten with the illusory sophistication of the crumbling European economic and social models. They salivate for the esteem of tyrants, socialists, and every manner of grandiose failure; the more extravagant, the better so long as the mission statement is sufficiently lofty. It’s said that liberals are like any other people; only moreso. In this case, it’s their turn to perpetuate the ancient cycle of rejecting what works, turning their backs with disdain on America’s incomparable blessings and crying “Give us what they have!”

Well, we’ve gotten it.

In a receding economy and aided by a political monopoly, President Obama is going to prove unable to resist his fetish for increased taxation and eco-regulatory strangulation. In a dangerous time, his vanity will lead him to grant legitimacy to nations that wish America ill. When an Obama presidency with majorities in the House and Senate ends in economic calamity, emboldened international foes, or both — as history wearily tells us it must — then the healing can begin.

This is a true changing of the guard in more ways than one, as it also signals the end of the Moderate. Trashing his own party only served McCain for so long. The Maverick was devoured by his Media base the moment he became inconvenient, and timorous pseudo-conservatives have jumped ship to ensure they remained on the right side of the DC sophistication line. Classical conservatives would be well served to let them flounder.

Yet I admit my own relief, despite the costs we will bear in the short term, that Obama was the victor.

For the Democrats, it was an act of sublime short-term calculation to trot out Obama. A man whose easy, telegenic charm was able to narcotize into irrelevance all the facts that would have rendered him unelectable in anyone else’s skin. The sewage of slum lords, communist sympathizers and domestic terrorists swirl about his ankles. And yet a flash of smile and a few words in his soothing baritone captured the American imagination and soothed a majority of the electorate. But now the work is going to start. Results are going to matter, and if there’s one fact about Barry that the media was unable to obscure, it’s that he is a candidate truly uncluttered by moderation.

He is the proto-Democrat; liberalism’s gleaming new flagship. And that’s going to be a long-term problem for Democrats in ways they can scarcely now imagine. …

Obama is not just a Democrat, or a liberal. Obama is liberalism. He is liberalism stripped of all of its false fronts of civic mindedness. Shorn of all its bogus declarations of interest in the public good, or lip service to free markets or property rights. He is liberalism as it exists only in the psyche of the petty tyrant, rarely glimpsed emerging in public. Shrieking, demanding as a newborn, nakedly ravenous for power. Worshipping expedience, debasing of life, and viewing everyone else’s wealth as his own, with which he may conduct his vast social experiments on the subdued human landscape.

But as an ideological flagship surrounded by hysterically unrealistic expectations, if he fails, Obama is going to drag the Democrat ship down to truly crushing depths. And when he does, the redemption of the Democrats will not be swift in coming. With Obama, they have bet the ideological farm, and several surrounding properties too. They have damned the torpedoes and abandoned the strategy of advancing themselves in managed increments. By pushing Obama into the spotlight, they’re tipping their entire ideological hand a good twenty years ahead of schedule.

Good piece. Read the whole thing.

22 Aug 2008

Doncaster Hosts Gay Pride Parade After Spurning Veterans

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Maybe he’ll defend you against Islamic terrorists

The Telegraph reports that the British Legion was obliged to cancel plans for an annual Veterans Day Parade when the Doncaster Town Council claimed it lacked “the amenities.” Imagine their surprise when Doncaster hosted its first Gay Pride Parade last Sunday.

15 Apr 2008

T Shirt Commentary on Berkeley

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Earlier postings on Berkeley, California versus the Corps.

Hat tip to Rich Duff.

13 Feb 2008

Berkeley Retreats, But Does Not Apologize

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Oakland Tribune:

The Berkeley City Council attempted to make nice with U.S. Marines recruiters Wednesday morning by taking back a letter it planned to send calling the Corps “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in the city.
But a motion to formally apologize failed.

Instead the City Council with a 7-2 vote at 1 a.m. sought to clarify one of its Jan. 29 Marines motions with new language that recognizes “the recruiters’ right to locate in our city and the right of others to protest or support their presence.”

The new statement also said the council opposes “the recruitment of our young people into this war.”

The council heard testimony from about 100 people who came from as far away as Colorado to weigh in on the issue.

At the same time, the council let stand four other items it passed at its previous meeting, including one encouraging “all people to avoid cooperation with the Marine Corps recruiting station,” another asking the city attorney to investigate whether the recruiting station is breaking the city’s law against discrimination based on sexual orientation and two items giving the peace group Code Pink a free weekly parking space and sound permit to protest at the Shattuck Avenue recruiting station once a week.

Read the whole thing.

Earlier postings.

08 Feb 2008

A No-Confidence Vote for Western Civilian Leadership

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TMLutas contemplates a recent news development, and concludes that proliferation of WMD among non-state actors is inevitable, and that the current aversion of members of the modern Western intelligentsia to violence is only likely to lead, in the end, to far worse violence.

When the generals start getting restless, they do things like this preemptive nuclear strike proposal. But why are the generals getting restless all over NATO? Amerca’s Gen. Shalikashvili, Germany’s Gen. Naumann, the UK’s Field Marshall Inge, the Netherland’s Gen van den Breemen, and France’s Admiral Jacques Lanxade are all serious military players of varying politics. These are not brash, unthinking chest beaters. What possessed them to intervene in this manner and damage their societies’ moral standing in the world (and thus their vaunted ‘soft power’) by proposing an updated, in your face, first strike policy, coupled with a much more active NATO and explicitly decoupling military action from the UN?

I can see no other explanation than a profound, international vote of no-confidence in the political class of the West by heavily experienced military minds that live, breathe, eat, and sleep the problem of defending us all from violent threats to our liberties and very existence. I am not even sure that the presentation of the plan in Bucharest in April is coincidence. After all, Romania is a very good example of how even dead broke powers with unstable, highly repressive regimes can extract uranium and enrich it while nobody takes the threat seriously. Had Ceausescu managed his internal repression better, Romania would be a balkans “hedgehog” today similar to the Swiss except with nuclear armed Scuds and a sociopath’s hand on the button. Romania’s Ceausescu era relations with North Korea were always very good. They also had friends across the muslim world.

The ‘peace faction’ that does not look beyond its own nose will be shocked, outraged, and redouble its efforts to neuter the military so it cannot be used. It’s as if they have never heard of feedback loops or their own part in this very pernicious one. Spelling it out explicitly, the peace factions have neutered the political process so even vigorous peaceful competition is impossible. After all, to draw a caricature of Mohammad, write an insensitive book, or film a blaspheming movie draw death sentences from which we have little practical defense. The best we can do is a sort of life-long semi-imprisonment, insecure in our lives and our possessions, never knowing when the knife will fall.

The “peace faction” ensures that persistent, responding, violent escalations cannot happen so we end up implicitly enslaved because, in the real world, others are willing to persistently bring to bear more violence than we are. We shrink from exercising our freedoms because of justifiable fear. And thus we lose them in a practical matter because the muslims (and in their success they will draw imitators) are willing to tolerate periodic violent episodes that spasmodically, ineffectively lash out at them more as a sop to western domestic factions that demand “a response” because a durable majority in so many Western countries has shrunk back from the military buildup necessary to generate “a solution”.

The only thing that is left in modern Western political discourse is to make the spasmodic response so terrible, so violent, that in that short political window when the West permits itself to respond at all will annihilate our enemies and form a sort of “solution” after all. And thus the general staff rebellion in the making.

What the general staffs across the West see is the death of Western supremacy of violence…

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

31 Dec 2007

Chicago Attorney Vandalizes Marine’s Car

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Blackfive reports a recent hate crime incident in Chicago.

Jay R. Grodner, a Chicago attorney, was caught in the act of keying Marine Sgt. Mike McNulty’s automobile. Grodner was evidently provoked by McNulty’s Marine Corps license plate and decals.

After sending the car to the body shop, it was determined there is $2400 in damage, making this a felony. Mike went to court Friday morning to collect the damages against Mr. Grodner and file felony charges. Though the damages are over $300 (the amount which determines felony or misdemeanor) Grodner offered Mike to pay his deductible, $100, and have Mike’s insurance pay for it.

The Illinois States Attorneys tried to coerce Mike into accepting the offer. Appalled, Mike said he wanted this to be a felony. The state told Mike that it was not worth pursuing felony damage against Grodner because they don’t have the time. In addition, the state prosecutors told him that he would never it ‘would be difficult to recover the damages’ from Grodner because he is a lawyer.

Instead, the State asked Mike if he would accept probation for Grodner. Mike accepted, probation was offered to Grodner, and Grodner declined the offer, saying within ear shot of Mike, “I’m not going to make it easy on this kid”. Mike’s next court date is tomorrow, Monday, December 31st, to pursue misdemeanor charges against Grodner.

Mike’s leave is over on January 2nd when he reports to Camp Pendleton before heading to Iraq.

Jay Grodner knows this and is going to file for a continuance until Mike is gone and cannot appear in court.

This particular case is going to attract lots of attention. The MSM will be covering it in a day or two, and Mr. Grodner will be receiving a well-deserved 15 minutes of infamy. I predict he will soon be just as widely known as the District of Columbia judge who sued his Korean dry cleaner for $67 million dollars over a lost pair of trousers.

16 Oct 2007

Buried Victories

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J.R. Dunn explains how the denial of recognition of military success is essential to the process of destruction of national morale and will by the pacifist, defeatist media.

Victory is hated by antiwar types, no matter what their ideology and motivation. (This is not even to mention the agendas of the hard left and the Democrats, which we don’t have space to get into.) They don’t want war redeemed. Anything that lessens its loathsome aspects makes it easier to view war as a possibility. Victory is one of the failings of war that must be gotten rid of. But of course, in any conflict (excepting wars of exhaustion, which we don’t often see) there will be winner and a loser. Victory can’t be denied to that extent. But the rituals, the salutes, the expressions of respect and magnanimity, can be undermined. And so we get buried victories.

A buried victory is one that has been downgraded and ignored, one that has been hedged with so many qualifications and second thoughts that it is scarcely a victory at all any longer. A buried victory is one from which all the human aspects have been drained, and replaced — if that’s the word — with bureaucratic procedure.

We’ve seen this for fifty years or more. U.S. forces had effectively secured most of South Vietnam by 1972. The Viet Cong had been a nullity since being effectively wiped out during the Tet Offensive, and the People’s Army of North Vietnam had to a large extent been chased across the borders into Cambodia and Laos. South Vietnam was a stable political entity, and with adequate support could have remained that way.

But the American left, for purely political reasons, portrayed the situation as a defeat, and in a series of Congressional actions through 1973 and 1974, cut off support for the Saigon government until it was hanging by a string. It fell at last on April 30, 1975, after a heroic final defense at the gates of the city.

In the years that followed, close to 3 million were murdered in Southeast Asia. …

Today we see a similar process occurring in Iraq. None of the achievements of the Coalition or the Iraqis has gained more than momentary recognition. The purple revolution, the elections, the reconstruction — all have been dismissed or ignored. What has replaced them is an endless chronicle of suffering and destruction – of war without victory.

A must read.

16 Aug 2007

Designer Stungun Provokes Statist Alarm

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Reuters:

It resembles a hand-held electric razor and is available in metallic pink, electric blue, titanium silver and black pearl.

But it gives out a 50,000-volt jolt that short-circuits brain signals and momentarily incapacitates.

Meet the sleek new C2 stun gun from Taser International in Scottsdale, a controversial device aimed mainly at women consumers that has sparked widespread concern among U.S. law enforcement and human rights groups.

Police forces in the United States have been issued with Tasers since 1999 to subdue violent criminals. A pistol-like civilian version aimed at the self-defense market has been available since 1994.

But the new, lighter, brighter designer version, which was launched in late July with a price tag of around $350, is small enough to tuck into a purse and packs the same paralyzing punch.

“We wanted to make sure that it was something that people were comfortable carrying and didn’t make it look like they were ‘Dirty Harry,'” said Tom Smith, the company’s co-founder and board chairman, referring to the Clint Eastwood movie.

“And it does the job.”

But some of the nation’s top police authorities are concerned that the gadgets could easily wind up in the wrong hands. Amnesty International also is opposed, saying it can pose “serious harm” for women.

The C2 Taser, which fires two electrical probes and is equipped with a laser sight, can legally be sold to consumers in all but seven U.S. states. It is largely banned for civilian use throughout the rest of the world.

“If a police officer or a civilian is stunned with a Taser there are a whole array of things that can happen and most of them are very bad,” said Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police in Washington, D.C.

Pasco, whose group represents 325,000 police officials nationwide, said the immobilizing devices should be limited to well-trained law enforcement professionals.

“There’s a tremendous amount of respect and accountability that goes along with a police officer using a Taser,” he said. “This Taser is no more regulated than a hair drier.”

Even the least dangerous weapon, one designed only momentarily to stun, can be supposed to be capable of being used to resist the authority of the state, and is therefore unacceptable to extreme statists philosophically committed to the Leviathan state’s total monopoly of force.

And civilian self defense, any level of physical resistance to victimization by violent criminals. is unacceptable to Pacifist extremists.

A record of hundreds of millions of deaths by government
in the last century ought to be sufficient to discredit completely ideologies of extremist Statism, and extreme Pacifism has always been a minority position. So why does the mainstream media insist on treating both of these absurd ideologies as the appropriate standards for evaluating public policy?

18 Feb 2007

Celebrating WWII in the Burbs

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Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University, has a son who wanted a WWII-themed birthday party last Fall, and some of their suburban neighbors were not amused.

His wife, Brigid Schulte, described the responses in the Washington Post last December 11th:

How do you explain to your neighbors in Alexandria that you’re hosting a war party? More, why are you hosting a war party? I wasn’t sure myself. I only knew that Liam had his heart set on it.

One mother said no right away. “We’re trying to get him away from guns.”

Others were wary. I assured them that the Germans would be an imaginary enemy. We’d have boot camp, a map-finding activity — granted, for a sniper’s nest, ammo dump and secret war plans — and have them jump off picnic tables for the parachute drop.

I promised it would be an, uh, “educational experience.” I had Liam write a short “Road to D-Day” history that he would read to his troops in the ratline. We wrote up the military alphabet, cleaned up the words to the airborne infantry song, downloaded Glenn Miller tunes to play in the mess hall and even printed out a program for the party.

One mother worried that her daughter would be left out. No, no, I assured her, she was going to be a medic, and a friend was building a cool field hospital and ripping up sheets for bandages.

“In that case,” she said, “I’ll bring the blood.”

Turley reflects on the reactions in USAToday this week.

As soon as the invitations went out, a couple of parents politely declined to let their children come to a war-themed party. Afterward, Brigid — a Washington Post reporter — wrote a short piece about the party, and the response from outraged readers was fast and furious. Describing the whole affair as deeply disturbing, one reader chastised Brigid for giving into the base, violent inclinations of her son: “Here’s a novel idea: Say no. Tell him that war is sad and horrible and should never be a cause for celebration.”

There is a palpable sense among such playground objectors that boys harbor some deep dormant monster that, once awakened, inevitably ends with the invasion of Poland or a massacre at My Lai. Of course, millions of men played war games as kids without becoming war criminals. To the contrary, playing war was for most men an early type of morality play, defining values of sacrifice and selflessness. George Orwell once observed that a war-weary parent “who sees his children playing with soldiers is usually upset, but he is never able to think of a substitute for tin soldiers; tin pacifists somehow won’t do.”

To teach that all war is immoral is to deny the absolute values that frame a truly moral life. Arguably, the view of all war as immoral is itself amoral. Whether it is World War II or the first Gulf War, there are wars worth fighting and causes worth dying — and yes, killing — for. The failure of the world to fight in Rwanda and Darfur are, in my view, amoral acts of omission.

Read the whole thing.

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