I keep visualizing whirled peas.
Anonymous Coward has taken issue with my “giving up on world peace” post, but his statements are buried in the comments section of another post, hidden from your view, so I thought I’d bring it out in the open with a new post. His articulate remarks are near the end of the comment section of New Year’s Wish, 2006, if you’d like to read them.
Actually I don’t think he really disagrees with my claim that there will never be peace on earth. A.C., who calls himself Smerdyakov Karamazov (the morose and epileptic Karamozov sibling from Dostoevsky’s novel), comments in a tone as if meaning to challenge my assertion that three powerful groups (politicians, arms dealers and soldiers) will make sure that there is never an end to war. But instead of showing how world peace is imminent, or even possible, he goes on to point out the need for troops on various battlefields, and how these troops actually do good things, like saving the families of children. And he notes some positive outcomes of deploying troops:
Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia weren’t exactly lolliops and gingerbread before we got there either – just like Iraq was pre-2003. The UN noted that 5-6000 children were dying every month due to lack on immunizations. That’s 60,000 kids every year for over 10 years. Their health post-invasion is something to be hopeful for. The restoration of the Iraqi marshes is something to be hopeful for. Quasi-democratic elections in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Jordan are something to be hopeful for.
I think if you read his two comments, you will be moved as I was by his words, and I don’t want to belittle what is obviously an emotional and personal conviction. Nor do I want to argue that soldiers never do anything good, because obviously they do. But if we or any nation are going to try to do “good” in the world by sending armed men who are trained to kill, I suggest that it will only lead to killing, which will lead to revenge killing, which will lead to more killing, and so on.
Let’s not be disingenuous about the purpose of armies. Sure, the soldiers can feel “…personal honor and courage…” and I don’t doubt the reality of their feelings. Sure, good works can be done – the weak defended, bridges built, water purification systems provided, and more. But if you had to define the nature of an army, would you say “It’s an organization that experiments with radar”? Would you say it’s a group who likes to sing patriotic songs? Of course not. The nature of an army, and we all know this in our hearts, is violence and the threat of violence. Armies are killing machines. And they’re not going away, which means to me that war is not going away.
Thousands of years of unending and escalating conflict seem to support my view. I’m getting used to the idea. What about you?