Peace May Not Be the Answer

When the war with Iraq began, some of my neighbors put signs on their lawn that said, “Peace is the Answer.” I never did it, but I really wanted to ask them, “What is the question?”

Was peace the answer to King George, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin or Slobodan Milosovic?

Most people come out of the film “Hotel Rwanda” shaking their heads and wondering how we allowed it to happen. Is peace the answer? Perhaps, but what will bring it about? And, in the meantime, the sequel, “Hotel Darfur,” is being acted out.

I was watching Bill Maher’s show and saw an African-American congresswoman railing against the Iraq war and saying how she didn’t think young Americans should be sent to die in Iraq. I really wished Maher had asked her if she thought any should risk their lives for the people in Africa. I suspect the answer would be the same, since I haven’t heard her crusading for any military intervention there.

Is force the answer, rather than peace? Certainly not always, but waving a Magen David or a crucifix in front of murderers has never worked very well. Diplomacy sometimes is effective, but blather headquarters, better known as the UN, has done nothing to stop genocide anywhere.

Speaking of Rwanda, who was President during that human catastrophe? Coincidentally, wasn’t it the same fellow who sat on his hands while Bosnia was also being ethnically cleansed? Clinton lost my support when he fiddled while Muslims burned. And isn’t it ironic, or perhaps moronic, that the media relies on the former officials whose failures were so catastrophic during that administration to pontificate on current affairs on TV and op-ed pages?

The partisan retort is that Darfur is happening on Bush’s watch. The point is well taken, and this administration should have to answer for its failure to stop that slaughter. And you can be sure former Bush officials will become the media’s oracles in the next administration. In the meantime, I don’t recall hearing anyone call for U.S. military intervention to stop the slaughter in Darfur.

And, by the way, was peace the answer in Bosnia? You heard lots of people screaming that the conflict there was a civil war that was none of our business, and Americans shouldn’t die to save Muslims. Clinton belatedly decided to use military force, and that did end the violence.

It’s always a pleasure to hear Hollywood blowhards express their heartfelt concern for the downtrodden peoples of the world. Now that the U.S. military is bringing freedom to the Iraqi people, they’re suddenly concerned about anything our troops do that may have a negative impact on the Iraqis’ welfare. Of course, you never heard them utter a word of contempt for Saddam or express outrage over his decades of savagery. The antiwar protestors often ask why we intervened in Iraq, but not in a hundred other places ruled by ruthless dictators, but you don’t hear them calling for intervention in those other places either.

We all get caught up in the debate of the moment, but does anyone stop and ask, “What is worth fighting for?” What would you fight for? What would you send your child to fight for? When I look at the next generation, I wonder if there is anything they care about enough to provoke them to join the military.

Thank God there are courageous young people who do volunteer for our armed services today, and are willing to do what is necessary to protect freedom at home and around the world. But we also know that few of those volunteers are coming out of private high schools or Ivy League colleges.

What if Hitler were marching through Europe today? Wouldn’t the antiwar protestors of today still be saying that there’s no reason Americans should die for the French, Germans, Poles, or Swedes? Do you think that any college students would enlist?

Opponents of the war in Iraq say that Saddam never attacked the United States. Neither did Hitler. Does it require an attack on our homes to warrant military action?

We love the “Never Again” mantra, but do you really believe that Americans would be willing to send their children to fight to save European Jews today?

Our resources are limited and we can’t intervene everywhere to save everyone, but whenever I hear about a conflict involving genocide, I ask myself a simple question, What if they were Jews? Somehow, I’m not reassured that peace is the answer.