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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Skepticism to War

It seems to me that the very same foolish mistakes that lead to the Iraq, and other Middle-East wars, are recurring again. People need to be extremely skeptical about claims of war. That is sadly what is missing, there is a lack of skepticism with regard to war. Let me begin with the first obvious problem. Whenever somebody says "your cause is just to go to war", I find that statement funny. Can you think of an example where the soldiers are being told to go to war because "your cause is not just to go to war". I cannot think of an example at all. All wars are always called 'just' by the people who initiate the wars. The Soviets call their wars just, the Nazis called their wars just, the United States calls its wars just, what al-Qaeda does it calls just, and the enemies who oppose these call their wars against them to be 'just' also. Somebody got to be wrong. In fact, almost everyone is wrong as they claim to be the right ones. Thus, a simple declaration of that a war is 'just' is just not good enough. Now the basic argument used in favor of more war goes something like this. It is wrong for us not to intervene. The military should go into war to overthrow the dictator so that the people can settle their own problems from there. We have the ability to help a group of people somewhere in the world, it is wrong of us not to help. When the argument is phrased in this manner it sounds appealing. But we need to ask a lot of questions. Is the US really going into war because they want to help some forgeiners overthrow a dicator or is it because they have something else planned? Almost all wars are based on lies so why should we think of any new current war to be different. Does this not sound noble? Another important question that needs to be asked is to question the implied assumption in all of this. That is, that the US will simply go in, make what is right, and then leave. This has not been the case at all with any previous wars. The US has no credibility to achieve what it wants to achieve. In all the previous wars it got held up in what it claimed it was going to do and did not achieve its objective. Why should we assume this is going to be different? Anyone who does advocate for more war must explain all of these important assumptions about war which are often overlooked and it is a given that the war will achieve what it claims to achieve.

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