Grassroots Commentary

Give Peace a Chance

William Stoecker · Dec. 2, 2015

Remember the words in that 1960s anti-war song? “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” Maybe a few of the radicals, for once in their worthless lives, had a point. There are times when men must be ready to fight; for example, if America came under the domination of a corrupt communist dictator and there was no chance of peacefully removing the communists, revolution and civil war would be justified. But the fact is that most of the wars the United States has been dragged into were unnecessary or avoidable and led to tragic consequences — in addition to the immediate waste of blood and treasure. Back when we had a Constitution and it was usually obeyed, we were not so quick to send our troops to nations most Americans had never heard of, without a formal declaration of war by Congress. When we did send the troops in simply by order of the president, it was usually for a brief war with low casualties. That, as we have seen recently, is no longer the case.

Let’s look back at some of our past wars. In the American Civil War some 620,000 soldiers died, about two percent of the population, comparable to six million dying today. Actually, the death toll was probably much higher than that, and then there were many, many civilian casualties, and tens of thousands of permanently maimed men, the immense financial cost of the war, and the physical destruction of large parts of the South. Yet Lincoln’s war was illegal to begin with, for there is nothing in our former Constitution that says or even implies that states do not have a right to secede. In fact, the Founding Fathers were adamant that the states created the federal government, and not the reverse. As for slavery, that regrettable institution would probably have died a natural death within a few years anyway. Lincoln could have, should have worked out some compromise, perhaps offering a deal allowing the North and South to remain together in a very loose confederation. But Lincoln and his backers wanted to end state sovereignty.

The Spanish American War was stirred up by such “progressives” as Theodore Roosevelt and the elite media, especially the Hearst papers. Spain posed no threat to us; the war was completely unnecessary, but it gave us an overseas colonial empire, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. Our involvement in the Philippines soon led to a protracted guerilla war against Filipino rebels, costing 4,196 American lives; the original war with Spain killed “only” 2,446 of our troops. We gave Cuba its independence, and, after WWII did the same for the Philippines. But we still have Puerto Rico as a territory, contributing little and taking much from our economy.

Woodrow Wilson, the racist “progressive” who gave us the income tax, Federal Reserve, and direct election of senators (further weakening state sovereignty) also got us into WWI after promising to keep us out. “Liberal” or “progressive” politicians get us into a lot of wars. Some 116,516 Americans died in the trenches; I don’t have a lot of faith in the precision of that figure, but a lot of young men died or were maimed, and a vast amount of money wasted, to “make the world safe for democracy.” Never mind that the US was never supposed to be a democracy, but a Republic. Never mind that our allies included Imperial Russia and Imperial Japan. And we made the world safe, not for “democracy,” but for fascism — in Russia, then Japan, Italy, and, finally Germany.

In WWII we lost 405,399 (again, this figure implies a precision that is impossible). Again, the maimed and the cost are also significant; WWII cost the U.S. $288 billion, almost $3.5 trillion in 2008 dollars. And for what? We got into war with Japan supposedly because we opposed their brutal aggression in China, but China endured another four years of war, then a civil war, and now is enslaved by its communist rulers (really fascistic crony capitalists calling themselves communists). Nor did we save the Jews; we refused to take any large number of Jewish refugees before the war, and FDR hid the truth about the Holocaust from the American people. Our bombers flew over the death camps but made no effort to bomb or strafe the guard towers or SS barracks. We allied ourselves with the world’s greatest mass murderer (Stalin) against the second greatest (Hitler), and our defeat of the Nazis only led to the spread of the communists.

In Korea we lost 36,576 Americans, and we practically invited the communist invasion of the South by declaring that Korea was not in our sphere of vital interest. We could have armed South Korea with purely defensive weapons (we had huge surplus stockpiles left over from WWII) like P-51 fighters, artillery, and anti-tank guns — but we didn’t, leaving them open to invasion. We saved the south from defeat, but North Korea is still there, now armed with nuclear weapons, and our troops are still in South Korea (a nation that could easily defend itself).

It is now generally understood that the Gulf of Tonkin incident that served as a pretext for our entry into the Vietnam War was essentially staged. Some 58,209 Americans died in an illegal (not declared by Congress) war where the rules of engagement forced on our troops by our own government made victory virtually impossible, and even though we won most of the battles, when we pulled out the enemy won.

In the First Gulf War with Saddam Hussein we lost 258 Americans; in the Second Iraq War and in Afghanistan (so far) we have lost 6,626; so far, these wars have cost us $915 billion in 2015 dollars, at a time when our spending and debt are already out of control. And for what? Saddam, prior to our first war with him, did not support terrorism and was a strong counter to Iran. We replaced him with a pro-Iranian dictator, and now ISIS controls large parts of Iraq. In Afghanistan, where we are allied with homosexual child rapists, we have brought about a huge increase in opium production, fueling the international narcotics trade. And the moment we leave, everyone knows that the Islamists will take over — are we to stay there forever? And our bombing of Libya and our arming of the terrorists who would become ISIS has led us to our current situation, where it is not clear which side we are on.

And, to top it all off, we are now allied with Islamist Turkey, and the Turks can drag us into a war with Christian Russia, the only nation (aside from France and the Syrian government) that is seriously fighting the Islamists. Such a conflict could easily escalate into the thermonuclear holocaust that will kill most of us and finish the destruction of Western Civilization. And the prancing, preening mad fool in the Rainbow House is just the one to lead us to ruin.

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