Sunday, November 4, 2012

On adulthood, Iran, and war

A reader writes to me:
  I don't know why it is that grown adults like yourself "cringe" everytime the subject of war comes up.  It reminds me of the rebellious reaction a child displays when asked to wash his hands or take a bath.  It's as is we exist in a vacume where no evil exists and some magic force will automactically protect us from doom.  This attitude is what lead the U.S. and the rest of the globe to downplay the role of Adolph Hitler until he secceeded in murdering 11 million souls. 
   But if we follow this path in regards to Iran we will face an outcome even more destructive than the fallout from WWII.  And "fallout" is the operative term.  If Ahmed Adinojhad reaches the ability to produce nuclear warheads he will either use them to wipe out Israel or as a threat to our efforts for peace.  And if you don't think he will do these things remember that the same thing was said about Hitler. 
   In short Mr. Mathis I suggest it's time for you and your liberal followers to grow up and start acting like adults. When it comes to war we simply can't avoid it solely on the basis that we don't like it.  That is unless you feel your opinion is more important than the rest of us living.  
I respond (with slight edits):
If reluctance to war is a sin, though, let me suggest that over eagerness to attack and invade and bomb is another. Americans not so long ago were told that the invasion of Iraq was necessary to prevent the occurrence of a "mushroom cloud" demonstrate Saddam Hussein's evil powers. Oops. Turns out that many people died--mostly because of the violence that we unleashed.   
If it is "adult" to face up to the sad necessities of war and childish to want to avoid them, let me submit that it's also more than a little puerile to unleash such forces with little apparent regard for the tens of thousands of innocents who die as a result. Iraqi civilians suffered because of a mirage; you now propose that Iranian civilians be maimed and die because this time it's REALLY true that a Middle Eastern regime will commit genocide and suicide in one fell swoop. Me? I'd rather be cautious. I think it might save more lives on both sides.  
I once was a pacifist. No longer, though I remain a skeptic of war and its benefits. Some wars are probably necessary. But they are few in number, and certainly fewer than you seek to justify.  

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