Letters to the Editor

Insanity of war

March 28, 2010


To the editor:

Regarding the recent letter from Robert Ramsdell entitled “Bible on war” (Public Forum, March 20), I must admit utter astonishment over Mr. Ramsdell’s semantic whitewashing relative to the words “murder” and “kill.” The fact that he takes issue with the translation of the Hebrew word “ratsach” tells me he is using language, specifically the language of the Bible, to justify war. This is nothing more than tinkering with words which some consider sacred to justify the commission of hate speech and hate crimes.

Mr. Ramsdell’s line of reasoning is laughable at best and exceedingly dangerous at worst. It leads to the dehumanization of target populations and their concomitant deaths in wars that are perpetrated by good Christian people or those of other religions who believe that their sacred scriptures give them license to destroy indigenous populations, along with the infrastructures necessary to their living, while leaving behind pollution from the use of depleted uranium bombs and other atrocious weapons that ensure the sickness and death of many more people for generations to come.

This insane line of thinking is killing us, for what we do to others, we do to ourselves. Isn’t it time that we bring our troops home from the war zones and all of the other countries where we maintain military bases, countries that don’t want us there, and start engaging in cooperative mutually beneficial relations with our fellow planetary citizens?


Brent Garner 8 years, 2 months ago

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

~ John Stuart Mill

Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me'.

~ George Orwell, writing about pacifists in Britain during 1942

Pacifists are like sheep who believe that wolves are vegetarians.

~ Yves Montand

[Pacifists are] the last and least excusable on the list of the enemies of society. They preach that if you see a man flogging a woman to death you must not hit him. I would much sooner let a leper come near a little boy than a man who preached such a thing.

~ G. K. Chesterton

If peace is equated simply with the absence of war, it can become abject pacifism that turns the world over to the most ruthless.

~ Henry Kissinger b. 1923

Steve Clark 8 years, 2 months ago

bkgarner misses the point. Yes, of course, taken to extremes (which do not exist) something bad could happen if we were totally passive and inattentive. But, Eric, I believe, was simply stating that our current involvement in the current wars is unnecessary at best and damaging to us as well as the ones we kill and disrupt at worst. And not defendable by quoting scripture for Christ's sake.

I believe he is right and I will not be swept up by the fear peddlers such as bkgarner. Our military machine is very, very well supported and would only be more healthy and enabled at defending us if our troops were brought home.

Quoting "he that is not with me..." That's third grade playground thinking. We have to get beyond that. And I think we can; we're better than that for sure.

George Lippencott 8 years, 2 months ago

I was going to quote some of those.

It sure would be nice if we could all sit down and reason together. If nothing else, it is a lot cheaper than waging war.

Wonder why we don't do more of that. Could it be that it takes more than one to talk and actually only one to start a war??

Both of our current wars were initiated through our established democratic processes and both parties supported both in the day.

I do not know whether they are good or bad wars and I will probably not know that in my lifetime. I am not knowledgeable enough to be able to judge what might have happened without them and what now will happen because of them. I will leave it to the historians.

Steve Clark 8 years, 2 months ago

NavyVet, that's a whole lot of name calling there. I never said we shouldn't protect ourselves. Bringing our troops home does not equate to ignoring real threats. We have the best military in the world and they can protect us. I just agree with the letter writer that we shouldn't be overseas ruining so many lives. Next time, may I suggest you try some thoughtful dialogue.

George Lippencott 8 years, 2 months ago

normal_entire_route (anonymous) says…

You know that the best military in the world can not protect you if you are afraid to use it. Unfortunately, all international challenges do not come with cue cards saying "threat". National will is a key component of national capability. If a potential threat even thinks we lack will, they will test us. The very act of being anti-war can result in war.

George Lippencott 8 years, 2 months ago

paulette2 (anonymous) says…

Are there innocent civilians in modern war

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 2 months ago

George-- there's a difference between self-defense and imperial wars of conquest and occupation. You should really consider the difference.

K_Verses_The_World 8 years, 2 months ago

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

James 4:1-3

Abdu Omar 8 years, 2 months ago

What is missing in the determination to go to war is not the concept of right or wrong, but the cleverness of putting together a reason for war. Most Americans were all for attacking Iraq because we were told they were going to attack us and leave us ruined, so we attacked first. When we easily marched into Baghdad, we were so proud of our troops and their ability to kill the enemy. Bravo!!!

Now we are there for 8 years and we wonder why we are there. No WMD's, the Iragi military couldn't fight its way out of a wet paper bag. So what's the point? Just to spend money? The insurgents were tough to handle but that meant it was a civil war. Iraq was under a powerful dictator and with him gone, there is going to be strife to find another one. Saddam was Sunni and now we have a struggle for the Shi ites to make. What should we do? Come HOME!

Paul R Getto 8 years, 2 months ago

"So what's the point? Just to spend money?" ==== WS: Sadly, you are correct. The right people are fighting this war and the right people are getting rich off it. It could go on for years and years unless the people stand up and demand an end. Fat Chance!

George Lippencott 8 years, 2 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (anonymous) says…

Absolutely right! Your point in reference to me? IMHO I made no effort to justify war of any kind. I simply pointed out that we got in the ones we are in legally.

wounded_soldier (anonymous) says…

I don't remember the immenent attack argument. I remember WMD arguments and an argument that bad guys might be sheltered in Iraq - is this what you mean?

Abdu Omar 8 years, 2 months ago

Partially, Moderate, that is what I meant. But consider that if and a big IF, Iraq attacked anyone in the world, they knew they didn't stand a chance against the USA, so they would have attacked Israel, not other Arab states. So being pushed by AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbies and supporters, we made a case for war and marched into Baghdad. We died for Israelis. My question is simple: Why are American Soldiers dying for Israel?

The answer is simple: If Israel joined the "coalition" and attacked Iraq, the whole of the Middle East would have joined Iraq and lead to a full scale war there. The bloodshed would have been beyond imagination. So Americans fight and die, but for what? Oil, Israel? We have nothing to gain being there. Iraq will or will not be a democracy regardless of our efforts. It has to come from within.

George Lippencott 8 years, 2 months ago

wounded_soldier (anonymous) says…

Ok, I do not recall your supposition being a stated goal at the time we voted to enter the Iraq war (round II). Let us think about this for a minute.

If our leaders knew (and your supposition is a frequently stated agenda for the war) then we have a lot of leadership who would answer your question that we should help to protect Israel. Are they out of touch with the majority or are they the majority?

If this was a hidden agenda, it is first of all not very well hidden as your supposition is shared by many. Could a small number of our leaders have successfully hidden that goal from the rest of us at the time we voted to enter the Iraq war (round II)? Such an agenda would sure make the majority of our leaders look like idiots if they actually opposed helping Israel?

Maybe our motives might be a bit more complex and differentiated although I would not reject your notion that some of our citizens might have been motivated by support for Israel.

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