Vin Suprynowicz

The Libertarian

Vin Suprynowicz

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War is horrible. It kills and maims and orphans the innocent along with the combatants, who themselves are not always there willingly. It is to be avoided whenever possible.

(For instance, Lincoln had no right to invade the South, which in no way threatened the North -- especially given that he’d promised the Southerners they could keep their slaves if they stayed in the union, proving that emancipation was not one of his casi belli. Also, this nation had no right to invade Iraq, which had done us no harm.)

But there are two major exceptions.

Rather than live as slaves, rather than watch our loved ones picked off one at a time while we stand by doing nothing, it is better to risk our lives -- and to kill as many of the enemy as humanly possible, by whatever means -- until such danger is decisively eliminated. It is better to respond to aggression by going to war. Not “going to social work.” War, as in “If everything around you is exploding, that’s probably us.”

But when?

When did the Second World War begin?

Most would point to the German invasion of Poland in the fall of 1939. But is that to say the Fascist conquest of North Africa -- where the Italians invented the modern “concentration camp” -- and the brutal conquest of Manchuria and Korea and parts of mainland China by the Japanese, both dating back into the early 1930s, were “A-OK”? What about the German annexation of Austria and proudly independent Czechoslovakia?

It’s typical for those who crave peace to try compromise and appeasement. These rarely work, merely emboldening the aggressor. What works are tanks and really big artillery pieces and stubble-faced G.I.s doing the thankless job of winning the war 50 yards at a time. But America didn’t do that in 1936, or even in 1939.

America, craving peace, waited till our fleet lay in smoking ruins at Pearl Harbor. Not that the rape of China had gone unnoticed. The Roosevelt administration embargoed oil shipments to Japan. The Japanese didn’t want to conquer America; they wanted to seize the oil-rich islands of the South Pacific. But they knew Roosevelt would come to the aid of the Dutch and British there if they tried.

So, declaring the oil embargo an act of war (as though we had some obligation to sell our oil to anyone), figuring they had to “use their fleet or lose it,” they struck first, at a time and place unexpected.

When did the current war in Lebanon begin? When Israel attacked? But Israel was responding to the murder and kidnapping of its own soldiers in its own territory, as well as to the endless and intentional Hezbollah missile barrage against its civilian populace. Did it begin, then, when Hezbollah snuck across the border, killing three Israeli soldiers and kidnapping two more, three weeks ago?

But that would be to say that the failure of the Lebanese government to disarm Hezbollah and stop these wild-eyed fanatics from committing such acts of war -- demanded under Security Council Resolution 1559, and part of the deal under which Israel withdrew completely from southern Lebanon years ago -- was “A-OK.”

Imagine now that America, finally stirred from her lethargy, had fought through that miserable year of 1942, American boys desperately throwing away their lives at places like Wake and Midway as they took on a superior foe while equipped only with inadequate pre-war weapons and supplies.

Now, in 1943, the tables are finally starting to turn. We have finally driven the Japanese from Guadalcanal. Our factories having run at full pace for a year, we now have enough materiel to start slogging our way up the island chains towards Japan ... when some vastly superior coalition of nations steps in and says, “Your response has been disproportionate. They only sank a handful of your ships and killed a few hundred sailors at Pearl Harbor. Look at the pictures of the suffering your bombs and torpedoes are causing. This is barbaric.”

Imagine that a three-year cease-fire had been imposed, during which Imperial Japan had time to rest, refit and re-arm. Then, in 1946, when Japan was ready, they attacked us again, unexpectedly, sinking more of our ships in Australia and in San Diego. Back to war we go.

But no, on the evening of our planned 1948 landings at Okinawa, again we’re told “Time out. This is awfully disproportionate. Your B-29 bombings of the civilian populace in Japan are probably war crimes; you’ll have to stand trial at The Hague. Have you seen the photos of the burned and bleeding children? The whole world condemns your barbarism. We need a three-year time-out.” And so on, over, and over, and over.

If war is evil, how much more evil is it to impose on anyone an endless stop-and-start war, which the righteous and aggrieved victim is never allowed to pursue to a victorious end -- the aggressor always allowed to rest and refit and then to come again at a time of his choosing, pecking relentlessly at the victim’s liver?

Some will say Israel has committed aggression, simply by existing. But to say that is to violate the U.N. charter, which guarantees the right of all member states to exist.

“But the Palestinians have no state!” the war-lovers cry.

Sure they do. It’s called Jordan. In fact, the Palestinian Arabs got by far the larger part of the old British protectorate of Palestine -- and no one attacked them for daring to set up an essentially one-religion nation where Jews find scant welcome. The masses now huddled around the borders of Israel were kicked out by King Hussein in 1972 after they tried to overthrow him. How is that Israel’s fault?

The defeatists cry that “Nothing can be accomplished by violence; war only breeds more terrorists who will fight forever.”

Really? Sixty years later, is America still under attack by the aggrieved suicide-belted grandchildren of the Germans and Japanese whose cities we flattened and burned to rubble in 1944 and ’45?

No. Because wars usually do resolve these issues -- if one side is allowed to fight to a decisive victory. It’s just that the pink petticoat gang shriek hysterically and threaten to faint dead away when confronted with the reality of how real wars really end.

Someone raises a white flag, and promises to fight no more if only you’ll give the survivors some food and water and stop burning them out of their holes. Many of the conquered women marry the conqueror’s soldiers and move home with them, giving up their native dress and learning to drive Buicks.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah is nowhere near ready to surrender. To end a war which has now been dragging on for 58 years, somebody’s ass has got to, finally, be whupped.
Who is that more likely to be? Do you hear anyone calling on the Hezbollah Army to show more “restraint” as they overrun large portions of Israel?

Not now, you say? When better? After Iran has started supplying Hezbollah with nukes?

Today, Hezbollah and Hamas have a problem. All their planning was based on the fact that the world and the U.S. have never allowed Israel to really win a war -- they always call a cease-fire after a maximum of 20 days.

Can anyone see the terrorists looking around now, wondering when they get their next three years off for rest, refit, and resupply? “Hey, it’s been the full three weeks. Guys? Anyone? Hello?”

We started out saying war is horrible and is to be avoided whenever possible. But there is a corollary doctrine. If you want a generation of peace, those who launch wars have to be shown this, good and hard.

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