War is a necessary evil, deeply traumatizing, tragic, and good for us.
Like Lowe, I was sceptical of Morris’ claim that war was actually good for us, as a species, but by the end of the book, Morris had me convinced. His basic premise is that without a global power that keeps trade routes open and facilitates the movement of products and culture, we all end up worse off. How does a global power establish itself?
The global powers do not even have to go to war with one another! The end result of WWI and WWII was the transfer of global power from Great Britain to the United States. GB no longer had the power to keep trade routes open and running in the Pacific, so the US stepped in, and after unimaginable destruction, created the modern nation of Japan. From the ashes of Hiroshima arose a huge economic engine – one that cemented open trade in the Pacific, and the power of the US to enforce global standards.
70 million people died in WWII, but that represents only a tiny fraction of the human population, and WWII created untold prosperity for the rest of the world. That’s cold comfort to the 70M who died, but overall, war tends to make us all better off, in the long run. With one important caveat: a global policeman must arise from the conflict. Wars that don’t lead to a superpower emerging achieve nothing, but more, and endless war, until that superpower gathers and asserts itself.
In 2016, the US is teetering on the brink of losing its global cop status, and that would be an unmitigated disaster for the entire world. Officer Sam is not in trouble because he doesn’t have superior technology, firepower, manpower and funding. The US is unchallenged on that front, but China is rising to contest Sam’s power. Russia wouldn’t mind another shot at the badge, either. Progressive leftists are the ones who want to defund the military, reduce its power, or send the US into wars that end with no clear demonstration of superpower. The naiveté of the liberal Left is the greatest threat to peace the world has ever seen.
Since the end of WWII, the US has not won a war in the way that word is traditionally understood. Korea ended with the exact same geographic demarcation it began with. South Korea rose, phoenix-like, from the ashes, which is what happens when a good war ends, but North Korea was left intact, defying the power of the US to determine the law of the land. Same thing in Vietnam. Same thing in Iraq. Same thing in Afghanistan. Same thing in Iraq again. The US throws away money and blood, but stops short of exercising its power as a global cop to punish or even execute lawbreakers. You wage total war, or constant war. Those are the choices.
Progressives on the Left desperately want to believe that pacifism is an option. If the US didn’t go to war, the argument goes, there would be no war and we would all live in flower-filled meadows with unicorns and endless trays of cupcakes. That is mind-numbingly naïve. It’s the logical equivalent of saying that since police officers tend to show up whenever a crime occurs, getting rid of police officers will end the crime!
That’s not how it works.
I seriously wonder who the Left would prefer as the global superpower if not the US? Both Russia and China have histories of killing millions of their own people in pursuit of internal political goals, all of which failed miserably. The Great Leap Forward was a great leap into a grave for 45 million people in just four years!
The United States has no history of murdering millions of its own citizens, and no indication of any inclination to do so. Compare that to the progressive Left with their calls to #KillAllMen and #KillAllWhites on Twitter. Yeah, let’s give these people power, and let them gut the military. What can go wrong?
The only political leader on the current scene willing to address the need for the military to be so strong, it never has to be deployed is Donald Trump. This is one of the key reasons I am so enthusiastic about Trump. He seems to understand the purpose of war (he won’t go into Syria) and the importance of the US as a global cop. I think his tax plan is smart, his approach to immigration is sane and compassionate, and his dedication to shredding Common Core absolutely vital, but nothing makes me cheer louder for Trump than his commitment to making the US military the most lethal and fearsome the world has ever seen.
That’s how you get world peace.
It may be uncomfortable to acknowledge, but war is part of the human condition and it isn’t going anywhere soon. Someone needs to have the biggest guns and the willingness to use them, with morals and an understanding of what the guns are to be used for. People often say ‘war is about money’, as if that is a bad thing. Of course it’s about money! What other reason would be acceptable? Revenge? Religion? Pure hatred? War is about protecting a global economy that has lifted billions out of poverty and continues to do so. War is about making us all members of a global society that offers the opportunity to rise. War is about imposing the rule of law so that we are all safe and secure.
I’ll trust these guys to make that happen:
The alternatives are no alternatives at all.
Lots of love,