Sep 15 2006

War Pig vs. Stooge of the Dictators

At the risk of leading my readers to assume that jnarvey.COM has changed from a more general, current affairs commentary from Vancouver kind of web page into a war-mongering, reveling-in-violence blog, I’m publishing here a copy of my letter to the editor published this week in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight. The original article I was responding to can be viewed here.

By the way, I didn’t write the title for the piece. I’m kind of ambivalent about it.

War is tolerable when it takes out tyrants

Publish Date: 14-Sep-2006

Re: “War—what is it good for?” [Sept. 7-14]. Verne McDonald’s contention that war solves nothing is somewhat accurate, though some of the examples he uses actually seem to refute his thesis. He notes that the First World War was supposed to check German imperialism and give self-determination to smaller European nations; his only comment is “Oops.” Readers might be confused by that. The Allies did prevent Germany from becoming the centre of a European empire, and the death of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire actually did bring autonomy to some new nations—at least until round two.

The Allied nations destroyed the German and Japanese empires in the Second World War; unquestionably a good thing for the hundreds of millions of people who hoped they would be liberated.

As for McDonald’s little footnote about Israel, he seems intent on perpetuating the perverse myth that Israel’s strategy for survival is “continuous warfare with the Arab world”. Like many before him, McDonald confuses the conditions (terrorism, war, endless hate-filled propaganda, and economic sanctions) imposed on Israel by the Arab world with the extreme actions that Israel must take to defend its people from a second Holocaust.

War is a terrible thing. But letting tyrants enslave or eradicate entire nations is worse.

> Jonathon Narvey / Vancouver

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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “War Pig vs. Stooge of the Dictators”

  1. on 15 Sep 2006 at 2:15 pm

    Enslaving a nation is one thing, but allowing that nation to attack another nation is a completely different story. Governments and people in general wrestle with what to do. Do we oust this dictator or that one? Do we use diplomacy and economic sanctions until the civil war escapes their boundaries? What do we do about nations that pick sides? What do we do with nations that pick the side opposite to the one we would pick? Do we allow multinational groups to perform terrorist acts with no response? Whose duty is it to react in each case? What right do we have to tell others how to live? How do we bring sovereign nations to justice for committing attrocities like genocide? If we do intervene, then sovereignty goes out the window. Do first world nations have a right to police the world?

    All we can do is take each situation one at a time.

    John M Reynolds

  2. on 15 Sep 2006 at 5:53 pm

    I agree with your conclusion that we need to take each situation one at a time. Obviously, war should be the last resort when all other methods have failed.

    I’m a little confused by your contention that enslaving a nation is one thing, but allowing that nation to attack another nation is a different story. In the examples I usually cite, the conquerors are the ones who are doing the enslaving (ie. Nazi Germany, the Empire of Japan, the Taliban and a bunch of other clearly psychotic regimes). They are not separate entities. In clear-cut cases like those, the world has a right and duty to intervene.

    The UN was not set up to force a status quo of peace upon the world – an impossible goal. It provides for legal sanctions and war to deal with aggressors.

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