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Rejecting reason

This morning, the Boston Globe featured a column by a fellow named James Carroll. In the piece, entitled "Reject The War," Carroll goes all out to convince us that war is bad.

He starts out with the classic gut-shot: the nightmare of a parent outliving a child. Then he goes back to the story of Genesis, and how Adam and Eve were confronted with one of their sons killing the other.

Then, having worked his readership into an emotional lather, he moves on to the Middle East. Apparently, if it wasn't for the United States, there would be no problems between the Palestinians and the Israelis. (I presume they'd just find a way to coexist peacefully, and not that one side would wipe the other out.)

He concludes with the ever-popular "if we stop fighting, they'll stop too" notion.

Apparently Mr. Carroll has overlooked a rather lengthy chunk of human history since Genesis. Wars and conflicts end in many ways:

1) One side utterly exterminates the other.

2) One side defeats the other so thoroughly that the beaten side surrenders.

3) Both sides agree to stop the fighting and settle matters without further conflict.

I am trying to recall an instance where one side simply stopped fighting and asked the other side to do the same. I'm no historian, but it seems to me that such a momentous event would stand out -- and none comes to mind. I do, however, recall several attempts at it (the Viet Nam war comes to mind, when we would make "gestures of good will" to promote negotiations), and it seems that those times it didn't work out well at all.

Mr. Carroll is resorting to the cheapest of tactics, the emotional appeal over reason, and it isn't even a good one. Instead, we have the standard talking points -- "it's all America's fault," "if we stop killing them, then they'll stop killing us," and "violence is bad." The only new thing about it is tying it to the Bible.

It's a damned shame what passes for reasoned argument at the Boston Globe.


Comments (33)

Apparently, if it wasn't... (Below threshold)
mark:

Apparently, if it wasn't for the United States, there would be no problems between the Palestinians and the Israelis. (I presume they'd just find a way to coexist peacefully, and not that one side would wipe the other out.)

Apparently the Palestinians are having trouble existing peacefully amongst themselves at the moment, but I digress. It IS America's fault. Somehow. It always is...

War is bad, m'kay? <p... (Below threshold)
Scott:

War is bad, m'kay?

Typical lefty drivel. "War is icky. Let's just outlaw it and it will go away." Or, "War is icky. If we would just disarm, everyone would live in peace and harmony, like primitive people do".

No wonder no one trusts these retards.

I'll listen to lefties when and if they evolve beyond 1968. So far, I don't see that happening.

...but...but...it's for the... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

...but...but...it's for the children...can't we all just get along? Can't we just surrender or something and stop all this icky violence?

Get ready for all your favo... (Below threshold)
ptg:

Get ready for all your favorite liberals to start spouting Bible verses like televangelists during this election cycle. Even Hillary has taken to wearing a cross lately.

Yeah, all the meanies in th... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Yeah, all the meanies in the world will just start loving the rest of us....hmmmmm.
BTW: Didn't the Russian Army just quit in WW I and go home to deal with the Revolution, allowing a relieved Germany to transfer troops to the Western Front?

Imagine a country where all... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Imagine a country where all is peace and love. Neighbors get along, peace and harmony reign supreme. There is no need for an army or even police because everything is so perfect.

Show me this country.

And I'll show a country the rest of the world is plotting to conquer.

Seems like the thing to do ... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

Seems like the thing to do is find out who started the conflict and what they are willing to do to win the conflict.

If they are willing to strap bombs on their sons and daughters, then it doesn't appear that they will just let bygones be bygones.

Let me get this right .... ... (Below threshold)

Let me get this right ....

If we just stop fighting and make nice nice -- build a few schools and daycare centers just like Osama or Hizbollah -- the other side will see the error of their ways and will stop killing Jews and kaffir.

And if the wife just doesn't talk back to her husband and makes sure dinner is on the table when he gets home and keeps the kids quiet while he eats, he wouldn't feel the need to beat her black and blue.

Yep. Sounds reasonable to me.

Mr. Carroll is resorting... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mr. Carroll is resorting to the cheapest of tactics, the emotional appeal over reason, and it isn't even a good one.

Not surprising from a priest turned playwright.

Imagine a country where all is peace and love. Neighbors get along, peace and harmony reign supreme. There is no need for an army or even police because everything is so perfect.

Show me this country.

And I'll show a country the rest of the world is plotting to conquer.

Sounds like the cliffs notes for Huxley's Island.

Makes me wonder what happen... (Below threshold)
hdw:

Makes me wonder what happened to this guy when he was a kid... When he handed his lunch money over to the bully, and he did, did it end there? You'd think he would have learned from this. Showing submissive behavior in front of violent and aggressive people is the equivalent of throwing gas on a fire.

You're kidding, right? Do y... (Below threshold)

You're kidding, right? Do you really expect to find reason in the Boston Globe? Maybe it's us who need a check-up if we keep falling for this! lol. Have a Merry CHRISTmas.

Just wanted to say that the... (Below threshold)
Larry:

Just wanted to say that the Russian Army did not just quit in WW1. They negotiated a peace settlement with the Germans after the revolution. It was the treaty of Brest-Litovisk, which comes under number 3 of the list above: Both sides agree to stop the fighting and settle matters without further conflict.

Personally, I prefer Curtis... (Below threshold)
mg:

Personally, I prefer Curtis Lemay's approach:

"If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting."

Its a damned shame what pas... (Below threshold)

Its a damned shame what passes for reason at the Bosto Globe.
Its a worse shame that the same reasoning is being pushe by our politicians. John Kerry being a good example.
Chuck

This raises the question:</... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

This raises the question:

"What would Obama do?"

The only new thing about... (Below threshold)

The only new thing about it is tying it to the Bible.

Yeah, because we all know the Old Testament he quoted was anti-war, right?

Moron.

(Laughing) Ok, Ok, waiting ... (Below threshold)
Wanderlust:

(Laughing) Ok, Ok, waiting for the famous [mis]quote to be spewed by a die-hard Leftie any minute:

"What if they gave a war, and nobody came...?"

(pssst: the rest of the quote, the part the peaceniks forget to tell you about, says basically that if you are stupid enough to not show up to that war, your enemy will be happy to bring it over to you.)

I just don't get it, really. How did people like this guy ever make it through grade school?

Larry: Thanks for the corr... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Larry: Thanks for the correction.

Mitchell: What would obama do? or what would osama do?

Everything in life that I v... (Below threshold)
Burt:

Everything in life that I value was either created by or improved by war. Without war we would have no society. We wouldn't even have had a reason to refine ores into metals.

I may have to rethink my beliefs when the death toll from making war approaches the death toll from making love. (STDs and abortion come to mind)

Personal emotional attitude... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Personal emotional attitudes aside...last week we went past the 25,000 mark of the brave patriotic volunteers who have been killed or wounded in Iraq since Our President ordered the invasion.
So when anyone argues about the size of the expected "surge" of 20,000...it is really not so large compared to this number..,.
As this is a place of speculation (hey I do it too)...anyone want to speculate what that number will be a year from now?
How many places in your State have a population of 25,000 or less?

Imagine a town in your state of 25,000 where everyone is killed or injured (many of the injured severe head trama or loss of limb)

Everytime one of our brave men and women go out in a vehicle they face an IED...Everytime they go on foot they face a sniper...They make it through a patrol..feel lucky they made it and loss for a friend who did not...then they go back again...and again...and then another tour..then another tour
...and they are still driving around in freakin humvees...like the one that passed you on the highway...Where is the sacrifice(higher taxes etc)
and opening up production for equipment for this
occupation..I call it occupation because we won the war...25,000...25,000...25,000
........and for what?...as for lefty retards...I guess the majority of Americans fall into that unless you can show me a poll where the majority of Americans do not now believe Iraq is FUBAR

"I may have to rethink... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"I may have to rethink my beliefs when the death toll from making war approaches the death toll from making love."

Wow, Burt, that never occured to me before, but it is so very true. Making love does kill far more people in this world every year than making war does.

Of course this is typical for the left. Pretty much everything they come up has the opposite effect of what they'd intended...

Mosely: I was referring to... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Mosely: I was referring to Obama, since he is the Second Coming, for some.

I suppose Osama is in sympathy with an Obama and/or Democratic candidacy, as we saw from the pronouncements of the al Quaeda and Iranian spokesmen who now favor the Democrats.

Carroll concludes with t... (Below threshold)
MrJimm:

Carroll concludes with the ever-popular "if we stop fighting, they'll stop too" notion.

Mr. Carroll is hereby invited to walk through a few Boston (or Chicago, etc.) neighborhoods at 2 am, protected by the notion that if he doesn't intend to rob anybody, nobody will go after his wallet, either.

So it's OUR FAULT that Musl... (Below threshold)

So it's OUR FAULT that Muslim men make a habit of RAPING Norwegian women who aren't wearing a burka on the streets in NORWAY?

What a load of crap. Mr. Carroll apparently thinks he is related to Lewis Carroll, that well known child molester and fantascist!

Two words.Kellog-B... (Below threshold)
IllTemperedCur:

Two words.

Kellog-Briand

nogo, I don't think anyone,... (Below threshold)

nogo, I don't think anyone, particularly those who support our military and support the notion that war and preparing for war is necessary, discount the cost. Which, frankly, is absolute for those who pay it, be it one person who pays that price or 20,000. It is infinite. It doesn't add. It can't.

The price doesn't go away if we simply decide not to fight and the price is not impacted by public opinion. Also, I'm not more noble if I've participated by enduring some sacrifice like higher taxes. Nothing softens the payment for those who make it, certainly not someone elses trivial discomfort.

Decisions about this war, now, are going to be wrong. They must be because no human is perfect. They are going to be wrong and messy and horrible and people will be maimed and will die.

But it really would be worse to do nothing. The "right thing" is impossible, but still we must make an effort and make a stand and war *is* effective and it *is* good for forcing changes that must be made. In this case, for many reasons, it's a better choice than our other choices which have been ineffective, just as wrong and messy, and caused just as many if not more people to be maimed and die.

If we've lost something in the secularization of our culture it's the concept of sins of ommision. Hands are never clean. Never. We think they can be but they can't.

Doing nothing isn't any sort of moral high ground. It will not make the bad guys stop being bad. It will not make our world more civilized or peaceful.

Doing nothing isn't any ... (Below threshold)

Doing nothing isn't any sort of moral high ground.

The witnesses to the murder of Kitty Genovese ... who closed their windows to the screams and didn't even pick up the phone and call the police ... certainly learned that.

World War 1 came close at t... (Below threshold)
Brian The Adequate:

World War 1 came close at the first Christmas. The rank and file soldiers refused to break the Christmas truce. Of course the Generals had other ideas and opened up with artillery.

What price freedom or peace... (Below threshold)
DCE:

What price freedom or peace? If we did nothing after 9/11 how many more might be dead here in the US? If we'd let Saddam continue to flaunt and violate the terms of the cease fire after the Gulf War, how many more of his own people would lie in mass graves? How many more suicide terrorists would he have funded?

The only way to end the warfare in Iraq is one of the three choices Jay listed in his post. Anything else will bring nothing but more death, more destruction, more evil.

NOGO, "25,000 ... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

NOGO,

"25,000 mark of the brave patriotic volunteers who have been killed or wounded in Iraq since Our President ordered the invasion."

How much intellectual dishonesty can be spewed in one sentence?

Typical lazy emotional liberal . It's not politcally correct to try and deceive people and get them emotionally wound up by combining "killed of wounded". Then as the peoples eyes begin to water up (the criminal democrat fraud throws out "Our President ordered the invasion."

The incompetant democrat frauds would like you to believe that some 22,000 soldiers have been killed and 3,000 wounded at the order of our President.

The truth of the matter is that they do not what to tell the whole , complete and accurate truth because they want you, like this dummy points out .......now you have to emotional for this to work......Ready.....Now just speculate ........... (tear drops) .........AND JUST IMAGINE!!!........ (waaaa!!!!)..... damn the Bush!!

If you want to know exactly how many of our True American heroes have given their lives for a Country worth dying for and how many have been wounded, ask one of the more than a hundred Democrats who sent them there. They should know at least the KIA total as they and their media have been counting them rather than sheep to get to sleep at night.

ATILLA... (Below threshold)
KobeClan:

ATILLA

The answer to #3, that is. ... (Below threshold)
KobeClan:

The answer to #3, that is. The only one I can think of.

Rob LA Ca,How's th... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Rob LA Ca,

How's that War in Iraq treating you?

You must be som proud of your baby.




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