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Opening Arguments

Let's disarm! You first

Fort Wayne's most prolific pacifist has our guest column slot in tonight's paper:

Have we learned nothing from history? We have had thousands of years of civilized life on planet earth and still resort to war to solve our problems. Dr. Karl Menninger, the famous psychiatrist, wrote that we should outlaw war as we once outlawed cannibalism. He wrote, “War is a massive, organized campaign of destructiveness. All behaviors ordinarily sanctioned as criminal and/or sinful are suddenly sanctioned — murder, mayhem, arson, robbery, deceit, trespassing, sabotage, vandalism and cruelty.”

Here we are — at the dawn of the 21st Century. We have sent men to the moon and back safely. Our technology allows us instant communication with the rest of the world. But we are still bedeviled by the wars that dominate our foreign policy and politics and consume our resources, which are needed for constructive purposes. The words, which still haunt me, are “What a waste.”

Yes, how terrible that we can't just wave a magic wand and make war -- or poverty or hunger or disease or all suffering -- disappear. The best we can do is make the most improvements we can in our own spheres of influence -- "brighten the corner where you are" might seem like a thoughtless cliche, but it's pretty close to the truth.

Who will have the courage to stand up and shout, “Enough of this madness?” It might not be politically correct, but it would be the right thing to do.

Plenty of individuals have had exactly that kind of courage, and if the number of pacifists keeps growing, they will be noticed as a movement. But it's harder for a nation or body politic to co


Phil Marx
Mon, 10/18/2010 - 5:38pm

"Outlaw war" is a ridiculous contradiction.

Laws do not exist without the threat of the use of force. And that threat is worthless without ocassionally following through with actions. So, if we outlaw war, what possible way could we enforce it other than to use force (aka war) against those who are in violation?

tim zank
Mon, 10/18/2010 - 7:39pm

Isn't it odd how pacifists fail to realize (after thousands of years) that as long as there is more than one person involved in anything conflict is inevitable?

Lewis Allen
Mon, 10/18/2010 - 9:33pm

I don't necessarily disagree with the first two posts, but the prolific pacifist makes some good points as well. After all, even the Tea Party's favorite politicians (the Pauls) would agree that the extent of our military involvement around the globe, and the number of soldiers we have stationed around the world, is a bit out of hand. For a chilling, prescient, perspective, go to You Tube and look up Eisenhower's ( a republican and military hero) exit speech, best known as the 'military and industrial complex' speech.

tim zank
Mon, 10/18/2010 - 9:43pm

The Pauls & Eisenhower were/are not pacifists by any stretch of the imagination. Apples & oranges.

Lewis Allen
Tue, 10/19/2010 - 7:18am

My point is, there are a lot of 'apples' in the guest column. One of the points was that we have an enormous military presence in the world, and spend ridiculous amounts on weapons. Ron Paul may not be a pacifist, but he's clearly on record as favoring massive cuts in defense spending.

Leo Morris
Tue, 10/19/2010 - 8:53am

I've always considered myself a "pacifist" in one sense: War should always bethe last option, entered into only reluctantly after all else has failed. Once war has begun, our commanders have the obligation to end it with victory with as few casualties on our side as possible. OK, "still bitter over Vietnam" history lesson over.

tim zank
Tue, 10/19/2010 - 9:28am

Lewis, I was only addressing the viability of a true "pacifist" existence (nothing specific to the size of armies etc or political candidates)...

My point was simply that pacifists (while noble) are delusional.

Bob G.
Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:13am

I think at the FIRST sign of trouble anywhere...the PACIFISTS should be OUT IN FRONT of the armies (to quell the bellicose animosities)...
Then, if they all get (accidently) killed because that didn't work (and no one wanted to have a game of chess to decide the dispute), we follow up WITH the strongest military action we can muster.
And we kick their ass...period.

Either way...it's a win-win.

We can embrace pacifism, but when the rubber has to hit the road, we NEED to be ready to do what it takes to WIN any conflict that comes our way.
We don't fight to a draw, and we don't fight to lose.

Lewis Allen
Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:22pm

Tim - I agree that pacifists are delusional. No argument there.

William Larsen
Wed, 10/20/2010 - 12:05am

Pacifists are the ones who cause wars to begin with. Think about their values? They do not believe in defenses, they believe in the inalienable goodness of people. The more pacifists there are the more likely a war will be fought when some lunatic figures out that a particular country/region/area is not protected, they have no means to protect themselves and they seize power.

If you want to stop a war on your boarder or on your home turf, the people who would bring war must first realize that it would be futile to start war.

There was a general decades ago, I think by the name of General LeMay. He was questioned by Congress on what criteria was used to determine the number of nuclear war heads should be available in case of war. The city that was used as an example was the size of Hiroshima on which the U.S. dropped a 10 kiloton weapon. An identical size target in 1950 had as its primary weapon a 1 megaton, secondary was 1 megaton, third backup was a