Violence never solved anything
Some say war/violence is wrong or that it never solves anything. They don't seem to remember WWII, or the various mass murderers that violence ended. There's a saying that, "it is only when a mosquito lands on a man's testicles that he realizes there is always a way to solve problems without using violence". And it's true, too many resort to violence, too quickly. But the opposite extreme of trying to talk a serial sociopath out of rape or murder is a waste of time. While violence should be the last resort, sometimes it's better than the alternative. In Iraq you had a choice of tolerate a murdering despot, or end him.
Is the costs of peace higher than the costs of war?
War is wrong? Violence never solved anything? Those people seem to forget that violence solved WWII. It stopped the Taliban from enslaving people. It ended Saddam’s reign of terror. It ends most wars. Most serial criminals only end, when caught, and many end in violent resistance to arrest. Sometimes the alternatives to war are worse than war.
Ask the Jews in Auschwitz if the U.S. going to war was better than the alternative. Gandhi didn't think so. He thought the Jews should have committed mass suicide to protest what Hitler was doing to them. I disagree.
You could ask the Somali’s, Rawandans, Cambodian dead if they felt war would have been better than what happened... of course you can't do that, because they're dead. But I bet almost everyone would have wished that they had fought harder, or that others had fought harder for them.
Sadly violence is sometimes the only solution that can stop the violent.
In Indochina the peaceniks wanted peace at any price, and for the U.S. to get out of Vietnam, despite multiple warnings by the CIA about what would happen. The peaceniks got their way, the benevolent communist people’s party got control, and what was the cost?
- 3,979,000 deaths in Cambodia
- 1,813,000 deaths in Vietnam
- 250,000 in Laos
- a total of 6,042,000 dead
- This doesn't count millions enslaved, and millions of other refugees driven from their homes and having all their property taken.
- This also doesn't count that the peaceniks actions (in response to puppet master Marxist from Russia/China funding/leading them), lead to far weaker position in negotiations and politicians trying to micromanage the war. Both likey extended the war and cost more lives, but we'll never know for sure.
We do know that their drive to get us out of South Asia (and keep us out of area) helped Pol Pot's rise to power, the Khmer Rouge, and the killing of millions of innocent Cambodians (which the CIA had been warning against). Cause and effect. Unexpected consequences. Life can be tough. Tougher if you're stupid. Of course the peaceniks meant well, and may have been righteous in wanting us the hell out of South Asian affairs; and they were probably right that we should have never been in there. But there were very high costs for their actions too - as there always are.
During the Vietnam war 500 Americans per month were dying (47,378 total), less lives lost during the entire war than many single bombings of WWII. After we pulled out, the monthly death rate jumped to roughly the entire U.S. war total, each month for a decade. The Peaceniks have never made a peep during the slaughter of all those innocent people. They never admitted that the CIA was right, and they were wrong. They never considered the cost of their philosophy or that of their allies. What they said with their silence was that the lives of millions of slanty-eyed gooks weren't worth the life of a single American. They washed their hands of their mess and blamed it on not getting out sooner. But the truth is they were looking at only the cost of war, and ignoring the cost of peace.
In Afghanistan we gave the U.N. over 15 years to fix the problems. 1.8 Million people died because of that patience. Finally, we lost our patience; went in, eliminated one of the most brutal regimes in history (the Taliban), and have helped them rebuild a democracy.
Many criticize us for doing it or complain about the problems still there. And it's true, you can't fix a problem for someone else. They’re not close to a utopia, and you can’t turn a 7th century tribal/feudal culture into a civilized modern country overnight. Utopia it or not, the worst things going on there today are still far better than the alternative if we’d let the status quo go on. That doesn't make the war right, but it makes the alternative more wrong.
When we went into Iraq the criticisms of us got worse.
- Over a million lives lost because of the Iran-Iraq war
- About half a million were lost due to the Kuwait-Iraq war.
- Chemical attacks (by Saddam) resulted in over 30,000 dead
- Human rights watch says as many as 100,000 Kurds slaughtered, and 250,000 people were killed during the uprisings in the south
- That's not counting purges, prison exterminations (tens of thousands), disease, starvation, rape and torture rooms, and so on (another few hundred thousand).
- Let's say 2,200,000+ people died because of Saddam as the cost of appeasement and tolerance of the intolerable. That's not counting over a million refugees, or the millions enslaved or that died because of the U.N. sanctions.
Our Iraq war cost a fraction of those lives (roughly 8,000 in the war counting both sides, plus about double that because of the terrorists) and now they have hope for the future. Which is honestly better? Millions, or tens of thousands dead? That’s looking at war like a rational adult instead of an emotional doey eyed child.
The cost of peace sometimes is far worse than the cost of war. Many in Iraq said as much before the war, and wanted the war to come. Iraq was a horrible place under Saddam, with no hope. The people were begging for change but couldn’t fix things on their own. It was just the Europeans, Russians and Chinese were making too much money off Iraqi suffering to listen.