What Cost Peace?

Is the peace of watching others suffer, while one is at ease, or of leaving oneself wide open to attack by ones enemies a peace worth having? Is it worth dying for? When considering the modern left's anti-war movement, one striking aspect one notes about these groups is that they claim to want peace, yet they are vehemently opposed to confronting those who are the worst enemies of peace. They don't want to destroy those who destroy peace. It's almost as if some of them believe that peace will somehow germinate in the manure of inaction to blossom in the dull light of empty ideological rhetoric.

Peace means more than donning your worn Che Guevara t-shirt to go join the angry rabble disrupting traffic in a chaotic flurry of slogan-shouting, fist-shaking, and democracy-hating. It means more than the predictably banal and witless bumper stickers on the car that you drive to these brilliant think tanks. Peace transcends the soulless philosophizing about geopolitical realities, which you haven't quite gotten around to learning about, over cappuccino and scones afterward. And it definitely means more than your knowledge of Marx or Castro, or your interpretation of Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done?. Peace is about the elegant simplicity of the human spirit's yearning for freedom and safety, and the nuts and bolts work in the real world that is necessary to secure and protect it.

In the vast constellation of human differences, one dishonorable attribute binds us all: the lust for power that moves men of high ambition and low ethics. Such power, once attained, leads to brutality, oppression, and war. The one universal curative for this potentially devastating phenomenon is Western liberal democracy. If an elected politician is interested in keeping his job, he would be wise to give the people what they want. The people do not want war—democracies do not go to war against each other. Unfortunately, not all of our human brethren enjoy the freedom, security, and prosperity that democracy brings. There are any number of autocrats, mullahs, dictators, sheikhs, and dime store tyrants spreading the totalitarian love around to their neighbors and exporting its deadly hatred abroad. This is where war comes from. (This is also why democratic nations dearly need to put aside spiteful pettiness to unite and defeat the evil that holds so many of our brothers and sisters down elsewhere.) It should be self-evident to any thinking person that where there is freedom, there is little inclination to lash out violently.

And yet, somehow, the left's anti-war herd still insists that Western democracy is to blame for the misery and war in the world. This is another remarkable characteristic about the disordered thinking of anti-war leftism. In their through-the-looking-glass worldview, the exponents of liberty, rights, reason, and peace are reviled as imperialistic villains with a conspiratorial agenda to spread their dominion at the expense of the poor and downtrodden. These true believers make common cause with communist megalomaniacs, mass-murdering Islamofascists, and other vicious rulers who are—for obvious reasons—bitter enemies of the United States and our allies. They adulate the thugs who jail dissenting intellectuals and force their population to live on rationed meat, broth, and old rice. They call the deranged mujahideen murderers in Iraq, who kill American soldiers and countless Iraqi "apostates," the "Minutemen." They justify the slaughter Israeli citizens as a necessary, if unpleasant, element of a noble cause. These people are all about pacifism and tolerance, except for when it comes to the anti-America (and anti-Israel) forces who hate the grand and mighty power of freedom. Then they become animated with apologetics, polemics, and glorification of base behavior. Islamofascism, communism, or any other form of America-hatred gets a pass when it comes to bigotry and violence. They tolerate the intolerable.

The mad masses of moonbattery are free as a flock of loons, aloft over Lake Stupid, to express their views, to challenge the status quo, and to vote for change. These are simple, yet precious, rights which cannot be found in any of the totalitarian causes they get behind. They exercise the free speech that gets people thrown into prison in Cuba. They may choose to date, and even have sex with whoever they please; behavior that women in Islamic states are killed over. They are at liberty to choose any religion—or none at all—which suits them, without fear of violent reprisal or subjugation as a second-class citizen. And all the while that the angry, cynical left and their Islamic allies vilify America and the West, they avail themselves of the singular advantages and benefits of the states they love to hate.

No one likes war. The binary mind-set of the left apparently has a caricature image of anyone who supports a military effort as some sort of slavering, macho Neanderthal thrilled about a vulgar display of power—someone moved solely by the visceral joy of seeing as many members of the out-group as possible being pulverized and mangled by Uncle Sam's war machine. I don't know anyone like that, and I'm glad I don't. I don't want to see my countrymen go off to kill and die unless there's a damn good reason. That being said, yeah, I'm greatly, and unabashedly, pleased when as many members as possible of Allah's deranged soldiers are pulverized and mangled far from my home by the American men and women I'm proud to be defended by. Put simply, our way of life is vastly superior to theirs, and it's worth fighting for. And if one is to be honest, it must be admitted that we could wipe them out en masse if we were willing to sink to their level of moral turpitude. But the anti-war left draws a moral equivalence between us and them. When you compare a gang of crazed Islamic barbarians, (along with their cheerleaders worldwide) who crash full passenger jets into occupied skyscrapers to American soldiers who try to raise money and buy school supplies for the kids whose country they've liberated, I can see that you're in a strange and scary place. I don't envy you.

No one likes war for the sake of war. Only sociopaths and those of a medieval religious bent (yes, I'm looking at you, Religion of Peace™), are able to find pleasure in killing for its own sake. War is awful, and the whole world would be better off without it. We all know that. But you're not going to end war with senseless hostility toward America. You won't stop the United States from defending itself by making a spectacle in the streets with hateful, loopy organizations like A.N.S.W.E.R., ISM, CAIR, et al (although I ardently support your right to do so). Peace is not going to fall into your lap because you whine like a spoiled child who is irritated by a troubling matter he hasn't bothered to think through properly. If you sincerely want peace, you must commit yourself to the reality that the enemies of peace must be ruthlessly hunted down, and served with a punishing attrition hotter than the sun. Because while the Ayatollah Ali Khameneis, Kim Jong Ils, Bashir al-Assads, Hassan Nasrallahs, al-Zarqawis, bin Ladens, etc. exist in this world, we are going to have to kill them and their followers. That way, you can live to protest against America, Israel, or anything else, for another day.