Tuesday, November 11, 2003

At The Eleventh Hour – A tribute to our veterans

Since it is Veteran's Day, I think it only appropriate to reflect on the sacrifices of those who were willing to lay down their lives or to set aside their personal ambitions that we might enjoy ours. Also, to think about those who are currently in harm's way on our behalf around the world.

The Observer ran a particularly trenchant article written by David Aaronovitch entitled At The Eleventh Hour. What I liked about this piece is his critique of the mindless sort of pacifism that seems so reflexive on the part of the Left these days. Orwell observed this phenomenon in the years before WWII and rightly condemned it. He had, after all, seen the naked face of oppression during his experiences in Spain.

I opposed the war in Vietnam but I would have served in the Second World War or the Spanish Civil War. Also, I have serious reservations about our involvement in Iraq, but supported our actions in Afghanistan. The horrible bloodbath in Rwanda could easily have been prevented with a minimal commitment on the part of Western powers and our interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo, albeit tardy, were the right thing to do.

The problem, as Mr. Aaronovitch so succinctly points out, is that the Nazis, Fascists, Taliban and Ba'athists haven't bothered to listen to John Lennon's "Imagine" or read the works of Ghandi. In short, flowers don't stop bullets and protest songs can hardly prevent "ethnic cleansing" or whatever horrible ideology a bully is presenting.

Only a sociopath could love war – particularly modern warfare. I lived in Belfast for two years in the mid seventies and even at that low level of conflict saw enough to make me hate war passionately. Of course, reason and discourse are always the more desirable options, but sometimes your enemy is deaf to all reason. It is at these times, I am thankful there are still young men and women who are selfless enough to stand up to those who would mean you harm.


Post a Comment

<< Home