One of the many failings of our educational system is that it sends out into the world people who cannot tell rhetoric from reality. They have learned no systematic way to analyze ideas, derive their implications and test those implications against hard facts.
"Peace" movements are among those who take advantage of this widespread inability to see beyond rhetoric to realities. Few people even seem interested in the actual track record of so-called "peace" movements -- that is, whether such movements actually produce peace or war.
Take the Middle East. People are calling for a cease-fire in the interests of peace. But there have been more cease-fires in the Middle East than anywhere else. If cease-fires actually promoted peace, the Middle East would be the most peaceful region on the face of the earth instead of the most violent.
There was a time when it would have been suicidal to threaten, much less attack, a nation with much stronger military power because one of the dangers to the attacker would be the prospect of being annihilated.
"World opinion," the U.N. and "peace movements" have eliminated that deterrent. An aggressor today knows that if his aggression fails, he will still be protected from the full retaliatory power and fury of those he attacked because there will be hand-wringers demanding a cease fire, negotiations and concessions.
That has been a formula for never-ending attacks on Israel in the Middle East. The disastrous track record of that approach extends to other times and places -- but who looks at track records?
Many people have forgotten that one of the most well-known pacifists of all time--Gandhi--proposed that nothing should have been done about the holocaust or the Nazis. How many of his admirers have considered what the consequences would have been if the world had followed Gandhi's lead? How many millions more people would have died? How many today would live under the boot of the Nazi philosophy?
Antiwar protestors always make a point of questioning what war is good for? You have heard them chanting this query at almost every one of their peace marches. The truth is that no sane person wants war, but it may be the only possible response to evil. And in human history, there have been many evils far worse than war.
As Sowell mentions, there has been more attention paid to cease-fires; treaties; and prevention of war in the middle east than anywhere else on earth. The result has been the continued enabling and appeasement of an intolerable evil that thrives on hatred and that has grown strong and sure of its holy mission to kill.
John Bolton our UN Ambassador recently remarked:
I think we could have a cessation of hostilities immediately if Hezbollah would stop terrorizing innocent civilians and give up the kidnapped Israeli soldiers. So that to the extent this crisis continues, the cause is Hezbollah. How you get a ceasefire between one entity, which is a government of a democratically elected state on the one hand, and another entity on the other which is a terrorist gang, no one has yet explained.
How do you hold a terrorist group accountable? Who runs the terrorist group? Who makes the commitment that a terrorist group will abide by a ceasefire? What does a terrorist group think a ceasefire is? These are - you can use the words “cessation of hostilities” or “truce” or "ceasefire.” Nobody has yet explained how a terrorist group and a democratic state come to a mutual ceasefire.
If the peace movement really were a peace movement, its members would be denouncing the true threats to peace and trying their damndest to disarm and neutralize the likes of Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah etc. etc. Instead, they champion these groups, demand cease-fires with them (never acknowledging that there is no way to hold them to account when they break the ceasefire, as they inevitably do) and say little about their standard operational policies that deliberately target the innocent. But our brave peace activists march in solidarity with these foul groups; and proudly wear the latest "hate couture", thinking it shows how tolerant and compassionate and virtuous they are; not even appreciating that it serves instead to demonstrate the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of their pacifist ideology.
In today's world, where evil knows it can get away with practically any horror; that there will always be a large cadre of dupes who are willing to rationalize, excuse, or minimize any atrocity; the only thing pacifism is good for is to enable and support evil.
War is a always a terrible choice. No reasonable person could believe that it is benign or intrinsically "good" to wage war. Yet, it is sometimes a choice that reasonable people need to make simply because evil exists in the world and it cannot go unchecked--that is, not if you truly care about innocent human life.
Pacifists cannot deal with this simple truth. In reality, they don't care much about human suffering, misery or even death; let alone the legacy of evil in the world. Through a variety of psychological defenses, they have managed to deny, displace, distort, and project real evil away. There cannot be found even a trace of psychological insight among all those angry marchers who violently and adamantly demand peace at any price.
For the carefree members of the antiwar movement, the triumph of evil is unimportant when compared to their own narcissistic need to appear virtuous and good.
Pacifism--what is it good for? It protects the user from having to make difficult moral choices in the real world; from having to deal with real human suffering in the here and now; and most importantly, from recognizing how meaningless their own lives are.
The track record of pacifism is horrendous. Not only do "peace movements" fail to bring peace; but by protecting, appeasing, and minimizing true evil, they ensure that war--when it inevitably comes--costs even more in terms of human suffering and lives.