It is staggering that anyone could be so self-infatuated as to single out their own particular policy preferences as "anti-war." Anyone who is not a sadist or an idiot is anti-war. The only serious issue is how best to limit, deter or conclude war. But responsibility for confronting this issue is evaded by those preoccupied with the moral preening of being "anti-war."
In response to a Sowell column a few months ago, I wrote the following:
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.
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--their own moral preening.
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.