Saturday, February 18, 2012

Declare Peace

Here is a modest proposal: let's terminate all the undeclared wars.

As I see it, we have been in a state of war since 1946. After the defeat of Germany and Japan the newspaper headlines said "War is Over" but the reality is the wars America fights continued uninterrupted and continue today. We started with the cold war and then in unending succession we fought wars in Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya with excursions in Lebanon, Panama, Grenada, the Balkans, Somalia, the tribal regions of Pakistan, and now we fight rapidly escalating drones wars all over the world. And those are just the better known military wars.

We have also been fighting wars on poverty, drugs, and terror; and every one of these wars, I submit, have resulted in damage to our liberty and the values that we hold dear. In some cases, these wars have failed miserably. In roughly 1965 Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty and today there are more folks living below the poverty line than any time since the Great Depression. The war on drugs has enriched the drug cartels, imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Americans, and done very little to stop drug consumption. And the latest war, the war on terror, has enabled the government to spy on our citizens and grope us at the airport; and most recently Congress authorized the military seizure of citizens without trial.

I am not a pacifist; I served in the US Marine Corps for seven years, and I know the world presents many dangers that require a strong military and the capability to protect our interests and project force when necessary. When the bad guys hit us we need to respond and sometimes that may require preemptive action. But we should go to war only when Congress has declared war as set forth in the Constitution. If we go to war Constitutionally then we are more certain to fight only those wars that the American citizenry have chosen and are willing to finance and make the other sacrifices that will be required.

The war mentality is not working. Nothing good comes from war, and we have no business imposing our way of life on anybody. Let's terminate the undeclared wars, declare peace and devote our energies to restoring liberty and rebuilding America.