It is being reported in libertarian circles that since World War 2, there have been 248 armed conflicts on our planet, and 201 of them were started by the U.S. government. This has led to the deaths of approximately 30 million people, most of whom are civilians.
To be fair, some of these conflicts could be highly debatable as to which side started it, but we can be sure that the U.S. government played at least some kind of role.
But it is interesting that this statistic is taken since World War 2, because that was the last time that the U.S. was attacked militarily on its own soil. Of course, this was in Hawaii, which is a long way off from the mainland of the United States. And we can also point out that Roosevelt provoked Japan in to attacking. There is even a strong case to be made that Roosevelt knew an attack was coming but did nothing to stop it, in order to get the U.S. into the war.
Regardless of all that, there has been no war on U.S. soil since World War 2. There have been some terror attacks, but these are single events and are not really conflicts in the terms being discussed here. We are talking about conflicts initiated by governments or at least fought on one side by the state.
The point here is that all armed conflicts have been foreign conflicts. None of this has taken place in the United States. So if someone is going to argue that the U.S. didn’t initiate something, it is a hard argument to make. If there is a conflict in a foreign land and the U.S. government is involved, it is almost impossible not to place blame on the U.S. government. If it was on a foreign land, it was obviously not in self-defense.
Some could make the case for involvement in conflicts for humanitarian reasons. But aside from the fact that an armed conflict for humanitarian relief sounds contradictory, it must also be acknowledged that the U.S. government is still using weapons against others in foreign lands who are not legitimately threatening U.S. land or the people who live there.
Making War Doesn’t Make Peace
Many conservatives like to say that they believe in “peace through strength”. Strength is fine, but it doesn’t mean blowing things up and occupying other countries. It also doesn’t mean overthrowing other governments.
It is ironic that almost everyone is saying that Putin invaded Ukraine. But this is really a highly inaccurate description of the situation. The people of Crimea voted to secede and join Russia. It was an overwhelming vote in favor of it. Putin did not invade Ukraine or Crimea. He basically accepted Crimea. It was not as if Russian troops were actually invading the area and forcing the people there to join.
Meanwhile, U.S. government agents have been present in Ukraine, a country thousands of miles away. The U.S. government assisted in overthrowing the government there. In all likelihood, it was the U.S. government that instigated the whole thing.
Again, whenever we see massive violence and conflict going on somewhere in the world, why do we always seem to find the U.S. government’s hand in it somehow?
I think a lot of people mean well (not including most politicians). They just simply do not know what is going on and how much trouble their own government is stirring up. Most foreigners will recognize the problems that the U.S. state is stirring up, but Americans do not get the same kind of news. Americans are treated to the media touting the line of the politicians and forever invoking patriotism.
I think the pro-war Americans need a lesson in two things. The first lesson is in history. They need to open their eyes to the reality that it isn’t usually good vs. evil and that their side isn’t always good. They need to be taught the total disregard for human life by the politicians they elected. They need to learn that the military they have been taught to love is often engaged in the killing of innocent people.
After an accurate history lesson, the second thing that the pro-war Americans must learn is that making war does not make peace. It is a ridiculous notion that you are going to bring about peace by continually fighting. Violence will almost always lead to more violence.
If America wants peace, the best way to do it is by leading through example. In situations of defense, violence should only be used against the individuals who have specifically already initiated the violence or threat of violence.
There should be no collectivism. If someone from Iraq (or anywhere) commits a violent act on U.S. soil, then that person should be held responsible. You don’t hold the whole country responsible. You don’t start dropping bombs on random people.
When someone commits a crime in the U.S., it is not acceptable to kill innocent people in pursuit of the criminal. If a criminal runs into a crowded building, the police can’t just start shooting inside the building because the criminal is in there somewhere. The same set of ethics needs to be applied everywhere.
If the U.S. is ever to become a free country again, then the pro-war mentality must change. We must start with a history lesson that shows most violent conflicts of the last 70 years have involved the U.S. government in some way.