The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Pacifism and Historical Ignorance

Posted on | May 28, 2011 | 12 Comments

“For a therapeutically inclined generation raised on Oprah and Dr. Phil — and not on the letters of William Tecumseh Sherman and William Shirer’s Berlin Diary — problems between states, like those in our personal lives, should be argued about by equally civilized and peaceful rivals, and so solved without resorting to violence.”
Victor Davis Hanson, “Why Study War?” City Journal

When I was a kid, we often sang the old spiritual “Down by the Riverside,” the refrain of which ended, “Ain’t gonna study war no more.”

Of course, this lyric was a reference to “the last days” as prophesied by Micah, when “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Some 2,700 years later, war is still as relevant a topic of study as ever, especially for the nation to whom Micah prophesied. Yet the modern sensibility — with its heaven-on-earth dreams of secular salvation — condemns all things military as a violation of the doctrine of non-violence, as though Israel might defend herself by adopting the pacifism of Thoreau and Gandhi, against enemies fanatically devoted to bloody creeds of Arab nationalism and Islamic jihad.

This pacifist utopianism has long prevailed among the elite in Europe, and was a proximate cause of World War II, as Neville Chamberlain and his cronies could no more believe Hitler meant what he said in Mein Kampf than today’s deluded dreamers of Mideast peace can believe that Hamas and Hezbollah mean what they have said about the destruction of Israel.

Professor William Jacobson is not among the deluded, and I am obligated to his Legal Insurrection blog not only for calling attention to Hanson’s City Journal article, but also for reminding us of the infamous U.N. Resolution 3379: “[T]he Palestinian agenda always has been about denying Israel’s legitimacy, and the U.N. has been the primary forum.” Professor Jacobson also provides this powerful video of Daniel Patrick Moyihan’s condemnation of Resolution 3379:


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