23 March 2011

QOTD x2: Searching for Monsters

From founder John Adams: 
Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will be America's heart, her benedictions and prayers, but she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.  She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.  She is the champion and vindicator of her own.
Should we interpret this quote to mean that the United State should be an isolationist country?  Perhaps that argument could be made, but unfortunately it is only true in theory.  Throughout the history of mankind, there are morally righteous cases to be made for going to war or waging conflict against other nations, but those cases are made with opaque colored glasses.  If one side is right, and one side is wrong, who has the righteous clarity to play referee?  (Often, the winner of the war, I suppose.  It's a deep philosophical question without a correct answer). 

So why do we engage in such conflicts when our founder warned against seeking conflict and "troubles" to be "correct?"  It is even harder to answer that question.  There is no mandate for the USA to play referee to the world when there are human rights at stake by anyone other than ourselves.  We chose to intervene in one civil war, but which other civil wars are we neglecting?  True, we can alter world events and change the course of history into the future should the right tactics be used, the best results achieved, and the evils eradicated, but it's time we start asking "at what cost."  (And I mean not just monetary terms).  
Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge.  It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base.  All men are afraid in battle.  The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty.  Duty is the essence of manhood.
Patton was a pure student of history and realized that often times, just one simple event changed the course of mankind for forever.  Further, the general realized that battle was only ever, at best, a necessary evil; one he emphatically hated.

As the last beacon of true freedom in the world (that which is quickly dimming and dwindling for its own people), should we be looking for monsters?  Should we be engaged in Libya while still trying to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis and Afghans?  Or should we realize that perhaps our doctrine of spreading democracy and forging peace with friendly nations should no longer be spread by the spear, but by pure example?  Should we switch from a manifest destiny of military action, foreign aid, and good will towards all men (enemies or friends), and once against turn inward to concentrate upon our own?  

I'm sorry dear reader, I've been doing a lot of pondering upon my beliefs lately, and I find myself questioning just how much I claim to know (or believe that I am right).

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