Friday, September 24, 2010

Ignoring the peace of Numa for Left-Wing aggravation

Blogblather responded to my "musings" on the peaceful reign of Numa as described in Livy's The Early History of Rome. He makes no reference to Livy or Numa, nor discusses the implication of Numa's reign of peace in the history of Rome or the history of any subsequent nation. Instead he employs his Leftist criteria to my musings. They weren't musings for Blogblather but some insidious Right-Wing-Conspiracy of a note. Honest, Billy, I've an interest in Livy and hope to keep on reading him. Nevertheless, in a spirit of give and take, even when the take is insult and ridicule, I'll strive to turn as many of his insults as possible into arguments in order to address them properly.*

Blogblather: America is not a peace loving country because it has been at war continually since 1941.

Lawrence: A nation that loves peace might be forced to fight a war. Perhaps Billy means that we are not a pacifistic nation because we don't refuse to defend ourselves when attacked or threatened. I think Billy must have the Cold War in mind when he says we have been continually at war since 1941. Yes, we believed that we needed to defend our national interests by opposing Communism. If Billy wants to fault us for that, this would mean that he is taking a position that was favorable to our enemy during the Cold War.

Billy is a Socialist and so probably didn't consider the threat posed by the Soviet Union as a serious one, but those of us who love our Liberal Democracy did. We were not interested in giving in to Communism. We were willing to fight to defend our way of life, but this doesn't mean we didn't prefer peace -- just not peace at any price, nor peace "in our time" by surrendering to an enemy.

Thus, Blogblather's argument doesn't hold up, for it is possible to love peace but be willing to fight a war in order to defend our national interests.

Blogblather: Some of the wars the U.S. fought cannot be shown to be in defense of the nation, therefore they cannot be shown to be in its national interest. Those in this category are Korea, Vietnam, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Angola, Grenada, Panama, Serbia, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lawrence: Our national interest isn't strictly the protection of our national borders. At one time it was, but it certainly was not during the Cold War. Our strategy against Communist aggression was to oppose it wherever we could. The first piece of aggression occurred in Korea. We had a commitment to South Korea. When the North invaded the South, we went to the defense of our ally. Does Blogblather disapprove of our going to the defense of an ally? Would he say we were war-mongering by defending our ally? Perhaps he would, but I disagree, and going to war to protect an ally is not evidence that we love war and not peace. If a friend is in danger, it is the honorable thing to go to his defense if we are able. We as a nation love peace, but failing to protect our nation and our allies is no path to peace we have ever wished to take. Aside from the fact that while it might bring short-term gratification for some it provides no peace in the long run. Blogblather should reread the note he responds to, and he will see that Numa's reign of peace was possible only because the previous king, Romulus, had defeated all of Rome's enemies. Defeating one's enemies is a very effective path to peace.

Vietnam, El Salvador, Nicaragua were other cases of opposing Communist aggression.

I don't consider the U.S. efforts in Peru or Angola as war. We did support anti-Communist efforts in Angola and oppose drug trafficking in Peru. Opposing the trafficking of drugs to the U.S. is also considered to be in our national interest. Perhaps Peru was a little more like war, but Truman would have called it and the other cases as Police actions. That too was largely to oppose drug trafficking. The war in Kosovo was supposed to be handled by European forces, but when they couldn't get it stopped, the called Clinton for help. We went to the aid of European allies in that case. Iraq invaded another ally, Kuwait, and we went to that ally's aid. Iraq's refusal to live up to the cease-fire agreement was largely to blame for the continuation of that war (which had never formally ended) later on. The War in Afghanistan was a result of the ruling Taliban forces harboring Al Qaeda which was responsible for the destruction of our World Trade Center.

Thus, all the cases presented by Blogblather do not describe an American love of war; quite the contrary. When allies are attacked we strive to stop the attacker, to restore peace. When criminal activities representing harm to American citizens or our allies are conducted, such as drug trafficking, we strive to stop that.

Blogblather: The point of separation of church and state is that the government is free from religious dictums.

Lawrence: I don't believe Blogblather has his history quite right on this issue. We may recall that the England we were striving to free ourselves from had a State Religion. We didn't want that here; so the First Amendment prohibited the State from imposing an official religion. The Left has done some marvelous things with this Freedom of religion we have enjoyed. They have striven to make it a "Freedom from religion," but that wasn't the original intent. Here are the actual words from the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"; so Billy has this "freedom" exactly backward. But such a mistake is consistent with his ideology. As a Socialist he is more worried about protecting the freedoms of the Government than those of the people.

* In removing Blogblather's insults and ridicule and recasting his statements into what I imagine an intelligent Leftist approve, I may have altered or left out more than I should have. If so, I apologize. My intent was to make (or create) logical sense out of Blogblather's statements. Also, I didn't address certain insults that Blogblather might think I should have turned into arguments, as to those, I blame my own inadequacies for being unable to do anything with them.

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