Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It Takes One's Breath Away

The level of naivete demonstrated by people who manage to become editors of newspapers is sometimes breathtaking. The editor of the Vail Trail has an amazing editorial promoting the loon in the attic's Department of Peace and regretting that Mark Udall lacked the courage to continue to support it.

How is that people — most of whom grow up with parents admonishing them daily to behave with peace and civility — can embrace messages that snicker at the notion of peace on a wider scale? Most people will live their entire lives without engaging in murder or acts of war and be happy for it. Yet when someone comes along and suggests more vigorous pursuit of this thing called “peace,” they are pilloried for it.

Not by everyone, I should hasten to add. But in this polarized and partisan world we live in, the ones yelling from the fringes are doing a good job of capturing our ear through the mainstream media. So when someone like Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich — who’s on his second go-around running for president — proposes a “Department of Peace” for the U.S., he is subject to the snarky attacks of those who believe the only way to demonstrate patriotism (or, at least, the best way) is to kill people, blow things up.

And when someone like Colorado Rep. Mark Udall — who is running for the U.S. Senate — is attacked (actually, the term now is “Swiftboated”) by a so-called 527 group for once supporting said Department of Peace, he is also ridiculed, painted as a pacifist who’s now willing to hold open the door for terrorists. (Sad to note here that Udall has withdrawn his support of the idea, no doubt a political calculation to fend of wussy-branding from his GOP rival.)

This retired Army Officer can only point to history. 1) Would a "Department of Peace" have kept the WWI Germans from declaring unrestricted Submarine warfare or discouraged the sending of the Zimmerman Note? 2) It seems that Chamberlain pursued peace with Hitler as hard as a politician could, and that worked, right? 3) Stalin thought he could buy peace with Hitler, too. 4) December 7th, the day that will live in infamy just passed, and a Department of Peace would have precluded that? 5) It seems that the North Koreans marched across the border without provocation or notice, supported by both the Russians and the Chinese. 6) The Vietnam war was preventable short of surrender-heck we had a war and still surrendered.

7) The Cold War ended not because we disarmed, but because we rearmed and rebuilt our armed forces under Reagan and the Soviet Union couldn't keep up. 8) Since Bin Laden's goal is a peaceful world wide caliphate where non Muslims convert or die, what would a Department of Peace promote but the date and time of mass surrender and conversion?

If Alex Miller is unhappy because people are snarky toward politicians like Mark Udall who promote, even temporarily, a Department of Peace, it might be because there are so many times in history where the price of peace would have been surrender and the loss of our freedom, a price many think a bit too high.

Alex Miller, and Mark Udall, we understand that there is a sale on prayer rugs in Vail this weekend. Maybe you can get your names embroidered on either end. Have you thought about how good your wives will look in burkhas? Oh, was that snarky? Maybe there is a reason. Snarky people intend to keep their freedom.

No comments: