This won’t be as long as Tolstoy’s masterpiece and there will be no fresh insights. Everything old is new again, as the song says, so there’s nothing to add that you don’t already know. You know it but you don’t believe it.
That’s the way we humans are. We are in denial.
We – yes I am included – believe we can end violence with violence. The President will tell us tonight how he plans to stamp out the evil ISIL (also known as ISIS), and I will be among those applauding him. Yes, bomb the beheading bastards! If anyone deserves it, they do.
And with each dead ISIS extremist, ten more will spring up like the mythological dragon’s teeth, ready for eternal jihad.
But what alternative is there? ISIS cannot be allowed to take over Iraq and Syria. Do you think they would stop there? Their objective is to conquer the Mideast today and the world tomorrow.
Think of what that would do to the global oil market.
On purely moral grounds, ISIS cannot be allowed to continue its unspeakable atrocities. Edmund Burke hit the nail on the head when he observed that all evil needs to triumph is for good people to do nothing. We good people – you and I – have an obligation to do something to protect civilization.
If only for our own sakes.
Islamic extremism is a threat to us all. It is a pernicious germ that – if it is not wiped out – will infect the world and breed an army of converts to destroy our civilization from within.
So what do you say? Let’s wipe it out.
The problem is that bombs and bullets haven’t worked in the past. Good and evil have been at war in the world for generations. Monstrous villains come and go, and the struggle never ends.
We have had the war to end all wars, and the wars have not ended. We have created The Bomb, which by itself should be a powerful deterrent against aggression, yet aggression has proliferated. We devote an unseemly share of human resources to “defense budgets” yet we bcome ever more vulnerable.
Somewhere along the way, civilization took a wrong turn. Instead of taking the path of tolerance, understanding, sharing and love, we opted for a system in which selfishness, greed and bullying are glorified. Such a system inevitably breeds resentment and hate, and as long as it prevails, there will be no peace.
So I’ll listen to the President’s speech tonight and I am sure I will be gratified to learn how he proposes to rid the world of this latest horror. Then I’ll pray for peace.