I saw a couple of things today that tie in to my theme of ‘peace crimes’.
I believe that history will judge George Bush 41, Mikhail Gorbachev, Brent Scowcroft, James Baker, Helmut Kohl, Margaret Thatcher and François Mitterrand very kindly for the way they collectively took the Soviet Empire, which was tilted in the wrong direction for so long, and tilted it in the right direction, with barely a shot fired. That was one of the great achievements of the 20th century.
Best of the Web rightly mocks Friedman for somehow forgetting about Ronald Reagan’s small contribution to defeating the USSR. However, I would mock (as I recently did) the idea that the Cold War was won “with barely a shot fired”. How can Friedman write that when tens of millions of people died violently as part of that struggle? Oh, right — they were just wogs, not real people. That’s a typical attitude at the New York Times.
If there was one thing I could drill into the heads of the loony leftists (pointy things not withstanding) it would be the fact that we are not necessarily at peace just because we’re not at war. Nor is that faux-peace necessarily better than war.
I certainly agree with that.
Ed over at Captain’s Quarters calculates the number of children dying yearly in Iraq was 50,000. 12 years times 50,000 kids a year is 600,000. Children. And then there were the adults, like the 300,000 Shia who were killed after Gulf War I. Or the conscripts who were forced to fight and die in Saddam’s wars against Iran and Kuwait. Or the people that he killed for their beliefs, race, or no reason at all. And that was WINNING?
It was winning for the side of “stability uber alles” and that corrupt gang of thieves organized by the UN. It is still amazing that casualty counts like that are airily dismissed because they weren’t caused during an official war.
Perhaps it’s the traces of the Westphalian Order where war between states is the ultimate evil and any level of internal oppression is OK as long as there isn’t fighting between states. This seems to be the stance of the EUlite and the thugs who’ve managed to gain control of various failed states. However, the End of History shows that liberal democracies (self-ordered societies) are an effective solution to preventing inter-state violence, leaving intra-state violence as the primary threat to the world order. This is the revolutionary change that President Bush is pursuing. He may not be pursuing it well, but as any strategist will tell you, better a half-baked solution now than a perfect solution too late.