by Scott Hughes
Few can imagine a tyranny worse than denying a person or people the right to defend themselves. Preventable violence plagues the world, such as theft, slavery, assault, murder, and rape. The people of society need to stop this. Society needs to put an end to the prevalence of any form of offensive harm, coercion, or violence. However, that still allows defensiveness. In fact, defensive force helps stop offensive harm, coercion, and violence. For example, society needs to put rapists in jail to protect women; so, thankfully, society uses the defensively coercive act of imprisoning rapists to defend innocent would-be victims from the offensively coercive act of rape.
Does this extend to war, though?
In the contemporary world, governments build and use huge expensive armies and weapons in the name of self-defense. Warmongers usually call war a form of self-defense. For example, the U.S. government justified starting the war in Iraq by calling it “preemptive self-defense.” Similarly, in the name of self-defense, the U.S. government stockpiles a massive arsenal of WMDs, including thousands of nuclear weapons. Although only the U.S. ever used nuclear weapons (killing 200,000 Japanese citizens), other countries possess nuclear weapons, namely Russia, India, the U.K., France, and China. Additionally, countries like Iran and North Korea claim the right to develop and possess nuclear weapons for self-defense.
Yes, the healthiest society gives people the right to defend themselves – and indeed pursue happiness in anyway they want – insofar as they do not offensively harm or coerce anyone else. Yes, the use of solely defensive measures, such as imprisoning a rapist, helps prevent offensive victimization. Nonetheless, is war really a form of defense? Can a government truly use war and nuclear weapons defensively?
How can anyone see war as a form of self-defense? War increases offensive violence and victimization. War and WMDs kill people, innocent people. For example, the war in Iraq killed over 600,000 Iraqi citizens, so far. The suicide bombers who flew planes into the twin-towers claimed that they acted in the name of defense. How can anyone see murder as a form of self-defense? A quick look in the dictionary can tell anyone the falseness of that idea. By definition, murder involves offensive homicide.
The victims of war extend beyond the attacked country or group. Domestic victims can include tax-payers, who governments force to pay for war, the often-drafted troops, who fight and often die in wars, and even the citizens of the aggressive country or group. Reactions and blowback victimize the citizens of the aggressive country. For example, when warmongering Hezbollah killed Israeli troops and kidnapped two Israeli troops, Israel unsurprisingly reacted by killing and bombing Lebanon. Thus, in tragic irony, the use of war in the name of defense by Hezbollah resulted in putting the very people Hezbollah claimed to defend in more danger. In another example, the Iraq war has left U.S. citizens in more danger and increased anti-Americanism and the threat of terrorism.
War puts the same people who the aggressors claim to defend in more danger!
And thus it becomes obvious, politicians and warmongers call war “self-defense” as an excuse and a disguise for it. Just like all motivations, the motivations for war come from selfishness, governmental corruption, and such. Politicians and the leadership couldn’t care less about the safety of the people that they claim to defend. Like most people, the politicians and leaders care about themselves. Like almost any person would, they use their power to help themselves, to further their own careers, and to make themselves & their cronies rich & safe. They don’t go to war to help the citizens or to defend the citizens. If the citizens realized this, the citizens would naturally take the politicians’ power away; the citizens wouldn’t let them declare war. Thus, like when the government does most anything, the politicians and leaders lie about their motivations. To get what they want, the politicians and leaders use lies, deception, euphemisms, manipulation, and such.
Instead of admitting that they want to go to war to make Halliburton, Big Oil, or the military-industrial companies rich, the U.S. government says they want to go to war to protect America.
The world, and especially America, needs defense and violence prevention. The world needs to put an end to offensive harm, coercion, and violence. The world needs to protect innocent people from victimization, but, at least in most cases, war and nuclear weapons only increases the amount of offensive harm, coercion, violence, and victimization.
The world needs to put rapists and murders in jail. The world needs to teach innocent people self-defense, and provide them with the tools for self-defense. The world needs to allow people the right to defend themselves, by such activities as owning a gun, pepper spray, or home security system, and stopping rapists, assailants, or thieves.
Unfortunately, the governments of the world fail to do that. The governments of the world fail to defend the people of the world. For example, the U.S. military companies and the politicians that they bribe make record profits from the over $400 billion spent yearly by the U.S. government on military “defense;” yet, the U.S. has one of the highest violent crime rates in the developed world, including nearly 100,000 rapes every year.
The people need to take the power into their own hands, and demand their money back from their governments. Kick the warmongers out of power, and actually start fighting to end victimization. Reduce the murder rate! Reduce the rape rate! Reduce the robbery rate! Reduce the assault rate! Take the money back from the government, and use it to defend innocent people rather than victimize them!
About The Author: Scott Hughes runs this blog.