6 results for tag: War


Build it and they will use it

The New York Times reported that in 1958, U.S. military leaders had plans to use nuclear weapons against China. Daniel Ellsberg (who leaked the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War in 1971) recently posted online a secret document showing Pentagon leaders were willing to use nuclear weapons to stop China from attacking the Republic of China on Taiwan.

Counting all the costs of war

On Memorial Day we remember the veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in our many wars. We should mourn the fallen. We should mourn because they did not die for their country.

Nuclear weapons are now illegal

Most of the world agrees with these two former national leaders on opposite sides of the Cold War. On January 22, 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons became international law. Nuclear weapons are now illegal. Nations who possess, threaten to use, or use these weapons of mass destruction will be outlaws. This is a big step toward abolishing them altogether.

Rethinking Militarism

We have a culture in this country of violence and militarism. Many of our national myths are based on violence. The six-gun toting cowboy, the tough cop, the military hero, and mafia godfather are typical Hollywood themes. Even our national anthem is all about war and “bombs bursting in air.” Around patriotic holidays, like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, this culture is promoted with speeches honoring the “sacrifice” of our troops. They died to “defend freedom” and protect our way of life. Implied in these stories is that our many wars were necessary and justified. In our zeal to honor military service we create a mythology of ...

Honor the Fallen Not the Wars

On Memorial Day we remember those who died serving in the military. But remembering their sacrifice should also remind us of the futility and costs of war. We should mourn the fallen without glorifying and promoting war. Too often in eulogizing veterans we unintentionally promote war. The story line is that we owe our freedom to the sacrifices of military veterans in just wars. This is not true, but saying so is unpatriotic. It is not true that all our wars have been necessary, just, or in defense of freedom. Many have been illegal. Most have been about protecting commercial interests, expanding territory, or opposing other ideologies and ...

Remember the Past but Work for the Future

August 6, 1945 we dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The world changed forever. We came under the shadow of a nuclear mushroom cloud that is still with us 69 years later. We should remember the dead and wounded from the horrific events of that time. At Hiroshima we killed an estimated 166,000 and, three days later, 80,000 in Nagasaki. Most of these dead were non-combatant civilians of all ages. We should remember that war has always been destructive. But with the atomic age we reached a new level of destructiveness. During the arms race of the cold war we built arsenals with the power to literally destroy the world. When you ...