“Get ready to draw the rockets of peace
There’s a showdown tonight on the bright milky way
Ambush the bad men, blow him right out of the east
We’ll be singin’, “yi yippy ky, whoopee ky yippy I aye”
Big Guns – Daniel Amos
I grew up in the shadow of the cold war. I was a hawk as a child. Fed on the glory and heroics of movies like Von Ryan’s Express, The Bridge at Remagen, and Where Eagles Dare. I believed that evil could be vanquished with the appropriate application of violence. Just like we used to eliminate Hitler and Nazi Germany.
I believed the propaganda of the day. The USSR was the enemy. The communists were evil. And evil must be defeated. If that involved the use of American blood and treasure then so be it.
I was a fool.
Since that time, I have grown up. I served in the Navy during the first Gulf War. (I didn’t join for the glory of it. I joined for the education. Honestly, if I had wanted glory I would have joined one of the ground forces such as the Army or the Marines.) I got closer to the reality of war. I realized that when you go to war it has a cost both human and financial. I began to see the effects. People killed. Soldiers destroyed. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally.
Sure, I still believe that everyone who chooses to serve their country in the Military is a hero. Especially those that give their lives or limbs for their country’s cause. It’s the causes and the people who determine them that I no longer have faith in.
I no longer believe that a suitable application of violence can solve evil.
Part of this is the result of my Christian faith. Part of this is the result of seeing evil march on despite the wars waged against it.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a fool. I understand the need to use violence in the form of self-defense and the defense of others. What I don’t believe in is the idea of a “just war”.
There is no justice in war.
People die. Both soldiers and sailors and the innocent.
Is evil defeated? No. At best it is displaced.
Defeat one evil and another will take its place. It is like a hydra. Cut off one head and two will take its place.
We defeated Hitler and the Nazis. A true evil. Unfortunately, we allowed the evil of Stalin to continue and even thrive for a time. Then we defeated the USSR through economic violence. Now they are superseded by communist China. Not to mention North Korea and all the terrorists out there. Where does it end?
It doesn’t. At least not until Jesus returns.
But that brings me to today. The drumbeat of war echoes through the halls of the American government. We are posed to use violence, both economic and physical, to defend Ukraine from Russia. But should we?
Should we spend American treasure and spill American blood to defend this eastern European country? Is it true that Putin, the President of Russia, wants to recreate the USSR? Do we have diplomatic obligations to Ukraine? Or are we being sold a “bill of goods” by our leaders?
I don’t know the answers to those questions. But I am against war in general and until someone can make a case for me on how this is self-defense in some way, I can’t support direct action in support of Ukraine.