Peter Hitchens – in line with our `defensive defence` policy?
Well, my policy remains the sensible one of maintaining strong and effective armed forces, on the assumption that you never know from which direction danger may come. As Switzerland has shown more than once, this is quite effective (but):
There is no justification for war.
Wars simply cost too much.
They will hurt everybody for generations.
The money wasted on weapons should go into conflict solution instead.
Diplomacy’ – making peace with gentle words’ – is an undervalued skill – as we can see from the present Foreign Office broohaha.
War is unspeakable, and never to be sought or willingly begun. Self-defence remains the only possible justification.
Some are inspired by civilised countries who restrict their armed forces to self-defence. Their example is highlighted only on the WordPress Civilisation 3000 web log.
In The Friend, many years ago, Leonard Bird – author of a splendid book on Costa Rica`s journey towards jettisoning its army – wrote that ‘War is out – definitely out’. He could not understand justification for war which ‘increases deaths, mutilation, refugees and intensifies human suffering’.
He saw the tacit acceptance of war as the consequence of the tremendous pressure of generations of belief in militarism and war, believing that ‘Friends’ task is to question and challenge this – and whatever excuses and apparent justification may be offered – on all occasions.