Monday, August 3, 2015

Peace = pacifism?

Peace = pacifism?  That certainly seems to be the belief of a great many people, of just about every political perspective.  To be labeled a “hawk” is the same, to many people, as being labeled a warmonger.  This article is a great example of that notion: condemning Stephen Hadley, the head of the Institute of Peace, for believing that peace in the Ukraine will come only after the West intervenes militarily (he advocates supplying the Ukrainians with heavy weapons).

This ignores the fact that virtually all conflict at the nation level, throughout all of human history, has been resolved not through diplomacy but through the “hawkish” exertion of military force.  If there was any lesson one could take away from a reading of history, it would be that Stephen Hadley is right: negotiating with Putin is futile, and sending some Russian soldiers home in body bags is what it will take to bring peace to the Ukraine.

For this piece of common sense he is roundly condemned by U.S. progressives, libertarians, and even some conservatives.

When I read things like this, I always wonder how the proponents of diplomacy maintain their optimism, given diplomacy's dismal record of conflict resolution.  I forget who said this (maybe Patton?) and I forget the exact words, but there's a wonderful quote that goes something like this:
Diplomacy is generally useless, except when negotiating an enemy's terms of surrender.
That's the only kind of diplomacy Putin is likely to pay attention to...

No comments:

Post a Comment