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Did Europeans Learn the Wrong Lesson from World War II ?
By Scott Rohter, January 2011
“It is better to live one day as a lion than one hundred years as a sheep.” - Old Italian saying
War weary Europeans in the 20th Century have learned the wrong lesson from their bloody history and from a long series of costly wars that culminated in World War II. Apparently they have come to the conclusion that there is nothing ever worth fighting for again... Tis better to just turn the other cheek to Islamists who want to take over their country, change their customs and culture, rape their women and daughters, and cut off their heads. That's actually what is going on in England, France, Sweden, and Germany. Large communities of Muslims who migrated from Asia and North Africa are instituting Sharia Law in Europe. Some Muslim men have decided it is their right to rape blond haired, blue eyed women. In France Muslim men are assaulting Jews and vandalizing synagogues. In Holland a Dutch writer was killed by a Muslim fanatic for stating his opinions.
The lesson Europeans should have learned from their contentious past is that friendly competition among rival nations should not be allowed to lead to hostilities. That is a reasonable conclusion after examining the events that led up to WWII. It is also a lot smarter than embracing the misguided concept that European nations need to surrender their national sovereignty and independence to an all encompassing European Union in order to avoid the threat of more wars on the continent. But getting down on all fours and braying to Mecca like a stupid jackass or praying to Mecca as Pope Francis recently did is counter-productive. It is not a way to avoid war. Rather it is an open invitation to the Muslim world to keep attacking them?
The second lesson that Europeans should have learned is this... Minor problems between rival nations should be resolved quickly before they grow into bigger problems. To conclude that there is nothing worth fighting for simply because Europeans have been too eager to resort to hostilities in the past is going from one extreme to the other. They may as well resolve themselves to handing over the keys to Europe to the next bully who disembarks on their shores or surrendering their freedom to the next aggressor who is crazy enough to try to take it.
Consider these inspirational sayings from America's past.
“Give me liberty or give me death.” - Patrick Henry
“Live free or die.” - New Hampshire State Motto
“It is better to die on our feet than to live on our knees.” - F.D.R.
“We are willing to fight to maintain freedom.” - F.D.R.
“It is better to live one day as a lion than one hundred years as a sheep.” - Old Italian Saying
“Peace will come soon and it will come to stay. When it comes it will be worth keeping. It will prove that among free men there is no successful appeal from the ballot box to the bullet…” - Abraham Lincoln (revised)
“There is a time for everything and for every purpose under Heaven … a time of war and a time of peace.” - Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” -Thomas Jefferson
Over the years I have seen more than one anti war demonstrator holding up a sign that read “War is not the answer” or “War doesn’t solve anything.” They certainly have short memories. War stopped Adolph Hitler and it was the only thing that could have stopped him. It ended the Nazi death camps and it stopped the genocide of the Jewish people. It stopped the Nazi war machine dead in its tracks and it prevented an entire continent from surrendering to tyranny. War was the only realistic answer that we could have given to the threat posed by the Nazi juggernaut.
War also put an end to fascism in Spain and Italy by halting Francesco Franco and Benito Mussolini. The resounding declaration of war by Congress in 1941 certainly stopped the Japanese Imperial aggression against China, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Pacific Islands and the rest of Southeast Asia, not to mention our own western states of Hawaii and Alaska. The Civil War between the North and the South freed the slaves, and as if I should even need to remind you... the Revolutionary War, led to the founding of our republic.
Without war we would still be a colony of England. Without war there would still be slaves in America. Without war there would probably be no Jews left in the world, and the people in China, Korea, and the Philippines would probably all be speaking Japanese today. So you see, war sometimes is the answer. Sometimes it is the only answer.
To say that war is never the answer is naïve and simplistic. Such a belief will lead to our ultimate demise and to the eventual disappearance of anyone who embraces such a world view. If you say that war is only the answer of last resort then I wholeheartedly agree with you because no matter what side of the scale of war and peace you are on... as William Tecomseh Sherman said in 1879, “War is hell.” But at least we should ask ourselves the following question, “Peace at what price?” before we beat our swords into plowshares.
"The truth, the political truth, and nothing but the political truth.
A journalist has no better friend than the truth." - Scott Rohter