05/08/05 - - Humans have the capacity to create and to destroy. It seems to me
that if we do not rein in our destructive capacity, bugs will one day inherit
an otherwise empty and barren planet.
It's no use assigning blame. The urge to destroy resides in every human heart.
Violence is all too often the problem-solving method of choice. The 20th century
differed from the preceding ones only in the scale of the violence unleashed.
Between wars and dictators, well over 200 million people died before their natural
Human history can be reduced to children's games. Adolf Hitler wanted more
living space, so, like a bullying child wanting somebody else's toys, he took
it. The British had spent 300 years trying to make sure no one country dominated
the Continent and threatened their commercial dominance. They went to war in
1939 not to liberate the Poles, as they claimed, but to make sure the Continent
remained divided. By the time it was over, 55 million people were dead, and
the survivors were burdened with billions, now trillions, of dollars of debt.
I recognize there are evil people. Both Hitler and Josef Stalin were paranoid
psychopaths. Stalin was by far the more bloodthirsty. In fact, one of the last
things Hitler said in his bunker was reportedly, "I should have been more
like Stalin." It was Stalin, not Saladin, whom Saddam Hussein most admired
and studied. And imagine what worms crawled around in the brain of Pol Pot,
who decided that anybody in Cambodia with more than a third-grade education
had to die to make way for his new society. Mao Tse-tung, a third-rate poet
but a first-rate killer, reportedly had the blood of 60 million Chinese on his
So, Rule No. 1 for the 21st century is to never allow psychopaths and insane
people to get their hands on power. Some immature people like a cocky strongman
to tell them what to do. We should take their voter-registration cards away
from them and send them to a shrink or a priest for lessons in maturation.
Rule No. 2 is to never vote for or support anybody who fails to demonstrate
conclusively compassion for human beings. It was said years ago that Sen. Ed
Muskie lost his bid for the presidential nomination because he cried in public.
It is far better to have a man who can cry than one who can only snarl. That
was the year, I believe, we ended up with Richard Nixon.
Rule No. 3 is that most problems or conflicts can be resolved by negotiation
and diplomacy, and when one comes along that can't be, then walk away. It is
none of our business what kind of government other people have in their own
countries. Communism is an unrealistic ideology that has screwed up every country
it's been tried in, but if the Cuban, Chinese and North Korean people want to
put up with it, so be it. It's their problem, not ours.
It is stupid in the extreme for two nations to go to war, since war produces
only death, taxes and debt. However, as long as they don't shoot at us, that,
too, is none of our business. For decades, the proponents of empire have been
ridiculing what they call an isolationist foreign policy, but that is the only
sane, rational and moral policy to follow.
Imagine what would happen if you ran up and down the streets in your neighborhood
telling people what they must eat, how they must raise their children and how
they must keep their yards. You'd be in a continuing state of conflict and turmoil.
Well, the same is true of nations. Look at us, spending half a trillion dollars
a year on defense and $40 billion on intelligence long after the Cold War has
ended. No American youth should ever die in uniform except in defense of his
own country. We've had more than 100,000 deaths in military combat since the
end of World War II, and not one of them was in defense of the United States.
It's time to wise up. War, as Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler said, is a racket. Young
men die, and old men rake in the profits.
We have a lovely country, and we and our children can live in peace and prosperity,
provided we mind our own business, kick the imperialists out of power and get
rid of the lobbyists representing foreign governments. Otherwise, we will suffer
the fate of every other empire — dissolution and bankruptcy.
© 2005 by King Features