Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Peace vs. Freedom

A wise man once said:
"You can have peace or you can have freedom. Don't expect to have both at once."

If you had to choose between peace and freedom, which would you choose?

Of course, most people would prefer both. But sometimes they are incompatible, as when the price of freedom is war or that of peace, tyranny. Which you choose, were the choice required, defines you and puts you permanently at odds with those who would choose otherwise.

People who value peace above all will sacrifice liberty to get it. Those who value freedom above all will sacrifice peace to achieve it. Acknowledging this truth to ourselves will force us to take responsibility for our values and their consquences.

Hawks must admit their willingness to kill and die for freedom. Doves must admit their willingness to deliver themselves and others into tyranny for peace.

The Vietnam War is an example of both. The war was started by Hawks who believed that the freedom of South Vietnam from communism was worth the blood and treasure of our country. They were willing to sacrifice peace for what they saw as the more important value: freedom. The price of that choice was over 50,000 American lives.

The Doves were willing to sacrifice freedom for what they saw as the more important value: peace. Their unrelenting activism throughout the 60's for "peace at any cost" eventually crippled the war effort. As a result, millions of South Vietnamese (and Cambodians) were consigned to the brutal tyranny of comunism under which they still suffer. They delivered millions of human beings into tyranny for peace and they joyously celebrated the peace they had wrought. They still consider it their finest hour. They have never acknowledge the bitter cost. Their histories are filled with the glory and success of their "Peace Movement" but they are empty of the misery, subjugation and death that such a "peace" has caused so many for so long.

And because the war was aborted with its goal unachieved, the thousands who died for freedom in that conflict died in vain.

(Unfortunately, you can't just shoot the bastards.)

The Gunslinger


  1. so do we conclude
    peace or freedom?

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