The Melian Dialogues
“The purpose of war is peace.” – St. Augustine
In 1964, President Johnson told us that although we “sought no wider war,” aggression had to be met with aggression. We ended up fighting the entire Vietnam conflict with no clear idea of what “peace” would be.
In 2003 we invaded Iraq to eliminate WMD’s and get Sadaam Hussein. But what was the plan for what would be “peace?”
Today, and pretty much for the last five years, every time there is a report of the use of a chemical weapon, we posture and preen, and then shoot off some cruise missiles. Many of our Leaders have explained to us that this is not “war” in their definition, so we don’t even need to bother thinking about what the “peace” would be?
In the most recent use of chemical weapons, the echoes of the Melian Dialogues resound through history. “The strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.”
Is a mother who fed who child a peanut butter and jelly sandwich the worst mother on the face of the planet? And will it even matter if the world ends in ten days?