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Peace is good, but sometimes war is, too



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September 29, 2010 - Peace is an admirable goal.

It's something humanity should strive for and, whenever possible, attain.

But as we all know, there are times when peace is simply not feasible and wars must be fought for the good of all.

Peace is on my mind this week because on Monday I attended the Peace Pole assembly at Lakeville Elementary (see story on Page 4).

As I watched smiling students make a "peace pledge" while facing a "peace pole," I couldn't help but wonder what type of lessons about "peace" will they learn in school?

I hope it won't be the naive lesson that peace is always good and war is always bad.

I hope it won't be the cockamanie notion that "peace at all costs" is some sort of virtue. Peace, in and of itself, is not always a positive thing.

It was the cowardly European nations desire for "peace at any price" that led to the Munich Pact of 1938, which appeased Hitler and allowed him to annex and enslave the poor Czechoslovakians.

The so-called peace achieved in Munich paved the way for World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust.

After WWII, it was our misguided desire for peaceful relations with the Soviet Union that allowed the communists to pull the Iron Curtain over Eastern Europe for five decades.

I hope students will be taught that sometimes war can achieve great things.

It was war that led to America's independence from Great Britain and establishment as a democratic republic.

It was war that ultimately freed the slaves from the cruel bondage perpetrated by their Southern masters.

It was war that defeated Nazism and Fascism, saving the world from darkness.

It was America's willingness and readiness to go to war that helped hasten the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Yes boys and girls, the idea of world peace is a noble goal and there's nothing wrong with longing for it and working toward it. But you must also realize that it will never, ever become a reality because the only place it can exist is in Utopia.

The only way to achieve a perfect world is with perfect people and that's something no amount of education or social engineering will ever produce. Man is hopelessly and permanently flawed.

As long as people exist, there will be wars and there will be violence. The best we can do is hope for the wisdom to know when to fight and when to talk.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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