home > archive > 2001 > this article

When war comes to a peaceful nation

By Doug Patton
web posted October 15, 2001

"The war has done us this good...of assuring the world that although attached to peace from a sense of its blessings, we will meet war when it is made necessary."

-- Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson was speaking of the War of 1812 – the last war, until September 11, 2001, in which a foreign power actually attacked Americans on American soil, within the Continental United States – but the sentiment is as fresh as it was nearly two hundred years ago.

Having penned the American Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of King George of Great Britain, our third president understood that war is sometimes the only way to achieve peace.

Last week, here in Omaha, a group called "Nebraskans for Peace" held a rally protesting our government's actions in Afghanistan. It was just one of many such rallies that have been sponsored by "peace" groups around the country since we all watched in horror as thousands of innocent Americans were murdered on Sept. 11.

God bless America. They have that right. What they don't understand is the price that was paid to give them that right.

My father and millions of other men marched off to World War II to fight for all the rights enumerated in the Constitution of the United States. Our family was blessed. My dad came home from that war. Hundreds of thousands of his fellow citizen soldiers did not.

David Horowitz was a sixties leftist who had a 180-degree turn-around in his thinking when he saw the damage he and his comrades had done to this country. Horowitz, now an author and speaker, heads up the Center for the Study of Popular Culture and publishes Front Page Magazine on the web. In one of his most recent columns, entitled "Battle for America's Youth," he talks about how the protests of the sixties actually prolonged the Vietnam War and probably delivered South Vietnam into the iron grip of Communism. It was a complaint that was dismissed as overly simplistic at the time, but which has a great deal of validity a quarter century later.

Horowitz writes:

"If I have one regret from my radical years, it is that this country was too tolerant towards the treason of its enemies within. If patriotic Americans had been more vigilant in the defense of their country, if they had called things by their right names, if they had confronted us with the seriousness of our attacks, they might have caught the attention of those of us who were well-meaning but utterly misguided. And they might have stopped us in our tracks."

In a recent column in USA Today that speaks for the utopian movement of misguided peaceniks on college campuses around the world, Richard Deats, PhD., interim co-executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Nyack, NY, criticized the current round of air strikes. He wrote:

"What if an equivalent amount of imagination and resources were used for the building of a coalition for peace? The atrocious attacks of Sept. 11 were not an act of war but a crime. Fighting a war is different from solving a crime and bringing the criminals to justice. The U.S. should bring together law enforcement agencies of many nations to amass evidence of this terrorist network and bring the evidence before the United Nations, with the call for an international tribunal. This would support U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's pledge that the U.N., with treaties against terrorism already in place, should spearhead a global effort to rid the world of terrorism. Eight Nobel Peace laureates have called for an international conference on terrorism that could further enhance a suitable response of the community of nations."

Deats goes on to say this:

"An all-out military assault on the terrorists and their supporters is only pulling us further into a world of terrorist strikes, counterstrikes and deepening misery. Martin Luther King warned that our choice is either non-violence or non-existence. Dare we try the way of non-violence?"

What unmitigated, unadulterated, utopian claptrap! Don't these people read history? Have they never heard of Neville Chamberlain's attempt to embrace "nonviolence?" Then and now, it was called appeasement. It didn't stop Hitler and it won't stop Osama bin Laden.

Peace is an elusive thing that must be forced on some people. To those of you who think that the scourge of terrorism will be ended through chants and songs and international tribunals, America says this to you: go right on enjoying your freedom to demand peace at any price. Just remember that thousands of your countrymen are about to pay the price history has always demanded.

Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a speechwriter and policy advisor for federal, state and local candidates and elected officials. His work appears in various newspapers and on numerous web sites, including,,,, TikiTrash.commentary, and © 2001 by Doug Patton

Printer friendly version
Printer friendly version
Send a link to this page!
Send a link to this story

Printer friendly version Send a link to this page!

Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!
Subscribe | Unsubscribe





1996-2020, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.

You've seen the banner, now order the gear!
Visit ESR's anti-gun control gear web site for T-shirts, mugs and mousepads!