Reasons For Peace

Why do we spend 2,000m. preparing for war when everyone agrees that it is something which we do not want? We are trying to build a better world to live in; why then are we willing to risk devastating it? People agree that a world without war is a desirable one, but they would rather languish in apathy than take constructive steps to achieve this end. And they will not take such steps until they are convinced that war is both politically futile and morally wrong.

Taking the political aspect of war first. It is the ultimate method of enforcing political ideas and if looked at with regard to the Vietnamese war its futility will adequately be shown - the aim of the United States is to contain communism, to stop it spreading south; to Australia, and east to America. Yet communism is nothing tangible, it is an idea, which cannot be defeated by militaristic methods. They will probably win the war, but it is obvious that they will not be able to wipe the communist idea from the minds of the people. In Korea, the United States was fighting for a similar reason, and they eventually gained a victory on the battle-field , yet well over half the population still openly adhere to communism.

Secondly, looking at war from a moral point of view, we must ask ourselves, have we the right to take another life? War is based on ideas and no amount of killing will change these ideas. Catholics state that it is against their commandments to kill, yet at the will of six hundred men in Parliament, they willingly murder anyone that they are told to.

Although many people would agree that war is wrong they argue that our weapons are purely defensive, in order to stop domination by Russia and communism. Yet the communist countries put for ward the same argument, that their weapons are only defensive, and they have the stronger case if one looks at Vietnam and the number of satellite countries of America which surround Russia and China, all with nuclear bases on them.

It is unlikely that communism would, or could, dominate the world if social democracy showed itself to be a better proposition for the under-developed countries, and the under-privileged people of the world. If the United States spent more of its money on social programmes rather than on arms she would probably win more converts away from communism than she will by force.

Finally, most non-communist countries claim that their intentions are non-aggressive so surely the best ways of showing this is by disarming completely. Another war fought with nuclear weapons will certainly mean total destruction of the human race.

B. Houlihan

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