War, what is it good for? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
I was challenged by BB when I titled my post yesterday "Who Says Nonviolence Doesn't Work?" The questioner says that UUs are practical people and want evidence. I don't mind discussing this question further if it is being asked in good faith, but I am suspicious. And so I turned the question around and asked myself, "Does war work?" And the same corollary questions could be asked, for who, when, and to what purpose, etc.
Edwin Starr sang his own answer to the question War what is it good for? during the Viet Nam era. His sung answer, "Absolutely nothing!" Turns out Edwin was quite right and history is vindicating his judgement. Too bad 58,000 young Americans had to die and millions of Viet Namese.
What exactly were Johnson, McNamara, Westmoreland, et al. trying to accomplish? Nobody knows. What are Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al. trying to accomplish? The goal posts were constantly changed. What is Obama, Gates, et al. trying to accomplish? Damned if anybody can actually say. It seems that there are no more than 100 Al-Queda in the country and it doesn't take 150,000 American troops to catch 100 "terrorists" does it? Seems like dropping an atomic bomb on a mosquito.
So I think the better question is "What is war for?" If practicality is the litmus test in these contemporary times, Edwin Starr has it right, "Absolutely nothing!"