What SDW meant [Re: [FoRK] Westmoreland Dies...]

Stephen D. Williams sdw
Tue Jul 19 15:48:53 PDT 2005

Ha, as I write this, I'm breezing through LA (at a friend's in Santa 
Monica 5 blocks from the beach actually), on my way to a working / 
vacation in Hawaii with my family, sort of.  If being nearly stranded in 
Chicago hadn't caused me to opt for Las Vegas at the last moment, where 
I visited a friend too long, I might have tried to look more of you up.  
If any of you want to join me and another friend for dinner, feel free 
to write (quickly) or call: 703-371-9362 cell.

My point was that the costs of war are generally far more than the cost 
of having a war, but less than the perceived cost of not having the 
war.  Many people have made that or similar points in other ways, I just 
felt compelled to make that statement.  I would further define genocide 
as a kind of war, so going to war to stop genocide is really recognizing 
a war already in progress.

In North Korea, my perception is that the North Koreans who fought (and 
"won") the war have suffered as a result whereas a group that fought and 
lost to the US/world, like say Japan, has suffered less.

I guess I didn't make this point earlier, but I thought it through: I 
suppose the British probably also felt that they were doing peoples a 
service by conquering their various colonies.  In some cases maybe it 
was true, in others their colonial ruler status was probably not net 
positive.  I would be interested to see a timeline with stats on 
conquered colonies vs. conquest and loss of the US.

In any case, the US learned, presumably by being a freed colony, not to 
colonize when it had the chance which makes all the difference.

Another comparitive "conquer the natives" example would of course be the 
semi-forced spread of Catholocism and similar.


Joe Barrera wrote:

> This is funny -- what *I* though SDW meant, quite unambiguously,
> was whether the were high enough to fight a war in the first place.
> At least, I thought his point was clear regarding the US Civil War;
> in other words, given other better ways of solving the conflict,
> perhaps Lincoln did NOT make the right decision allowing Grant
> to inflict and suffer huge casualties. (His point was less clear in
> his North Korea example.)
> Oh, if only he were still among us to tell us what he meant!
> - Joe
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swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw

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