Pacifism necessarily invites escalating acts of war against anyone who
- Alex Epstein (12/09/02)
America at War
"As the gruesome bombings of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
demonstrate--and before that, of the USS Cole, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and
Tanzania, the U.S. soldiers in Saudi Arabia, the World Trade Center, Pam Am
flight 103--America is at war.
To understand America's depressingly feeble response to those warring against
it, one must understand the fundamental ideas, the philosophic ideas, shaping
our leaders' foreign policy. And to understand why America is the hated target
of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the PLO, Syria, Libya and their hordes of
terrorists, one must understand the philosophic ideas motivating them.
What ideas have undercut America? Politically, America's policy is one of
appeasement, which emboldens our enemies. We occasionally half-heartedly bomb
individual terrorists, but we negotiate with and leave unharmed the countries
that perpetrate the attacks. Our leaders have been taught in college that
pragmatism--the abandonment of a principled stand--is practical. Morally,
America has been disarmed by altruism, the idea that sacrifice for the sake of
others is the moral ideal. Our leaders think it is wrong to defend, by whatever
force is necessary, America's self-interest. And the moral relativism and
egalitarianism flowing from our universities causes our leaders to identify our
enemies simply as men who have different but equally valid values. Our enemies
are not seen as the evil they are."
"The principle of using force only in retaliation against those who
initiate its use, is the principle of subordinating might to right."
- Ayn Rand