This sentiment is expressed on bumper stickers and heard all too frequently. Of course this sentiment does not comport with history, but those touting it generally do not know or respect history.
On Memorial Day we remember our US veterans who died in war. Any view that claims war is pointless discredits veterans and their service.
The US is young, recent in time and an extension of European history. Consider that we would not have Memorial Day to celebrate if world events had gone a different way than they have.
Look at this animated map to see the spread of the world’s 5 major religions. It takes only 90 seconds to view it. World history must never be divorced from an understanding of religion.
Roman Europe was influenced by Christianity as it gradually spread across Europe from the Middle East in the first six centuries A.D.
Islamic statism, beginning in the Middle East after 570 A.D. when Mohammad was born, had invaded the Iberian Peninsula (Spain), gaining a foothold in Europe. Islam was turned back at the Battle of Tours in 732 by Charles Martel of the Franks. This battle stopped the march of Islamic statism and Sharia law into Europe from the west and preserved Europe for Christianity.
If the Franks had not defeated the Islamists then, Europe may have been much different than it became. This battle alone destroys the idea that war never accomplishes anything. Europe and its American descendant may have become Islamic.
Another watershed battle occurred in 1588 when Protestant England defeated the Catholic statist Spanish Armada. After the Reformation of 1517, England was in the early stages of breaking with old Roman Catholic Europe. England became a firmly Protestant, Anglican statist nation and spawned the American Colonies. The Reformation, begun in Europe, came to fruition in America, bringing religious freedom unknown anywhere in the world prior to the formation of the US Constitution.
The American Colonists declared themselves free from Anglican statist England and fought the War of Rebellion to back up their declaration. Then we went back to Europe to free them from anti-God Nazi statism in World War II and then under President Reagan brought about the collapse of atheistic Communist statism in Eastern Europe. It cannot be denied that the Revolutionary War accomplished great things.
Ideas alone did not set people free. Those ideas lead to war to throw off the shackles of tyrannies which did not want to relinquish control of their masses or lead to war to turn back foreigners who desired to shackle them with unwanted bondage.
If we are of European descent, our very ancestors were living the Reformation a mere 20 generations ago. About 8 generations ago, our ancestors declared their independence from Anglican statism. Our fathers and grandfathers took back Europe from Nazi statism. These are not distant battles of ideas, words and swords. They are as close to us as our ancestors who shaped the world in which their descendants could live in freedom. In many cases, our very ancestors were on the opposite sides of the heated battles, not yet having learned the principles of individual freedom. We have it because some of our ancestors would accept nothing less than freedom. War indeed can be worthy. Let us be grateful. Now it’s our turn to propagate freedom.