Name Me a Single War that was Worth It?

Via elephantjournal.com
on May 30, 2011
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War! What is it good for?

Ugh, it’s Memorial Day, I say to myself each year.

I’m one of those people who for four generations, at least, have had zero experience at war. I was too young or old to be in any Gulf War. My dad was five when WWII started—so too young for Korea and too old for Vietnam. And his father traipsed across Europe under a fake name (would my life have been different if I kept it – “Greenberg”?) to avoid the front lines of whatever war he was avoiding.

Who wants to be dead?

 

WWII?

Even WWII. What did we do? What has Europe ever done for us since then?  Good thing we bombed the hell out of Europe so the IMF can go around raping everyone now. We can say, “Well Hitler was killing the jews! We had to go in there!”

Are you kidding me? He killed the Jews. It was already over for six million Jews by the time we stepped foot in Germany (and millions more displaced after much anguish). And the gays, the gypsies, France, parts of England, and whatever else Hitler felt like.

We only went in there after the war was already lost. We didn’t help anyone. We didn’t save a single Jew by going into WWII (or, at the very least, from the mid 1930s to 1945 six million Jews were discriminated against and then killed without our help). In fact, it’s well known FDR turned away some of the Jews he actually had a chance to save, who then ended up going back to Europe and dying (apparently the US had “immigration difficulties”  with them).

(the SS St. Louis containing hundreds of Jews was refused permission to dock in Cuba and the US, and many of the passengers ended up back in Europe under German rule)

Plus we kept a bunch of Japanese locked up while we killed millions of their citizens and reduced their culture to making matchbox cars and faulty watches for generations. For what? Because they were trying to take over China? Heck, what difference to us would it have made? I really ask—would it have made any difference? Are Chinese citizens, 50% in poverty, better because we nuked Japan? Twice?

And now Europe mostly hates us. 418,000 American kids killed there.

What war did we really need to go into?

WW I –  I kind of challenge anyone without looking at Wikipedia to even tell me what that war was all about? Some Archduke was killed. 117,000 18-23 year old American boys had to die there because of that?

Korea and Vietnam? – we already know those were a waste (thanks to M.A.S.H. – god bless TV). 33,000 Americans died in Korea (forgetting about the millions of Koreans and Chinese) and 58,000 people died in Vietnam. And by the way, we lost that one.

I’m not trying to be “pro-peace.” I’m more anti-stupidity. What happened there? Was our white picket suburban way of life threatened in those wars?

(the wedding of a 20 year old American Iraq war victim)

Iraq and Afghanistan: Over 40,000 American troops have been killed or injured there. Much more than died in the World Trade center tragedy of 9/11. And this ignores the 800,000 Iraqi civilians killed.

Tell me a single war that might’ve been good? We destroyed Iraq and now it’s helpless. We can’t even rebuild it. Afghanistan has been beaten back to the stone ages, and it took 10 years to find Osama in a mansion in Pakistan and we still don’t have the full story on that. I guess I’d be a horrible President.

Unless it was war with Canada (to get oil cheap, since they are by far our biggest provider of oil) I’d never go to war with anyone. Libya? They blew up one of our planes 30 years ago and we even let the guys free so they could have a hero’s welcome in Tripoli? What’s going on now?

(this 5 yr old girl watched US forces kill her civiilian parents)

There’s a squadron of guys in skirts playing bagpipes outside my door this very second on their way to the river. Down the street there’s a cemetery of crosses to commemorate the day. It’s a horrible day in commemoration of mostly dead 18-year-olds. Everyone who goes to war is certainly a hero. But the victims far outnumber the heroes.

I hate feeling like a “pro peace” person. That’s not what this is about. This is about those moments when you kill your own life, your own time, feasting on your own angers, sucking them dry even though nobody’s paying attention to you crying like a baby – when you could’ve been doing so much more.

You could’ve been building things. Raising a family. Starting a business. Ignoring the people who try to take you down every day at work, among your colleagues, your family. You could’ve been saving lives. And everything would be so much better.

====

[Update: I put this in the comments on my blog but adding it to the article here]

Someone mentioned earlier I was a “lazy ass” because my way of life has been defended and protected in these wars. A couple of points:

A) my way of life certainly wasn’t defended in Vietnam and Iraq. We can argue about the others, but whatever.
B) The children in the pics above (and I include the married couple) – was their way of life defended?
C) Iraq was perhaps the first war where I realized that people I held to the highest of respect (Colin Powell, for instance) were going to have to blatantly lie to me in order to achieve some agenda that had nothing to do with protecting me.
D) my “lazy ass” has hired over 1000 people and invested in companies hiring millions more. Hopefully these jobs create innovation and sustainability that lasts generations. Our way of life is about growth and prosperity. That ultimately leads to less death and killing (look at mortality rates here over the past century). We each should do our part.
E) Nobody is arguing whether or not these children are heroes. They all are. Its just a shame so many of them don’t come back and it’s a shame the many lies that took them there.


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Comments

96 Responses to “Name Me a Single War that was Worth It?”

  1. SriDTMc says:

    thank you!

    see also: "war is a racket" http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket….
    by General Smedley Butler, one of the most decorated military officers in U.S. history. He lays out the wars he participated in as being part of a gigantic swindle being perpetrated on the people the U.S. and the world. Killing for profit and power."

  2. SriDTMc says:

    but wait, why do you "hate feeling like a pro-peace person?"
    don't let over-aggressive war-mongers shame you into feeling like supporting a peaceful agenda is a sign of weakness.
    there is a great gandhi quote, something like "non-violence is a weapon of the strong"

  3. Eric says:

    James, I appreciate your article. It is honest and insightful. I agree with everything you said and I think it takes some balls to call it like it is with respect to war. We romanticise war so poor people won't riot when we force their kids to go fight, usually just for sell the bullets, guns and m.r.e.'s.. We are not the White Knights riding into save everyone. That's just what we like to pretend.

    At the same time there is a part of me that is the hatred and the greed that causes this junk.

  4. NotSoSure says:

    I agree on many of the points you made in this post. The war in Iraq should never have been started. If we were never in Irag then the war in Afghanistan most likely would have turned out much differently. And do you honestly believe that turning a blind eye to the murder of thousands of Americans by a foreign government would have made the world a better place?

    In the interest of brevity, let's examine just one of the many historical inaccuracies found in this post. Yeah, millions of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals were killed before the concentration camps were liberated by Allied forces. And it is also true that Hitler would have continued to kill millions more in his efforts to rid the world of all people he considered undesirable. Your statement that "we didn't save a single Jew" is not only historically inaccurate but also completely asinine. Err, hello. There were Jews in the camps when the camps were seized by the Allies. That historical fact is all that is needed to prove your statement that "we didn't save a single Jew" to be nothing but an outright lie.

    This post could have been so much better if you had not used an ignorant and skewed view of history to support your arguments. We as a nation have made many mistakes in our choices of conflicts and we do not seem to learn from past mistakes. But using trite and inaccurate observations does nothing to advance your arguments.

  5. JamesAltucher says:

    Hitler did kill millions more after he was dead. He was only called Stalin and Mao then and nobody stopped them. What was all the point then?

  6. NotSoSure says:

    Once again, a falsehood. You are really on a roll with the trite and inaccurate arguments. For the record, Hitler did not kill anyone after he was dead. He was freaking dead. Stalin and Mao where also horrible people but they were not Hitler. These were three different people. Look it up if you do not believe me.

    Err, the point of WWII was to stop Hitler. By arguing there was no point of WWII because Stalin and Mao were not stopped is an informal fallacy called the Straw Man Argument. Again, please look it up. By not arguing from a Straw Man position you will improve your ability to make rational arguments.

    Also, I noticed that you skipped over the replies which pointed out that you used completely inaccurate historical "facts" to make your argument. But don't bother replying to me on this point. Harris Mercer did such a fantastic job of completely blowing your use of history out of the water that there is nothing more I can add.

    Once again, I bemoan the fact that this could have been such a good post. Your raised a number of meaty issues. Cultural reasons behind the decision to go to war, lessons learned or not learned, and the juxtaposition of politics vs. moral imperative. But instead you reply that a man who was dead as a stone and whose body was burned in a bunker like the piece of garbage he was still somehow managed to continue to kill millions.

  7. dan says:

    To the victor goes the narrative, yet question it and you are the one revising. Ask why one needs a monster to defeat a monster, and are attacked for being a monster apologist. Etc.
    Yet, no one wins a war, and there are no monsters, just human beings acting like the hateful egoistic greedy beings the hateful egoistic & greedy tell us we are.
    F*ck War. It’s really just that simple. Don’t support it, from others or yourself. Don’t support Bushes or Obamas. Don’t support even the idea of “enemy”.

  8. Colin Wiseman says:

    "What has Europe ever done for us since then?" Really you ask this? Or were you about to go into a Monty Python sketch?

  9. Annon! says:

    You are right. Let's not support war. Let's not go to war. Let's bow down to the dictators of the world to cause genocide with their own people. And yes sometimes going to war to protect the interest of oil prices is worth it – otherwise there will come a day you will see the price to fill your car at $150-200, and you won't be able to complain (well you might also be in a dictatorship as you didn't want to go to war when some other country came a calling…)

  10. JamesAltucher says:

    Yeah, I really ask that.

  11. dan says:

    ? I don’t own a car (too poor and don’t need one), but yea, I see your point- if we didn’t have slave labor, clothes and computers would but outrageously expensive. If we don’t kill *without trial* the monsters we used to support (and don’t mind the “civilian” causalities, as if there were any other kind), we’d be under their thumb. But we are anyway, we’ve just outsourced the suffering.

  12. Sasha says:

    Pretty sure James meant "Hitler" the institution, not Hitler the man.

  13. A veteran says:

    Actually it offends me that so many people gave up their lives so inane posts like this can exist. Ugh, so ignorant of history and how ungrateful to those who sacrificed so you can be protected.

  14. Qualifier: I am the furthest thing from a history buff. I'm also far from perfect. That said, just yesterday, I told my son to stop banging something–"You're disturbing the peace," I said. He came back with "What peace?There's never peace." I told him there would be if only everyone were at peace with themselves. Who would need war or guns? Unfortunately the reality is there are some messed up people out there. I absolutely hate war. I think Iraq and Afghanistan are a mess, while I don't think a blind eye should have been turned on 9-11—why couldn't we just go in and get the bad guys and be done with it? More importantly, why does our society condone gun/war related 'toys' and games? Altho my son has these fighting toys (thanks to my hubby. Believe me I really really tried + wouldn't allow my son to play with toy guns for at least the first few years. At least my hubby + I agree on this–> Although many 10 year olds own + play Teen rated video games, he is not allowed. Period. We've never bought an electronic game for him–he has to buy his own. I'm guessing he's played some awful video games under the radar at friends' homes). ANYWAY… I refuse to play. If he asks, I tell him–only if this is a peace mission. We adults can argue about what war was right or wrong or what the historical facts are… but until we stop reinforcing war/fighting/violence with our children, it will continue. Guilty as charged–the fact I gave in to my hubby and son + the so-called argument that "that's what boys do" makes me an accomplice of sorts. How can we change this??? It absolutely has to start with our children.

  15. Lisa says:

    I disagree with you, although I am not as well informed as Harris. I DO agree with you about certain wars tho, including the current messes we have started. But I applaud your courage of conviction in writing this piece, especially on Memorial Day. And I love that you call us all to look within, where all the problems ultimately start. Thanks for a thought provoking piece.

  16. Claudia says:

    James I also appreciate your article, it does leave me thinking, I am surprised at how sometimes we want to be "right" rather than be "at peace"… and peace starts within, unfortunately until we all stop projecting our angers outside and start looking inside it might be a while…

  17. War sucks but... says:

    I am not nearly as informed as some of the other people who have commented here. However, I disagree with your approach and feel it's just as offensive as those preach war mongering. You are essentially saying that my family and friends who have gone to war wasted not only their time but for some of them, their lives. That their death was pointless. You mention we "send off 18 year olds", we no longer have a draft so these men and women choose to go into the military. You can disagree with wars all your want, but without these people throughout history, you would not have the rights you hold so dear….America wouldn't even exist, what about the civil war….was slavery a worthy cause? I mean, you say that we intervened in WWII after too many Jews were killed, by your standards we should have never intervened at all….so what's the alternative…what would have happened? I agree that there have been cases in history that we should have been involved in, but that nullifies your argument. Yes, some of our actions have been misguided, yes, there have been wars that were not worth the casualties they produced, but you're sweeping statement says that this has always been that case. So, what is the answer then? How would you have gone about solving these problems?

  18. […] more at ELEPHANT JOURNAL View Escape The Illusion's Profile      Subscribe via […]

  19. Anon says:

    Think of all the inventions since, most notable the thing you are currently using, the Internet. Don't be so complacent to think because you are away in your hidey hole in the USA, the what Europe does doesn't affect you. The Allies of the day, let hitler do a lot. They appeased and appeased, until Hitker had gone too far. With hindsight, they should have stopped him a lot sooner.

    But can I flip your question…what has America done for the rest of the world since then? A lot more wars dragging most other nations into them…but am not to judge, it is what it is. The best thing to do is learn, not bitch, about the past, and be the change today.

    All your rhetoric has done has caused more anger and violence.

  20. Anon says:

    I hear you, but a no point did I talk about slavery. I love how spun things there. Most things you use are produced in china and Japan today, but the oil comes from these countries we have unfortunately invaded. And am sure you'd be on the streets supporting price reductions at the pumps if all the gas came from western expensively run countries.

  21. JamesAltucher says:

    Thank you Lisa.

  22. JamesAltucher says:

    Actually, i said the exact opposite of that. Please read my article. Then I'll respond to the rest of your thoughtful comment.

  23. Harris_Mercer says:

    I think he means: apart from sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, fresh-water, and public health, what have the Europeans ever done for us?

  24. ilona says:

    This comment is brought to you by the 82nd Airborne which liberated my father, then a teenager, from a Nazi concentration camp in Germany. Am I glad the US went to war against the Nazis? Absolutely. Do I wish the United States had done more to save more Jews sooner? Yes. Then, maybe, I might have met my grandparents and aunts who did not survive. What disturbs me about this article, and that it was allowed to be published in this particular online space was that, as others have pointed out, it simplifies and distorts history to argue a point. I think the following was the point, a line toward the end: "This is about those moments when you kill your own life, your own time, feasting on your own angers, sucking them dry even though nobody’s paying attention to you crying like a baby – when you could’ve been doing so much more." For a spiritual site that is trying to build a subscriber base, I would hope for a more nuanced, balanced and thoughtful consideration to lead up to this conclusion, words that would inspire a reader to keep reading and support Elephant journal. My subscription is already paid for, but if this had been the first Elephant article I had read, I can't be sure I would have visited again let alone paid.

  25. elephantjournal says:

    #
    Michelle Tabor Its not the war, its the effort that those men and women put in to it to keep us safe.
    4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
    #
    Lauren Madden The Civil War.
    4 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personMonica Cristina Poujol Fabara likes this.
    #
    Jen Smith Yikes..Might want to give a disclaimer that some of those pics are graphic.
    4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
    #
    Christopher Saxton Given the fact that evil does exist in the world, some wars must be fought (WWII) to save the world/mankind from horrible people/goverments. Not very pretty, but sometimes very necessary..
    4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
    #
    Paula Mac Excellent article.Thank you. No war is, or ever will be worth it.
    4 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 3 peopleJames Altucher and 2 others like this.
    #
    Jaimi Hollon
    “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell
    What have you given? Besides one-sided word vomit. I'm also offended that you would use a photo of an injured war veteran to propgate your …uneducated opinion. He made a SACRIFICE for his country. What have you done? If your going to bash the American way of life, I invite you to go ahead and leave. One more thing, the REVOLUTIONARY WAR gave YOU the right to sit here and spout your bullshit. That's a war that was worth "it".See More
    4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
    #
    James Altucher ‎@Jen, what should the disclaimer be? Its an article about war.
    4 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personAmela Avdic likes this.
    #
    Carla Cappiello Golden ‎"Poor and working people in this country are sent to kill poor and working people in another country to make the rich, richer…"
    4 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 2 peopleJames Altucher and Amela Avdic like this.
    #
    James Altucher ‎@Chris, when is it necessary? How do we decide in advance? Most of the US thought Iraq was necessary. How come Stalin and Mao, who together killed over 100 million, weren't "necessary". Necessary is impossible to know in advance. And by the time something seems necessary its often too late. 6mm died in germany before we decided it was necessary.
    4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
    #
    James Altucher ‎@Michelle, who has kept me safe? The soldiers are heroes. Nobody doubts that. But the politicians that send 18 year olds in to do horrible horrible things are not keeping me safe.
    4 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 2 people2 people like this.
    #

  26. elephantjournal says:

    James Altucher ‎@Michelle, instead, by destroying Iraq I feel the politicians have put my life and my children's lives at great danger. I moved 65 miles north of NYC, in part, as a result.
    4 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personAmela Avdic likes this.
    #
    Christopher Saxton James the questions should be this. If the Chinese landed in your country/state/city…"you get the picture", and they started killing everyone that they encountered. When they got to your home, with your family and loved ones inside, would you grab a gun, knife or stick and defend yourself and family, or would you meditate or run, what would you do? I would defend my family at all cost.
    3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
    #
    James Altucher ‎@Chris, i'm not going to engage in that question. It has no answer. Why don't you email me after the "chinese" land in your backyard and tell me what you do.
    3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personRachel Kluges likes this.
    #
    Christopher Saxton Your answer is no answer at all…..Take a stance!!!! I'm an Iraq Vet and I've pulled the trigger. I know what I would do!!
    3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
    #
    James Altucher You're a hero and I'm not. I'll give them jobs.
    3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
    #
    Jessica Loyd Thank you for that. I feel it was very brave of you to write that article. That is pretty much the way I feel about war, but have been too afraid to say it. I have family members who are military and they are heroes, but at some point I feel "patriotism" is war mongering.

    #
    Jen Smith I understand that it's an article about war, but just a disclaimer that there are a few graphic pics would be helpful to those that can't really deal with war-related pics, like the bloody kid.
    3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
    #
    Bill Ferrin The Japanese killed 9 million people prior to entering WWII. The nazis killed 9 million during WWII. The Rwandans killed 800,000 in six weeks. The Cambodians killed 2 million. Sometimes, somebody has to do something even if you dont want to be the one to do it. That is whats known as a luxury problem….should you join the ones who are trying to stop evil, just enjoy the fact that they did it.

    #
    James Altucher Ok, well, nobody did anything about those numbers you said above. There was nothing we could do. And then what happened to the 20mm Stalin killed and 20-100mm Mao killed. Where does it stop? I'm happy if I don't have luxury problems

    #
    John Wade
    Hey James, I like how you 'whatevered' over "other wars". Specifically Afghanistan, if you recall we were attacked first. 2500 Americans ring any bells? Gee sorry you hear bagpipes in remembrance of fallen soldiers, sorry they don't have a …memorial day for writers. I am under no illusions that Jim wilkinson lied to the public on behalf of the president about WMD and the agenda in Iraq, Hell I disagree with Iraq and I've been there, same as Afghanistan. I think the key issue here is reverence and tolerance of which you have neither. I'm with Voltaire on this where I disagree with what you say, but I have sworn my oath to the constitution and I will go to war for your right to say it. Your mockery and disrespect for wounded and dead American soldiers is disgusting, and I am surprised your hateful intolerance is published in the Elephant Journal.-
    Veteran
    #
    Amela Avdic James Altucher, you are one of the smartest people I know of… Great article!

  27. Harris_Mercer says:

    You're absolutely right about the economic causes of war; the decision to demand reparations after WWI was among the greatest errors of the 20th century. In 1919, in The Economic Consequences of the Peace, Keynes warned what would happen:

    "If we take the view that for at least a generation to come Germany cannot be trusted with even a modicum of prosperity, that while all our recent Allies are angels of light, all our recent enemies, Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, and the rest, are children of the devil, that year by year Germany must be kept impoverished and her children starved and crippled, and that she must be ringed round by enemies; then we shall reject all the proposals of this chapter, and particularly those which may assist Germany to regain a part of her former material prosperity and find a means of livelihood for the industrial population of her towns. But if this view of nations and of their relation to one another is adopted by the democracies of Western Europe, and is financed by the United States, heaven help us all.
    "If we aim deliberately at the impoverishment of Central Europe, vengeance, I dare predict, will not limp."

    "Vengeance will not limp." So yes, World War II was avoidable; Churchill called it "the unnecessary war." But after the mistakes had been made in Versailles and Munich, and the blitz rolled into Poland, Norway, the Low Countries, and France, and the Luftwaffe threatened Britain, then war became "worth it;" it became right; it became just; it became necessary.

  28. Harris_Mercer says:

    Thank you, Ilona. Please stick with elej and keep commenting: I strongly disagreed with James' piece, as you did, but I think vigorous and frank commentary and debate are always good things.

  29. SriDTMc says:

    when did MLK and Gandhi realize that violence was the only option? don't recall that one. was it when gandhi and his satyagraha cohort responded to police brutality with staid non-violence? or when MLK refused to surround himself with anyone who was armed with a firearm? talk about revisionist history…

  30. Janet says:

    Not only do I disagree with the premise of this post but find the sentiment a slap in the face to all that have died in war. Sorry that Memorial Day was such a burden for you.

    "We only went in there after the war was already lost. We didn’t help anyone." Are you kidding me. How ignorant and offensive.

  31. Martin says:

    Thank you Ilona. This guy is totally clueless.

  32. Gibby says:

    Answer the question James. This is exactly what you said.

  33. Omar says:

    I don't know if this is a joke or if your distortions of facts are some cruel ploy to get traffic. Shame on Elephant Journal to not fact check the statements of this post.

  34. dan says:

    Saying that it's ok to support dictators financially and militarily is morally the same thing as saying slavery is ok. Chavez bad, forced labor bad, Saudis good, disposable migrant labor (in China or the US) good, certaily tolerated for the sake of our convenience- Bratz dolls, iPads, and fast food. While I'm fortunate to not rely on a car, oil runs my life, and everyone's I know, and dictates all my expenses. Yet, I'm happy to see it rise- it's cost is delegated like any poison, just expensive enough that we don't design better, cleaner ways to live. I cannot live with saying it's ok to suffer another for the sake of my own convenience. Oil is only supporting us as a crutch, and our capacity to heal continues to atrophy. Oil is killing everything, and that includes the perpetual war being waged for the sake of it.

  35. dan says:

    War is I think the result of a collective failure to share our needs and recognize humans as equals. Desperation is always an expression of failure. That our desperate failures are "worth it" only shows the very low state we revel in.
    There is no defense of war. What people are defending here is the fight to end war- thus the line is about WW2, the "justifiable" war, the one desperately waged to end war. People who bombed cities and killed other soldiers were doing awful things regardless of whose "side" they were on- "hero" is always in the eye of the beholder. The only "good" to come out of WW2 was the Nuremberg trials, which the US mocks again and again, with the street justice brought on Saddam (with no trial for his crimes against the Kurds), and of course bin Laden, but also with extraordinary rendition, endless detention, "extrajudicial" (read: illegal, above the law) surveillance, and of course other "extrajudicial" killings.
    Our present wars are not ones waged to end a war but to keep them going. Why such heated defense of our worst natures?

  36. john wade says:

    Janet thankyou, I agree wholeheartedly with you, frankly this author is not only a whiner about Memorial day but also a coward, as he doesn't stand for anything except himself, he even admits moving outside of NY because he felt his family was in danger, I think NY doesnt need him, Rudy Guiliani and the real Americans in NY stayed planted and didnt let terrorists make them change their habits or their addresses-
    veteran

  37. Kevin says:

    Ask the survivors of the Nazi death camps whether WW II was worth it. What a spoiled, self centered human being. How shameful that this was posted on this blog site.

  38. Harris_Mercer says:

    While King and Gandhi expressed different ideas at different times, at various points both held the opinion that war could be necessary:

    Gandhi: "Fighting a violent war is better than accepting injustice. So, really there is no contradiction in fighting a just war, and believing in non-violence. Both are duties to be carried out to preserve justice and truth." (http://bit.ly/lUTEX6)

    King: "While war could never be a positive good, it could serve as a negative good by preventing the spread and growth of an evil force. War, horrible as it is, might be preferable to surrender to a totalitarian system." (http://bit.ly/jQ8NQk)

    And, as a bonus since I like the quote, Orwell: "We have become too civilized to grasp the obvious. For the truth is very simple. To survive you often have to fight, and to fight you have to dirty yourself. War is evil, and it is often the lesser evil. Those who take the sword perish by the sword, and those who don't take the sword perish by smelly diseases." (http://bit.ly/aPZkFz)

  39. JamesAltucher says:

    Ilona, I wish also the US had acted sooner so you could've met your grandparents. The reality is this was one big war: WW I and WW II. Just like we had no exit strategy in Afghanistan, we had no exit strategy in WW I and that is what created Hitler which killed many members of both your family and relatives of mine. It was horrible. All of these wars are connected and I wish we had stayed out of all of them. For me, there are so many agendas within agendas of wars. We can't even imagine.

  40. JamesAltucher says:

    @John Wade, why do you say I have no tolerance. I think each and every soldier who stepped foot there or even considered it is a hero.

    But the reality is we never had to go there. We had no exit strategy. We have a vague exit strategy now (Obama will pull us out in his second administration – guaranteed) and we dismantled the entire region in a way that was politically unsatisfactory to us. Nobody in our leadership here or in Pakistan, India, and the regions there would deny this. What we did do was create an economic mess in that region, and created more strident anti-American fervor than ever before.

    A recent Gallup poll in Pakistan, for instance, listed the US as Pakistan's #1 threat. How can this be? There are 100s of nuclear weapons pointing from India to Pakistan and yet the Pakistani citizens, many of them poor and likely candidates for a future Al Quaeda, list us as the number one threat.

    What a shame this is for our children who will bear the brunt of this growing anger.

  41. JamesAltucher says:

    @John Wade, why do you say I have no tolerance. I think each and every soldier who stepped foot there or even considered it is a hero.

    But the reality is we never had to go there. We had no exit strategy. We have a vague exit strategy now (Obama will pull us out in his second administration – guaranteed) and we dismantled the entire region in a way that was politically unsatisfactory to us. Nobody in our leadership here or in Pakistan, India, and the regions there would deny this. What we did do was create an economic mess in that region, and created more strident anti-American fervor than ever before.

    A recent Gallup poll in Pakistan, for instance, listed the US as Pakistan's #1 threat. How can this be? There are 100s of nuclear weapons pointing from India to Pakistan and yet the Pakistani citizens, many of them poor and likely candidates for a future Al Quaeda, list us as the number one threat.

    What a shame this is for our children who will bear the brunt of this growing anger. And yes, our actions in the Middle East have certainly made NY a more dangerous place. I can explain this in a variety of ways but, honestly, not appropriate for this particular forum.

  42. JamesAltucher says:

    Really interesting to me that people would "vote" me down by pointing out that Stalin and Mao killed another 20-100mm people. The sickness of war infects at every level.

  43. JamesAltucher says:

    As the daughter of a 12 year old and a 9 year old I wish to god 80 year olds had been sent instead of 18 year olds. I'm afraid you want to get deep into history lessons. We can go toe to toe on those. But my main point is: no US involvement in WW I, then no Hitler. No Revolutionary War, then probably there would've been no Civil War. No gulf 1, then probably no 9/11 and no Afghanistan and certainly no Iraq which is a total mess.

  44. Jay says:

    I’m going to assume you’re American. The Revolutionary war wasn’t worth it?
    Also, you could argue about unnecessary loss of life, but it’s as if the world doesn’t have enough people dying of starvation. Without war being a quasi-population control, more people would be well below the poverty line and dying from a even greater lack of resources.
    I guess since you seem to have the answer, how about you share it with the world? Blogging can release your anger, but it isn’t going to fix anything.

  45. facepalm says:

    I am not even going to touch any of the wars mentioned because there is only one that was worth it. The Revolutionary War. I am not going into disputes over reasons or mistakes or even a philosophical debate over ends justifying the means. The point is that if it was not for the Revolutionary War we would not be a country. We would not have a Declaration of Independence which states all men are created equal. We would not have had the opportunity to draft the Constitution years later that grants each and every person in the United States of America the right to free speech to write odd thoughts on the internet about anything including this asinine back and forth about war and its badness/goodness/why are we even debating the past that we cant change; but you bet your ass you have the right to.

  46. JamesAltucher says:

    So…you think a good reason for war is population control?

  47. Hector says:

    They are probably voting you down because you arguments are so banal and besides the point.

  48. Jay says:

    War has had plenty of benefits. Among them are those handy dandy cell phones that people seem to be unable to live without. Cellular technology was brought about by the military’s desire to improve on radio tech. The internet had military funding, same with GPS tech. In fact, a majority of the modern conveniences people take for granted these days were military projects at one time or another.
    As for population control, I don’t mind it. If the statistics are to be believed, roughly one half of the world’s population survive on less than $2 a day. If not for a form of control that number would likely be higher. Then the amount of natural resources used would be drastically higher, and this would likely cause more famines in places that are already struggling to feed the people they have. It’s an equilibrium thing, the planet barely supports the needs of some people, like Africa. I don’t condone the wholesale slaughter of people for no reason, but war kind of culls the herd.
    It’s nice of you to think you can care about all ~7billion people on this planet, but stopping all wars is a bit out of your league.

  49. War sucks but... says:

    Actually James, what I wrote is what you said. Whether or not you meant it, is irrelevant. I read your article, multiple times before I responded and I was unable to find an answer to the questions I raised. So, if you have one, I am honestly interested in hearing it.

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