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War in the name of Peace?

September 9, 2016

A political ideology that we can call “Internationalism” developed during the early part of the 20th century. Though very much representative of “enlightened” ideas shared by intellectual classes in the West, none of were original and, if they had any philosophical basis, they could be traced to Immanuel Kant’s essay on Perpetual Peace (1795) and the influence of German idealism. Idealist humanism replaced God with a new man-god– mankind–and viewed history as the working out into consciousness of the divinity of man.

The belief that international law would replace war was rooted in that concept of “progress” and encouraged Woodrow Wilson to propose the idea of a “League of Nations.”  Wilson believed that “balance of power” as practiced by the European powers was the obstacle to peace and engaged the United States in World War I in order to destroy balance of power politics.

In other words, it was necessary to use warfare in order to assure universal peace. That mixture of Liberal internationalism and advocacy of use of military force may be seen in recent statemenst of the President of the Council for Foreign Relations, Richard N. Haass. Haas is concerned about the developing nuclear arsenal of North Korea and advocates a policy that does not exclude a first strike. Coincidentally, Jeb Bush called for a first strike against North Korea during the recent campaign for the GOP Presidential nomination.

Bush’s brother, President George W. Bush, also believed in the use military force–to achieve peace, of course.

The Internationalist wing of the Republican Party and the Democrat Party Establishment are in agreement on issues of war and peace. These advocates of international law have built into the system of international organizations a “hair trigger” mechanism set to authorize use of military force on behalf of humanitarian causes and violations of United Nations resolutions.

The United States has not unilaterally ceded its sovereignty to the United Nations and has always affirmed our right to use force for reasons of state, or national interest. But, the ideology of Internationalism of our intellectual classes, like the Nicene Creed for Christians, encourages service to a higher order.

Today, Internationalist ideologues in the GOP and the Democrat Party are prepared to start another war on behalf of world peace.

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