Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 588, September 19, 2010

"They want our lives to be as miserable as theirs,
and they will stop at nothing to have their way."

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

"War is Hell."

Originally said by William T. Sherman, it echoes Robert E. Lee's "It is good that war is so terrible lest we grow too fond of it." Both men made it clear war is terrible and something to be avoided, a point too many political leaders and persons seeking office seem to miss.

War is hell because it maims and mutilates the bodies and minds of young folk sent to do old men's dirty work. It kills others, and often comes close to killing the souls of the loved ones they leave behind.

War is hell because it subverts the human territorial drive and urge for solidarity and is used to enslave people to the wills of men who are often second rate jerks.

War is hell because even the most freedom loving political leader is going to get stuck between imposing a command economy and restricting civil liberties or watching their societies destroyed by ravening hordes of ruthless enemies, or at least that's the choice their advisors present them. See above for description of "advisors."

War is hell because it provides a pretext for tyrants to do what comes naturally. They learn that there always has to be a war or rumor of war so they can retain power, either war or a crisis that approaches war.

War is hell because to someone who loves freedom none of the above is acceptable. It is the Devil's Kingdom. It is Hell.

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Thanks to Rex May for allowing me to use an idea developed from correspondence with him to write this. Hope it's as good as I led him to expect.
Thanks to John Taylor for fact corrections. Thanks to all the usual suspects for helping me get this right. If I succeed they had a hand, if I failed it's on me for not listening.


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