COLUMN: Folk songs won’t end the war | Denver Gazette

Vlad the Terrible’s war on Ukraine and communist China’s impending war on Taiwan should be a wake-up call to the worst in the real world for dreamy, pious thinkers. I remember this mentality in the folk songs of the 1960s amidst Woodstock, hippies, commons, peace signs, drug culture, and Vietnam War protests. Not all folk singers were political, but those like Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez, and John Lennon were consistently leftists and pacifists. For their followers, the simplistic platitudes of the lyrics offered a utopian mix of love, peace and collectivism that captured the aspirations of some inexperienced and idealistic young minds.

A classic example is “Universal Soldier”, written by Buffie Sainte-Marie, a Canadian singer-songwriter, in the basement of the Purple Onion Coffee House in Toronto in 1964. The song caught on and reached an audience internationally when it was recorded by popular Scottish folk singer, Donovan, in 1965.

I’ll summarize the lyrics describing his composite universal soldier: “He’s 31 and he’s only 17; five foot two and six foot four; he fights with missiles and spears; and he has been a soldier for a thousand years. He is a Catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jew. He knows he shouldn’t kill but knows he always will. He fights for Canada, France, the USA, the Russians, Japan. He fights for democracy; he fights for the reds. And he thinks we’ll end the war that way. But without him, Hitler could not have condemned those of Dachau; Caesar would have been alone. Without him, all this slaughter cannot continue. He is the universal soldier and he is really to blame. This is not how we will end the war.

Brilliant! It’s all the soldier’s fault, and if no one soldier, all wars will end.

Just make this appeal to the Taliban, the assassins of the Mexican drug cartels, the warriors of the Chicago gangs, the Vikings of the Middle Ages, the modern Somali pirates or those who would dare refuse to serve in the conscript armies of South Korea. North or China. The idea that all soldiers will one day disappear is worse than wishful thinking, it’s absurd.

The false premise of the “universal soldier” is that it includes all soldiers, all causes and all nations, without distinction. The American soldiers who liberated the Jews at Dachau concentration camp were not the same as the Nazis who tortured and murdered them. The American soldiers who enlisted after the attack on Pearl Harbor were not the equivalent of the Japanese forces who launched that surprise attack. Americans who fought and died in the Revolutionary War did so to free themselves from the tyranny of the British Empire. The Catholic Church has long recognized the principle of “just wars” under certain conditions.

Here is a dose of reality for flower children of all ages: war is a constant in the history of humanity. We will never “end the war”. It is an element of human nature. There are individuals, groups, tribes, cultures, and nations that are predators, just as some animals are predators. As Plato noted, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

World War I was fought by Allied forces in the name of “the war to end all wars”. In its wake, 63 nations signed the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact to disarm and outlaw war. This did not deter Germany, Japan and Italy from starting World War II.

Wars of aggression, large and small, can be motivated by hatred, revenge, religion, territory, expanding empires, or simply to plunder and plunder. The nations they attack either go to war to defend themselves – or don’t go to war and surrender. Beating your swords into plowshares is not an effective defense policy unless you believe the next war will be fought with plows. And those who surrender to tyrants will end up pulling a plow under the whip of a gunman.

George Orwell succinctly explained to complacent pacifists that people can only sleep peacefully in their beds at night because brutal men are willing to do violence in their name. Henry Kissinger observed: “If peace is simply equated with the absence of war, if the aspiration for peace is not allied with a sense of justice, it can become an abject pacifism which delivers the world to the most ruthless. In this world, noble American soldiers are not “warmongers”. On the contrary, they are merchants of freedom.

And they are as essential as the police. We have seen the resulting crime wave, which has predictably followed the defunding of the police by idiotic progressive officials across the country.

If it were up to them, they would also withdraw funding from the military.

For the record, “Where have all the flowers gone? by Pete Seeger. is even dumber than “Universal Soldier”.

Michael Rosen is an American radio personality and political commentator.

Michael Rosen is an American radio personality and political commentator.

Comments are closed.