Saturday, September 02, 2006
If they could they would: I respond to Professor Zinn's Op Ed "War is not a solution for terrorism," in the September 2, 2006 edition of the Globe. Professor Zinn and I have had email exchanges on this issue. He remains one of the most influential professors of history I encountered. I agree, I do not feel safer since 9/11. I, too, shudder to think of how many bombs our country has "inevitably" dropped on innocents in many theaters of war. Professor Zinn, though, still has not answered my inevitable concern. I call it the if they could they would concern. I do not understand how Professor Zinn can view the human species and think that American might is the cause of most of the ills the modern world confronts. What if we were a country which nary dropped a bomb on anyone or developed weaponry to do so? Does Professor Zinn think that either the Soviet Union and its sphere during the Cold War or the violent Arab world today would be passive toward the west? Given the violent proclivities of man and his quest for power, I do not think so. Some bomb throwers, some nefarious nation states or some religious fanatics somewhere if they thought they could they would visit upon the west utter destruction. What would we do then? Diplomacy is wonderful and I'm always an advocate of it when possible but it does nothing if our populous, in the interim, lies on a tarmac of dust.