― Thucydides c.400 BC
― George S. Patton c.1944
― Dwight D. Eisenhower c.1958
"Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."
― Martin Luther King Jr c.1968
“Every 60 seconds 24 people flee their homes because of war.”
― International RESCUE Committee 2017
"Political Observations", James Madison 1795
What are the historically revealed causes, characteristics, consequences and alternatives of/to war as a "necessary evil" ... and how have they changed for us in America today?
Mark Twain once joked that “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.” But, perhaps, there are sobering truths hidden in his words that can provoke us to think more deeply.
- How do wars start?
- How does war depend on the "parties" [military, allies, proxies, civilians] and the "weapons" [trade, currency, cold-deterrence, conventional, non-conventional, mass-destruction] ?
- Do wars depend on propaganda?
- What are the costs and benefits of war ... and who are the winners and losers?
- How do wars end?
- Has war always been and will it always be necessary and/or evil?
And although their collective wisdom will be great, we can still only hope to glimpse the distant outlines of such a vast and complex subject. Nevertheless it would seem to be an effort worth making in our day and time when "wars and rumors of wars" abound.
When and WhereTuesday, February 20th, 7:00 to 8:45 pm
Friends University, William Penn Hall, Room 100 [west of Riney Fine Arts Center]
Panelists and Moderator [in progress]Please welcome our 5 panelists and moderator [listed in order of acceptance]. Click their name to see a brief bio if we have it. And remember, they have busy lives so we do NOT ask them to provide a position statement or suggested readings in advance ... but if they do, we will provide links to those materials following their name/bio below ... and we encourage you to review them.
Marvin Martin - Marvin is a long standing member of and contributor to the Wichita community and well known to [and always in demand by] almost all of us for his friendly manners, his thoughtful insights and his firm convictions. As a young WWII combat veteran, Marvin returned to Wichita to embrace his adult life as a faithful husband, a loving father, and a distinguished jurist/lawyer [founder of the Martin Churchill law firm] … seeking to understand and further … law and order … liberty and justice … mercy and love.
Dan Gates - As President & CEO of American Water Purification, Inc., Dan is a decorated Vietnam veteran from a military family who has given us a comprehensive position statement outlining his thoughts on war to help us organize our thoughts in advance ... an excellent strategy for those who have a wish to see something of where they may be headed BEFORE embarking [aka intelligence].
... the remaining 3 panelists and
... the evening's moderator will be announced soon 👥
Bob Love [stand-by only panelist] - As the NSS trustee primarily responsible for organizing this symposium, Bob is actively searching for panelists and a moderator to provide the perspectives needed to bring the "leviathan" of war into better focus. As usual, he sees war from a detailed economic point of view which he has also summarized and is prepared to share with us if needed.
PS. Please let Bob know if you are aware of others who would like to serve as panelists for this important evening.
The Evening's Format [is a little different ... so read this carefully]The first half of the evening will consist of each panelist presenting an opening position statement about war per se. Due to the breadth and complexity of the subject, we will give the different panelists greater than normal latitude to help us gain an overall perspective of the different vital aspects of war and how they relate to and influence one another.
In the second half of the evening, we will depart somewhat from our normal procedure. Instead of simply probing the panelists' opening statements, we will be practically applying them. We want the audience to pose questions concerning the realities of war for Americans in the 21st century in light of what we have learned from our panelists. This will be a little different dynamic than normal, so bring thoughtful questions and be ready for some spontaneous responses from the panelists as they work together to apply general principles about war to the specific situations we are facing today ... putting ideas into practice ... something every soldier is required to do in combat !!
And for those of you who are inclined to get some questions out in the open for consideration BEFORE the evening's meeting ... feel free to join the liberales ... and blog your COMMENTS and REPLIES below as needed/wished to build some trains of thought for us.
NSS Suggested ReadingsDocuments
Wealth of Nations V.1.0 [on national defense], Adam Smith 1776
US Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 12 [provisions for America's military] 1789
Just War Theory and War Finance Wikipedia
The Ethics of War, Bertrand Russell 1915
C.S. Lewis on War and Peace, CS Lewis Institute, David C. Downing
The Costs of War Project - Brown University Nov 2017
"No More Good Wars", A transcript of the Lew Rockwell Show podcast episode 431 with John Denson, LewRockwell.com, August 13, 2015
On War Propaganda
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Voltaire"The media’s role in war propaganda", Elizabeth Willmott-Harrop August 2005
"War, Propaganda and the Media", Global Issues, Anup Shah 2005
"Western Media Persists in Propaganda About Iraq’s Purported WMD", Foreign Policy Journal, Jeremy R. Hammond 2009
A Saudi Imam, 2 Hijackers and Lingering 9/11 Mystery, NYT, Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, June 2016
Did France convince NATO to overthrow Gaddafi to prevent the launch of a Pan-African Gold-Backed Currency and to seize Lybia's oil fields?, Horace Campbell and Mark Fancher, Democracy Now 2017
The Gallic Wars, Julius Caesar 58-50 BC
War is a Racket, General Smedley Butler 1935
The Costs of War: America's Pyrrhic Victories, John V. Denson 2011 [highly recommended collection of cutting edge essays and letters]