Is war always justified? Sometimes justified? Never? This question has been up for debate for generations – ever since we have been able to really discern, as a society, the devistating repercussions of war.
I am an antiwar pacifist. I believe that war is never justified. I believe that the inexcusable violation of rights present during war time should reflect the incompetent lack of morality that a disappointing majority of our country holds. I believe in the right to personal self-defense. However, I believe that war can not and should not ever be considered a type of self-defense. Our country’s tendency to preemptively (and unnecessarily) strike contradicts a large portion of our “U.S. values”. It is unpalatable.
I would like to take this moment to save my own ass from all of the potential private pacifists reading this (which is highly unlikely) and dictate that I am NOT anti-American! I absolutely adore America and I am so grateful to have been brought up in such a noble country – and a beautiful Southern California city, to top it off! I am also appreciative of the men and women who fight for our country – whether or not I believe in the bigger picture of their actions and commitments, they are doing what they think is right for our country, and that holds my upmost respect. I am also a die-hard Barack Obama supporter, if that wasn’t already evident from posts prior; he acts to favor the majority views of our country, but still knows when to stray from these norms (his desire to pass gay marriage equality laws, for example) in order to evolve and change our nation for the better.
But back to why I think was is never justified…
How many of you actually know our national military budget? Since 2010, the United States’ Federal Budget for the Department of Defense averaged about $545,000,000,000. Yes, that is five-hundred-and-forty-five-billion dollars spent on our military and department of defense. But here’s the catch… that is just our budget. How many of you know how much we actually spend on military and international defense? The answer to that question, taken from the year 2012, is approximately $720 billion. That is almost $200 billion more than what it should have been. Still wondering how our national debt got so high?
But let’s get to the point, shall we? This is not just about our national spending. Do you know how much it would cost to end world hunger and save impoverished societies around the world? Why don’t I stop with the rhetorical questions and tell you. $30 billion per year. That is 4% of our average annual military spending. News flash, people, what do you think is one of the main contributors to war in the first place!? The extremes of poverty and wealth, along with racism, religious strife, and universal education are just a few of the root causes of war.
Let’s put two-and-two together. Pull out of war… use that money to instead give international aid in a nonviolent way… neutralize the poverty level… SAVE 80% of humanity… eventually, hopefully, and idealistically gain world peace.
I know, I know… everything I just said is a long shot because of the conditioned ideas and values that our nation holds. However, this is the 21st century; our nation has fought through many extreme changes in societal values, and I personally believe we can handle just a few more.