Originally posted by hogtie
But that is only because the Germans were stopped. What would the number have been had the Wermacht kept rolling?
Astronomical, but please note that my what-if example assumed the Germans did not go to war. If someone attacks you, then you are already at war and
the choice becomes one of winning or losing, not of fighting or not fighting. Britain, the Soviet Union, and the U.S. combined to defeat the Nazis
not because they were genocidal nut jobs (actually nobody knew that at the time), but because they started a war. And if they had NOT started the
war, then whatever murders they committed would have been confined to the population inside Germany, and been far less than 50 million. (That's
about half the population of Germany at the time, by the way.)
That's what I mean when I say that there is no evil greater than war. The war that Hitler started killed about 5 times as many people as his death
I also have to consider their motives and methods. You can't do medical experiments on live subjects, test the effectiveness of artillery on people
tied to posts, make lamp shades out of human skin, and rape women to death and not be held as an abomination to humanity. These weren't the criminal
acts of individuals, this was govt policy. It just should not be allowed.
"Should not be allowed" how?
This is exactly the imprecise language that causes problems, as I see it. One speaks of not letting things happen, of putting a stop to them, of
regime change, and so on, but not of the consequences of trying to stop them.
If we had a global government and all national governments were subordinate to it, then yes, I would agree that such things "should not be allowed."
But the truth is that Nazi Germany was an independent, sovereign nation, and attempting to "not allow" some of its more barbaric practices would
have required -- DID require -- slaughtering thousands and thousands of people.
Now, the reality of the situation is that they started the friggin' war and thousands and thousands of people were going to be slaughtered anyway, so
all there was to do was to win it. I'm down with that. But no nation has the legitimate right to impose by force of arms its own standards on
another. To persuade? Yes. To use trade policy? Yes. To use diplomacy and get other nations to cooperate in imposing trade sanctions? Yes. And
so on and so on and so on, up to but not including going to war.
You see the evil that goes on, and you say you want to stop it. Fine -- show me a magic want that you can wave and make it stop, and I'll be fine
with you waving it; hell, I'll wave it myself! But I am not prepared to resort to a greater evil -- war -- in order to eliminate a lesser one.
Some of the atrocities I mentioned above were not acts of war, but of policy and in some cases "science".
Yet those were not the reasons why World War II was justified. That Hitler started the war was why we fought him, not because of anything he did in
concentration camps or death camps.
I think that it is more moral to kill as quickly and possibly (less time to suffer) 20 people who are supporting such actions than to allow one person
to be slowly tortured to death.
You think deaths in war are quick and painless?
You know what happens when a tank gets hit by an armor-piercing round? Generally, the men inside burn to death. Did you see any of the pictures from
the first Gulf War of vehicles destroyed on the road north from Kuwait, and the incinerated corpses in them?
You do know, don't you, that the majority of casualties in war are not killed outright; they are wounded. People go through the rest of their lives
missing limbs, or confined to wheelchairs, or with brain damage, or with lost genitalia.
Then there's the psychological damage that comes from combat situations.
War is not the answer to anything except war itself.
But something can be done, if the US would just take on the mantle everyone wants to bestow upon it as a medler in other's afairs. So be it. If the
UN will not take action, we will.
There's another neutral term: "take action."
I have no problem with "taking action" as long as the action is itself appropriate. I do have a problem, however, with going to war. Not going to
war does not equate to not taking action. But if the problem is internal to another country, and is one that cannot be solved except by going to war,
then let it remain unsolved. Some problems can't be solved, or rather must be solved by the evolution of other societies. That includes our own, by
the way. Great Britain ended slavery before the U.S. did. Now, slavery was a terrible evil, I'm sure you agree.
Do you think Britain would have been justified in invading the U.S. in order to put a stop to it?
There would be violent methods, but as an institution I don't believe we would resort to the same things as drills in the knee caps and
feeding people into plastic shredders.
Why not? They worked for Saddam, and what we're doing now sure isn't working.
On a smaller scale, I liken it to walking down the street and seeing a rape in progress.
No, because a rape -- interpersonal assault -- compared to one country starting a war with another. In that case, you fight.
What if you saw someone shooting up in the gutter? Do you beat him up to stop him from doing it?