Monday, August 19, 2019

war :: essays research papers

The cries of joy were deafening as people gathered in the streets. People ran around hugging and kissing strangers. In a sense, the news was totally unexpected. Japan had just surrendered. VJ Day, as it is now called, produced great celebration. Everyone was relieved that we would not have to endure a bloody invasion of Japan. We would not have to sacrifice 200,000 more men to end the war. During the war, millions of lives were put on hold. Now that the war is over, people could start living their lives again. "The misery is behind us," they would say. "We have won the war." In reality, though, there are no winners in war; only losers. Even the "winners" are actually losers. Both sides in any conflict suffer losses. The question is not who won the most, but who lost the least. The "winners" of WWII suffered staggering losses. Even the U.S., which did not have its own homeland ravaged by the war, suffered great losses. Besides the $360 billion price tag ($3,578 billion in today’s dollars), there were 292,131 Americans killed (not to mention the 115,185 "non-battle deaths"). There were also 670,846 Americans wounded. This, of course, does not take into account the emotional toll of shattered lives and marriages. Yes, we "won" because we survived the war declared on us by Japan and Germany. Yes, we "won" because we saved the world from plummeting into a very dark and desperate era. Yes, we "won" because we saved over 100 million people from certain death and several hundred million people from oppression and torture. If Japan and Germany had not been defeated, the losses to America (and the rest of the world) would have been far more substantial. So, in comparison, we did "win." Don’t get me wrong; I’m not an anti-war protestor. I feel there is a definite need for a strong national defense. I feel it is important for our country to be able to defend herself. I also believe that there is the unfortunate need for the U.S. to defend the oppressed and defenseless of the world. Although I don’t like the U.S. being the guardian of the world, there is a moral obligation to protect the defenseless when there is wholesale genocide and torture taking place. Of course, history has shown us there is a right way and a wrong way to intervene in foreign problems. The reason I bring this up is because we all have our own private "wars.

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