As the war drums with North Korea get ever louder, it’s appropriate that this week was the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan. As the great Ralph Raico noted in a piece we shared this week:
The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a war crime worse than any that Japanese generals were executed for in Tokyo and Manila. If Harry Truman was not a war criminal, then no one ever was.
Ludwig von Mises, himself a veteran of WWI, understood the evil of the ever common place tactic of total war. In Human Action he wrote:
How far we are today from the rules of international law developed in the age of limited warfare! Modern war is merciless, it does not spare pregnant women or infants; it is indiscriminate killing and destroying.
As Matthew McCaffrey noted during his talk at Mises U, while technology changes the means by which war is waged, the underlying motivations have largely stayed the same. Peace cannot be obtained by conquest, but by an ideological shift of ideas. As long as North Korea remains an isolated hermit nation, it will continue to rely on military exercises as a means to establish credibility around the world. And as long as the US sees itself as a global police force, it will continue to escalate conflicts – at times tragically to the point of war, and always at the expense of its own people.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on August 12, 2017.