The above-titled adage might seem to convey a bellicose message, but does, in fact, ring true all the more today. Judging from historical events of violence throughout the ages, there is no doubt that we, humans, are not predisposed to living together in peace and harmony for the reason that ordinarily, our genetic composition is such that we must strive to achieve our objective by certain means that call for greed, expansionism and on occasion, violence, when all other methods fail to materialize in accordance with our plan. In this respect, one man can influence an entire nation, as evidenced by skirmishes and wars to which is added the shadowy specter of terrorism that cannot be permanently uprooted.
Let us minimize the megalomania of one nation that resorts to violence, in order to conquer another defenseless nation, to a vulnerable neighborhood that is threatened by gang violence. What must a resident in his home do to protect himself and his family? He must take defensive measures of protection, lest some day, his home might be invaded. From time to time, I see bumper stickers with the words, “war is not the answer,” This happens to be true, but it does not mean that we must remain dizzily oblivious of the possibility of being attacked by not getting prepared for such an eventuality. Perhaps, if our intelligence is honed well enough to expect an attack like that on the World Trade Center, we might be able to ward off the likelihood of being attacked again.
Objectively, the desire for peace is as enigmatic as an arithmetical problem for which there can be no equation. Territorially, humans are much less tolerant than animals. Animals are satisfied with a particular environment which they inhabit and attack only when they are hungry. Unlike animals, humans have no territorial limitations, but a propensity toward expansionism for which they might opt for violence. Human predators cross boundaries that surpass those of animals.
In the light of history’s testament to abuses of human values, there is a need to defend ourselves from the unpredictable. Unlike previous wars, the war in which we are engaged today is not in the battlefield. The ranks of the enemy cannot be depleted. The struggle could go on indefinitely. We cannot afford to keep our guard down nor should we bend to the will of those among us by merely concerning ourselves with affairs within our borders, and turning our backs on the enemies that we cannot confront. Our very survival is at stake.
It, therefore, behooves us to summon all the resources of defense at our disposal even as we cherish peace and abide by the rules of democracy.