President Obama has said that he and other Americans are weary, fatigued of war. That may well suit his own thinking, but I think American’s weariness is more than just fatigue at the presence of conflict; it’s an exhaustion with the justifying of it all.
Author Herman Wouk put it best, in the words of Julien Benda, a character in his book, ‘The Winds of War.’ He wrote: “Peace, if it ever exists, will not be based on the fear of war, but on the love of peace. It will not be the abstaining from an act, but the coming of a state of mind.”
Barack Obama, in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, actually used that occasion which celebrated peace to lay down justifications for war; ‘Just Wars’ he called them. The new president wrapped his militarism in a blanket of history in his acceptance speech in Oslo. He spoke with the detachment of a professor lecturing students about a “living testimony” to the “moral force” of the teachings of King and Gandhi; a U.S. president who just happened to be commander-in-chief over dual, bloody occupations.