[N]o people wants to send off their sons and especially their daughters to fight overseas, but it never occurred to me that this was “‘natural isolationism.” It just seems like natural humanity to me. I don’t know of many other peoples in the world who truly relish sacrificing their young men to war. Peoples around the world may glorify soldiers and celebrate their deeds in war, but most people, normal people, would rather that there be no war if at all possible.Daniel is right to say there’s a long-standing aversion to sending young people–especially one’s own–to fight, especially when the enemy is far from our shores, let alone our gates.
At the same time there’s a bloodlust very deep in the souls of many, even if it’s helped along by drums, banners, films, speeches and sermons artfully deployed to stimulate it. We enjoy war at least as much as we do professional sports, especially if others do the fighting for us. The crowds cheered the parading soldiery as Europe unknowingly prepared to annihilate its civilization and a generation of its sons in 1914.
Does Norman Podhoretz, who built his career on having been chased by blacks as a kid in Brooklyn and growing up to write about it, get a frisson when he dreams of “our boys” igniting fireballs over Teheran? I wouldn’t be surprised it he does. (In case anyone gets the wrong idea, no, you don’t have to be Jewish to be a warmonger–it’s a multicultural pastime).