President Bush’s Global Peace Initiative

President Bush delivered an Inaugural Address that will go down in history as a monumental one. What he proposes is an idyllic world. History has never known an era when such was a reality. It is a noble concept that bumps its nose against the plate glass reality of man’s inhumanity to man. We could all hope his philosophy will catch fire and afford freedom and peace as never before.

The Twentieth Century was a bloody one like those before it. It is this pattern of human conduct that would have to be reversed for his ideals to be an admirable reality. Consider these war casualties resulting from conflicts in the Twentieth Century. Different sources record differing totals. These come from “The Twentieth Century Atlas – Death Tolls.”

Russia lost 14,000 troops in Afghanistan and in the continuing Chechnya conflict 10,500+.

Following are a few countries involved in World War I, the number of casualties for each, and the percent of their combatants lost.
Russia, 6,650,000, 55%; Germany, 5,952,000, 54%; France, 5,651,000, 75%; Austria, 4,820,000, 74%; Bulgaria, 254,000, 64%; Canada, 241,000, 39%; U.S., 321,000, 8%.

Staggering death totals are recorded from these conflicts:
The Congo Free State (1886-1908) lost an estimated low of 8,000,000 and a high of 21,000,000. The Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) involved 2,100,000 fatalities. In Armenia between 1915 and 1923, there were 1,500,000 killed. In the China Warlord era (1917-1928) 800,000 died and in their Nationalist era (1928-1937) 3,1000,000. 1948-1987, North Korea committed 1,293,000 domecides. In the conflict between North Korea/China and American allied 2,800,000. In Rwanda and Burundi between 1959-1995, there were 1,250,000 killed. The second Indochina War recorded 3,500,000 casualties. Kinshasa Congo in 1998, there were 3,300,000 killed. The war between Iran and Iraq (1980-1988) resulted in over 1,000,000 fatalities. In Nigeria between 1966-1970, 5,000,000 died in conflict.

Obviously there was no liberty and justice for all. Annually millions die in wars of which we never hear. These astronomical totals do not diminish the value of one American lost in combat. They do not justify war but they put it in a perspective of which most of us aren’t aware.

It would be nice if all the bad guys in the world would go away and leave us alone. We would be perfectly willing for that to happen. Unfortunately it isn’t going to happen. Eternal vigilance is an absolute necessity to maintain our freedom. An even greater price in lives and money than that already required may well be necessitated to preserve liberty within our own country.

Our president has indicated diplomacy is the primary means of trying to bring peace to nations. There is too much to be lost not to try.