The Corner

Arms and the Men (Some of Them)

In Impromptus today — the second installment in a weeklong series called “Nobel Nuggets” — I say something about the European pacifists, before World War I: They were “not a monolithic bunch. You had the pure, or absolute, pacifists — opposed to war and war-making no matter what. And you had pacifists who supported wars of defense or wars of liberation.”

Also, “There were pacifists who supported an ‘armed peace,’ which is to say, a peace during which nations are armed, even to the teeth. Indeed, some pacifists maintained that the arms kept the peace. (This is deterrence, in short.) Other people said that an armed peace was no kind of peace at all, but rather a war waiting to happen. Peace could not truly be safe unless nations were disarmed, or armed extremely lightly.”

Anyway, all this put me in mind of Jack Kemp — who used to say, “I’m a dove — heavily armed. But a dove. A heavily armed dove.”

Also in Impromptus, I say something about Theodore Roosevelt and his Nobel Peace Prize — which reminded me that John J. Miller’s latest book is now out in paperback. The book does not address TR’s peace prize (so far as I know). It’s called The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football.

I ordered my paperback copy over the weekend and it is the next book on my reading list. I’ll give you a report on it “in due course,” as WFB liked to say.


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