As readers of NRO know, there are numerous writers around here who are deeply skeptical of the notion that violence never solved anything. Violence ended the Holocaust and slavery. Police carry guns because sometimes they run into problems which require a violent solution. Etc.
Well, as war looms, I think it makes sense that we all, readers and writers alike, keep an eye out for problems being solved by the mature and moral application of force. For example, diplomacy couldn’t win the cooperation of the Turks, but lo and behold, American commitment to violence did the trick. Or, for those who believe that improvement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict must come before anything else, you might want to note that the Palestinian parliament rebuffed Yasir Arafat yesterday. Arafat desperately wants to retain his dictatorial control of the Palestinian Authority. But he could not win support from the parliament for his gambit to diminish the power of a new prime minister (who is a longtime critic of Palestinian terrorism). How could this burgeoning quasi democratic reform happen? After all, it’s taking place against the backdrop of Ariel Sharon’s hardline policies and, perhaps more important, as the armed might of the United States is asserting itself in the region. Perhaps the reformers feels that history is, for once, on their side.
Anyway, even if you disagree with these interpretations, I think we should all be on the lookout for successes where “diplomacy fails” and we give war a chance. Yes, war has unitended consequences, but that doesn’t mean they’re all bad consequences.