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War is Necessary

Posted By: Montgomery Granger on December 21, 2006
While I agree that there is enormous value to the discussion of war in the classroom, and how students feel about it, this structure alone is misleading and dangerous. Students, like adults have values that they apply as a filter to all life's experiences. War is a highly complex, emensely emotional topic, but like the author explains in the end, there are arguments that need to be made and other views that need to be expressed for any discussion to have relevant value as a quality educational experience. Beginning with lessons on philosophy, without excluding religeous philosophy, then with lessons on values (beliefs, feelings and actions which are important to us; the most important of which are actions, because if we don't act on our beliefs and feelings there cannot be a truly valued thing), we can then enter into discussions on nearly any topic with the understanding of our own and other's values as filters. There is established then a context in which we can weigh the quality and quantity of the discussion topic. Without first identifying why we feel the way we do about the things we care (or don't care) about, discussions, like so much water under a bridge, become quickly lost without lasting meaning. As educators, don't we seek to facilitate emotionally significant, but meaningful, events for our students? The danger of providing students with only one point of view, especially an emotional one easily conjured by statements like, "How Children Suffer," is manipulative and Hegalian. Certainly not worthy of scholarly discourse. What we end up with if we simply look through the glasses of a Pagan/utilitarian (unitarian-antiwar) philosophy is something that excludes and then alienates those of the Judeo/Christian ethic. Such exclusion only narrows the possibilities of discussion and discovery. Surely we want to include all points of view in any discussion, to do otherwise is tantamount to brainwashing, especially considering the pliability of the young mind. Lastly, throughout the article one reads about how everyone must agree that "war is bad," and therefore suggests that "following the President into war," must then also be "bad," fails to take into account the fact that we were attacked on 9/11/01. We were attacked, and innocent U.S. and other citizens killed mercilessly and without any justification, many years before 9/11/01, but our government chose not to fully retaliate. Once we have begun the retaliation, surely it logically follows that we must also do whatever it takes to prevent another such murderous event. I suggest that war is neither bad nor good, but is sometimes a necessity of survival. We practice what our primitive ancestors practiced, only on a much larger scale. I would also suggest that no one (in their right mind) "likes" war, but that those who do not fight and enjoy the fruits of liberty secured by their countrymen (and women) who do fight, seem to take their right to oppose war blindly for granted, along with all the other freedoms that they enjoy at the soldier's expense. Think about that next time you want to try and brainwash kids into thinking "all war is bad." Oh, and don't leave out the American War For Independence, our own Civil War, and World Wars I and II.

Montgomery J. Granger
TC Graduate 1986
School District Administrator
Long Island, New York
20 year veteran and officer in the U.S. Army Reserves
3 times mobilized for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom in the Global War on Terrorism
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 War is Necessary by Montgomery Granger on December 21, 2006
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