OT: Obama just won Nobel Peace Prize.

P. J. Alling webstertwentysix at gmail.com
Sat Oct 10 06:04:40 EDT 2009


There's been a major European war, on average, every 20-30 years since 
about 1600, which is pretty bad, when you realize some of them lasted 30 
years, (if you think WWI was bad, and it was, you should look at the 
statistics on the thirty years war), and I'm not letting the rest of the 
world off the hook either, there were some fairly awful conflicts 
between South American Countries, (for fun you could look up the War of 
the Triple Alliance 1864-1870, after reading about it you can only ask 
yourself /What/ /the/ /hell/ /were/ /they/ /thinking?/ ), and the the 
Asians seemed to enjoy hacking and blowing each other to bits too.  
Africans didn't much own their own countries, during the historical 
period, but the Zulu's were hell on their neighbors.  The world has been 
a rather bloody place. 

But here's some historical some perspective.  Vietnam was 17 years of 
skirmishing,   (Yes it was real if you were caught up in it, I had 
friends who were changed for life. Though I don't remember anyone who 
didn't come back).  The Somme, (July to November 1916), killed twice as 
many men in half, a year, (I'm only taking into account Empire 
casualties,  not French and Germans, since you didn't mention US allies 
or North Vietnamese), than the US lost in it's entire Vietnam 
Adventure.  On average we have three times as many traffic fatalities in 
a year in the US than we suffered in an average year in Vietnam, and 
that's lumping the wounded in with the dead. 

Since WWII there's been 70 years of peace in Europe and much of Asia.  
Wars have been a.) small of only local or regional interest, b.) proxy 
wars, or lc.) low intensity conflicts with no direct conflict between 
"Great Powers".  The Eastern Block and The Western Block wanted to rule 
the world not destroy it. The existance of Atomic Weapons pretty much 
guaranteed any war between them that got out of hand, would  do just 
that.  The fear of mutual destruction has done more for Peace than 
anything else so far.  For that I credit Oppenheimer.  Where there is no 
such fear, wars still break out. 

mike wilson wrote:
> P. J. Alling wrote:
>
>> Oppenheimer.  The atomic bomb kept the peace for 50+ years, at least 
>> there were no "major" shooting wars for 50 years because no one 
>> wanted to risk a conventional war getting out of hand.  Probably the 
>> first time that a weapon was actually too terrible to use.
>
> Wow.  Whilst I can understand that you may not consider the recent 
> stuff in the Middle East major because not so many Americans have been 
> affected, how you can say that Vietnam was anything other than major 
> for the USA (especially considering the psychological effect of 
> "losing" after all those deaths) and at least three other countries, I 
> do not know.
>
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