Home Up




The Word War

By Roy D. Follendore III

October 31, 2001

I don't always get my writing out to this web site as fast as I should.  Since the 28th of October I have been pondering on the way to write some ideas that have been sticking in the back of my mind.  In that part of the back of my mind I somehow get the feeling that there is a cultural storm of ideas that are not being said and I feel a need to express them.  It is as though I somehow  understand the pulse of what is going on.  It feels like it does when I am  thinking about a song, turn on the radio, there it is.  Call it empathy or whatever, it is sometimes downright spooky.  Sometimes you read something that you wish you had written because you just wrote something similar that was not as well written.  That is what happened today, Halloween of all days.  

The following link (below) will direct you to a speech by Sir Michael Howard, a well known British historian. I believe it is a profound speech that I honestly think is worthy of being read and understood. As a student of communication, I have personally never agreed with the concept of misappropriating extreme words like "war". In my mind, the "war" on poverty was inappropriate. The "war" on drugs was also not appropriate. I believe even its use by liberals attempting to make peace in the 60's and 70's made a profound mistake in their terminology. Their declarations of making "war on war" represents an endless recursion of death and destruction. I have long believed this because as a soldier I thought the concept of war was something that must not be considered lightly. War is not civilized, even if it is created and organized by civilized societies. Like the song said, war is good for nothing.  I believe  that there is no such thing as limited war because war by it's nature is unlimited by the very concept of death.

Does this mean that war is unnecessary? No. The fact is that war can be absolutely necessary. The avoidance of war at any cost is also not civilized. But that is not the point of this conversation at this particular moment. At issue is that fact that if civilized leadership is not willing to follow through with the ultimate principles of war,  then war should not have been declared. War is the ultimate end to fall back to, not the first one to introduce. That is essentially what Sir Howard is talking about.


After you have read this article.  Please come back and read what I have written below.  I certainly can't claim that my ideas are as concise or as well written as Sir Howard's, but I do think that I have considered some important points that he left out. He was talking about war, while I am talking about the even larger issues of what made this war occur and what it might make of us win or lose.




Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved