In the wake of the Iraq war, Muslims in many countries turned against the United States, wishing Americans harm and even death. In Pakistan, favorable public opinion toward the United States plummeted to just a few percentage points. Then Pakistan was hit with that terrible earthquake. American soldiers were sent to Pakistan to give earthquake victims medical care, shelter, and food. By doing so, they won the hearts of many Pakistanis who had previously hated Americans. Favorable opinion toward the United States rose to 46 percent by the end of November of that year. What had been expected to take years took a month.
Another example is the Marshall Plan, massive U.S. aid that helped rebuild Europe after World War II, including West Germany, our former enemy. The aid we extended to rebuild Japan, our other major World War II enemy, is another example. By giving them what they needed, we secured lasting allies among friends and former foes, alike.
Yes, we can call upon our courageous, loyal citizens willing to serve our country to act in accordance with one moral standard. By choosing this path, lasting peace and national security will be more assured than through war. And indeed, serving in the military will no longer mean facing intractable moral dilemmas.
Posted on GenuineJustice.com on 11-30-10.