We as Americans live in a bubble, filled with social media drama, reality TV shows, scare tactic politics and an ever-changing social structure that pushes to fit whatever social agenda mainstream media pushes that week. While this bubble allows our citizens to live in one of the greatest countries on earth and to live a life relatively void of some of the evils the rest of the world encounters on a daily basis, it does create an unrealistic view of violence and its application to solve some of life’s greatest problems.
Those who say “violence is never the answer”, most likely never stared death in the face or encountered some of the greatest evil that plagues our society. In reality, violence often solves some of life’s greatest issues.
During WWII the Nazi’s invaded most of Europe with no plan to stop until they reached a utopian society. Their push only ended with the proper application of violence from allied forces. During 9/11 terrorist hijacked United Flight 93 with the intent on flying the jet into either the White House or Capitol Building. While the plane crashed into an open field killing all aboard, passengers on board violently took back the plane from the terrorists and successfully kept the plane from killing more innocent Americans. Today our nation’s men and women in uniform violently pursue some of our country’s greatest enemies, killing them and preventing them from committing further ill will against our society.
As Americans, we value life greater than other societies. In other parts of the world, many accidental deaths are settled through a mutually agreed-upon amount. In many places in the middle east, if one person kills the member of another family, the killer’s family may settle the death and avoid repercussions by simply paying the family of the victim. There is a social norm that allows both parties to honor the settled debt and rarely does any revenge take place after the family pays the debt. In these societies, all life has a monetary amount. It’s viewed the same as a car or household item.
Because these societies value life differently than American citizens they tend to apply violence to solve their goals. This partially explains their use of suicide bombers as a valuable tactic of warfare. As Americans, we can’t fathom the idea of strapping a solider with explosives and sending them into a populated market of innocent civilians to kill themselves and everyone else around them in the name of a greater good. When someone reaches a mental state of destruction, as seen by many of our nation’s adversaries, there is little chance for negotiation. In this instance, we must use violence to combat violence. While you might argue that our violence creates more terrorists, leads to civilian deaths and is a revolving door of warfare, it doesn’t mean that it’s not our most powerful and problem-solving tool available. While violence leads to possible continued issues down the road, it does often keep that terrorist from attacking the US, killing hundreds of innocent civilians or military personnel operating in the area.
If the application of violence in warfare doesn’t make you a believer ask yourself what you would do if confronted by a rapist or a murder here in the US who wished to rape or kill you. Chances are you cannot negotiate with the attacker and your only chance of survival is the successful application of violence. Here violence is the answer.
Because of this, we argue that sometimes violence is the answer to life’s problems and to say otherwise is merely an unrealistic view that is afforded by our nation’s most privileged citizens.