People attempting to justify America’s current and recent wars due to a dangerous (or convenient) combination of nationalism and ignorance are often heard to boldly exclaim at their wit’s end that they’d “rather the wars be fought there than here.”
If these were our only two choices, I’d be inclined to agree. In that scenario it is purely might making right. The fact that we have the means to export our wars provides us with the luxury of war being no more than about a dime of every dollar we earn and a channel on TV.
At the danger of stuffing that binary argument full of straw, let’s apply the principle it seems to suggest to a few situations. What happens if we take this to its logical end? If any place to have a war is preferable to here and presumably any conflict that reduces the chance of war being here is justified then anything that is not God’s own U. S. of A. is ripe for a nuking.
Another way we can try to analyze this policy is how it would sound as a way to treat one’s neighbors. Going next door and beating up your neighbor to prevent them from coming over and doing likewise to you doesn’t sound like a way to ensure peace.
Besides the fact that this isn’t any kind of justification for war, it’s also just a poor representation of reality. We don’t necessarily either have to kill people where they live or wait for them to kill us where we live. We might even consider ways to keep from making people want to kill us at all. I believe that killing people around the world may actually make more people hate the US. Perhaps a revolutionary thought.
Here’s an idea, I suggest that we do as 19th century political economist, Frédéric Bastiat might prescribe and trade goods instead of making war. It’s the closest countries can come to making love (instead of war). I’ll probably write more on that in the future.