Utopian view of the world is an unattainable dream

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 April, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 April, 2002, 12:00am

I refer to the letter by Elsie Tu (South China Morning Post, March 30) in which she says I am a Western idealist (Post, March 26) who views the world 'through rose-tinted spectacles'.

In fact, I am a reluctant realist peering 'through a glass darkly' and I see a world entering a period of its history even more dangerous than the one that preceded it.

In a previous letter (Post, February 5) Ms Tu implied that Americans are a nation of Forrest Gumps 'duped by sound bites'.

Similarly J. Garner (Post, April 3) seems to be anti-anybody's military (but particularly the US's), anytime, anywhere.

I believe their utopian view of a world without war is an unattainable dream. Such a world has never existed and I doubt that it ever will, human nature being what it is.

War is not an aberration. It is the constant backdrop to the lives of millions of people today and affects everybody, directly or indirectly.

The United Nations has failed to prevent about 180 wars since its foundation. There are about 30 wars going on today.

I truly hate and fear this situation every bit as much as I know Ms Tu and J. Garner do, but mere wishful thinking will not cause world peace to break out.

Peace, however, can be imposed.

America enjoys a preponderance of military power unparalleled in history. It has bases or base rights in 40 countries. Its fleet is larger than the rest of the world's combined. It is loathed and feared by many, but admired and respected by millions more.

In the world's media today there are calls for 'new mandates' and American troops on the ground. America must respond by being more, not less, expansive and assertive in implementing the goals of both its military and its economic and diplomatic power.

Europe should join America in shouldering the rich man's burden by imposing stability, the prerequisites of education and economic growth, upon failed states.

Unacceptable outrages like ethnic cleansing, genocide and suicide bombings, should be stopped by consigning the regimes that nurture and support this barbarism to history as surely as America did with the Taleban.


Peng Chau