The Most potent, lingering, memory of my father, now gone twenty nine years ago today, was his views on war and peace. How each should come to be, and what should be done to make for each.
David E. Bailey Jr. served this nation for more than two decades in the U.S. Navy, through both Korea and Vietnam. The experiences gained I can only presume helped refine what was a very cerebral mind on what war and peace are bourn from. He never spoke of any of the violence he may have seen or undertook as he recalled his time of service to the boy that was his youngest son, whom eagerly hung on every word of every tale, but he would occasionally pause after a moment of reflection and with tone that would shape the man I would become each time as he would utter such things as.
“It is not the words of peaceful men, nor the actions of violent ones, that may prevent war. but those few men who wield both that win them”
“Beware the man who justifies the horror of any act relative to another, for some day he may justify it by another upon you.”
“I would rather live with the burden of conscience of what brutality it took to defeat a terrible enemy, than fall to him ”
It should be noted that my father was, to my eyes, a peaceful man, who reinforced civil discourse to me again and again. Yet, never failed to make clear to me that when there came time for conflict, which would be self defining, your response had to be absolute, as did your conviction.
“War is about killing people and breaking things, till your enemy can no longer do the same. That’s how you win.”
Today, we face an enemy in the form of Radical Islamic Jihad, unlike anything the world has ever known. Though war is the ultimate expression of mans’ barbarity, in it we also find his greatness.
Qualities I learned from My Dad.
This enemy to all of humanity is devoid of these things, and for this reason I say we must unite a make war upon them in response to both there acts and declaration.
On terms these monsters can understand. A War whose nature and need, is like the one my Father taught to me.