Moderate Pacifism

Clarification: I am a moderate pacifist.
A moderate pacifist recognises war as wasteful and something to avoid, but does not reject the concept of self-defence outright. Wars of choice are evil, but wars of necessity are often the lesser evil compared to surrendering to demands.
I served in the German military with good conscience because back then it was not usable for a war of aggression (yet). My moderate pacifism was fully developed only once I learned (in 2001) about the propaganda lies that were used by warmongers to enable the Kosovo Air War against Yugoslavia. I felt silly for falling for these lies despite my then already extensive knowledge of history and military history. My patience with the pro-war side was exhausted completely.
My stance is thus to keep a calm head, think rational, keep the proportions in mind (errorists are a mere nuisance compared to the real public health hazards, and the so-called "counter-terrorism" efforts are inefficient compared to many not yet enacted life-saving policies if not even exacerbating the problem). Wars of choice are a no-go, save for a tiny exception; intervention against genocide that's been proved to happen beyond reasonable doubt.
Wars of necessity on the other hand - others attacking us (for real, not puny errorists) or collective self-defence - should provoke an altogether opposite approach:
Total war from the start, tit-for-tat regarding nuclear warhead employment, and a campaign that leads to end the war as soon as possible. The only demand should be status quo ante. Any more ambitious demands would only prolong the war.
In short, I am convinced we should abstain from warfare unless it's forced on us, and then we should do nothing less than unleash the beasts of war.
Frankly, despite all the wet paper bag talk, I suppose we all know mankind doesn't want my country to unleash the beasts of war ever again. Thus simply don't attack us or our allies unless they attacked you first.



  1. While I didn't follow the German propaganda, the Kosovo war is a case of a just war.
    The Serbian/Yugoslavian leadership had waged war for a decade on his neighbors, and it clearly considered ethnic cleansing/genocide as acceptable tools to get the job done.

    While there was no genocide, there was a campaign of ethnic cleansing that was interrupted and reversed.
    Both Kosovo and Serbia are better off in the long run due to that fast intervention.

    The only issue with that war was the braking of international law, but unlike Iraq, this is a case of positive outcomes by force.

    I see no reason why genocide alone is the red line, it seems arbitrary.

    1. It is a flowing thing, the Ottoman government probably didn't intend to mass kill Armenians, but they campaign of ethnic cleansing amounted to genocide.
      Serbian ethnic cleansing of Kosovo was well planned and counted on widespread fear and propaganda to reach the effect. The missing person from Kosovo, and the graves that surfaced in Serbia proper are evidence that it wasn't just a western invention.

      The Kosovar ethnic cleansing and the Croatian ethnic cleansing are facts, but like 1945 it was considered just punishment for the perpetrator and or unavoidable. There was nothing that could be done in case of Croatia, as the Serbs fled out of fear what would happen to them if they would be under Croatian government. The same fear was the reason for war in the first place, along with the Serbian goal of a land grab.

      The Serbian ethnic cleansing was much larger, the results were simply reversed.
      To say it a black and white issue would be very simplified, but NATO helped the side that didn't commit genocide in the past decade, and was quite willing to do so again.

      The results of the intervention are positive. Serbia and Kosovo were not working out, and were the fault line of Yugoslavia. This solution is better for both. Serbia, as it isn't wasting resources on occupying people it doesn't like, and Kosovo can't blame Belgrade for all its faults.

      Again, being lied to by the government is bad, but this wasn't a question of using humanitarian reasons to play great power games. It was a case of simplification and over blowing the issue to stop an aggressive force before it committed war crimes on a large scale.

  2. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/serbia-s-kosovo-cover-up-who-hid-the-bodies

    So maybe the youtube link was wrong, but the message was certainly not a lie.

  3. You overestimate the importance of Germany and WWII.
    It is an old story of a country, the size of a Chinese or Indian province and more populous than most current US states.

  4. 'Wars of choice are a no-go, save for a tiny exception; intervention against genocide that's been proved to happen beyond reasonable doubt.'

    How do we define genocide? For example the Yazidi in northern Syria and Iraq:


    Could this justify an intervention in your opinion?

    1. http://www.un-documents.net/a3r260.htm

      "The crime still needs to be proved beyond doubt. A few witness statements and aerial photography would not suffice because of the problems of forgeries and misinterpretation."

      The Yazidi case was much too poorly documented when it happened, and plenty warmongers were known to work on getting a land invasion of Syria done.
      Eventually the Yazidis were mostly mere refugees (or war and prosecution), candidates for asylum. Thousands of them were stuck and supposedly encircled, but I suppose more than aerial supply (including possibly dropping light weapons and munitions) would not have been appropriate.

      We shouldn't allow warmongers and war parties to push or draw us into war by pushing well-defined buttons. Something as Obama's 'we attack if Assad uses chemical weapons' remark only provokes forgeries if not the atrocity itself (including actual false flag attacks).

      The Biafra case is a simple example of a genocide compared to Rwanda etc.: Very slow, relatively well-understood, easily countered by escorting food air shipments into the area with warships. The Nigerian navy and air force were so weak that auxiliary cruisers equipped with army 40 mm AAA and some tanks on deck would have sufficed to run that blockade.