England and Portugal have existed in peace for centuries. They were not parties to â€˜entangling alliancesâ€™ but they have had little reason to go to war with one another.
During the Cold War, some saw â€˜peaceful coexistenceâ€™ as the desired goal of USA-USSR relationships. Neither side wanted a shooting war but some fighting took place using surrogates. The cost of a nuclear war between two great nations was too great for any side to bear. There were two options for the United States: maintenance of a strong military posture and a policy of containment or unilateral disarmament and appeasement. The latter would have been folly, since we faced an evil regime that put its faith in a flawed system and coercion that did little but provide a uniform level of misery for all but the nomenklatura. Yet many in the West faulted the United States for taking too harsh a line. These included industrialists (such as Cyrus Eaton), prestigious academics (such as Bertrand Russell), and politicians (such as Henry Wallace).
The containment policy triumphed and the threat of a global conflict between two major powers has diminished. Now we have a unique conflict where one side is motivated not so much by economic or territorial expansion but by evil itself. How does one coexist with evil?
We attempted to avoid escalations in tension with the USSR but never gave lip service to their ideological sewage disposal system known as the Gulag. Pressure was subtly applied. Efforts at industrial espionage were thwarted by the delivery of intentionally-flawed products. Yet the men in the Kremlin were not fanatics. Stalin did consider himself the ultimate expert on most subjects, from music to genetics to economics but never relished a nuclear exchange with the USA.
Can we say the same of the madmen of the Middle East? How does on coexist with such vermin?
We can coexist with wild creatures that invade much of suburbia and even find the animals charming, but how would one coexist with a pack of rabid dogs?
We could put out heaps of filet mignon to appease the snarling beasts but that will not buy safety. Sometimes you must shoot to kill.