The Real Reason for War
by David Wiggins
To speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves anti-war men, I ask for, not at once no war, but at once, better war. The objections which have been brought against war, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, must, in the end, yield to the laws of God and to scientific reality.
Truth be told, humans in general and certain individuals in particular, want war. Violence is a component of humanity’s gene pool, war being one manifestation of this violent tendency. The religious among us might say that man’s violent tendency is a result of our fall from grace, our sinful nature. Heaven, by contrast, is universally regarded as a peaceful state.
"They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." ~ Isaiah 2:4
Followers of Charles Darwin would assert that an individual’s violent nature might sometimes be a reproductive advantage. For this reason, the tendencies to behave violently and make war are passed on from generation to generation. These same proponents of evolution would also warn us that, in the age of weapons of mass destruction, our violent abilities might lead to self-extinction. The continued survival of human beings as a species would be more secure if we could somehow eliminate violent genes from our genetic pool.
Thus, religion and science agree that we humans would be better off without our violent nature, but that this violent nature that leads to war is an inextricable part of an individual’s constitution. No religion and no psychiatric method have shown any great or permanent success in curing mankind of violence. It seems humanity is condemned to a violent death through self-extinction.
Fortunately, there is a secret worldwide society of pacifists working on a solution. I was inducted into this group in 1984 while a senior cadet at the United States Military Academy, one of the group’s most important training centers. I eventually left the Army for reasons of personal philosophy, and joined the society’s classically pacifist branch where I am better suited.
For effectiveness and safety, the organization has, until now, been secret. I am revealing its inner workings because my former branch of the group has become inefficient. The leadership of that branch has made some grave errors, and I hope that the light of publicity will help to correct them. Time is of the essence, and we must work quickly and efficiently if we are to avoid self-extinction.
For those readers who have never understood why humanity fights war endlessly, this was intentional. What follows should resolve much confusion. Until now, revealing the real reasons for war would have undermined the society’s efforts. In fact, members of one branch of our society are usually not even aware that they are working with the other branch. This is also intentional. It preserves the purity of purpose of each branch. As someone who has worked for both branches, I am one of the few individuals who can comment on the "big picture."
Long ago, the society realized that warriors are less likely to pass their genes on to the next generation. Dead soldiers do not reproduce. Crippled soldiers reproduce less than they would were they not crippled. A warrior’s job and training frequently isolates them, denying them the opportunity to copulate with the opposite sex. When the soldier is off to war, the soldier’s sexual partner is unable to have sex with the soldier. The partner may choose to abstain, or may engage in reproductive activities with a member of the opposite sex who is not a soldier. The result is that the partner’s genes are sometimes paired with those of a non-military person, hence one that is probably less violent.
Over time, all these scenarios result in violent genes being removed from the human gene pool. Eventually, with no violent tendencies, humans will cease to conduct war, and will avoid self-extinction. The glorious day predicted in Isaiah 2:4 will be at hand. In other words, war properly conducted, will lead to peace. The religious among our group simply say, "The Lord works in mysterious ways."
The goal, then, was to develop a method of selecting those humans with the most violent tendencies out of the general population and encourage them to participate in war. Conversely, we wanted to identify those humans with the most non-violent tendencies and discourage them from participating in war. Thus, the nonviolent group, without the reproductive handicap caused by war, would reproduce more efficiently, and over time, the human species would become less violent.
By necessity, we focused our efforts on young adults, especially young men, because this group has the greatest reproductive potential. For effectiveness, we divided into two branches. Society members joined the branch to which they were naturally suited based upon their particular psychology and needs.
The classical pacifists’ goal was to identify those youth who are not violent, and to influence them to resist war. The classical pacifists talk and write about peace, they sing anti-war songs, and they march in anti-war demonstrations. They are sometimes bombarded with tear gas, or are dragged from the street and arrested. They tend to be quite dramatic, but in reality, they accomplish very little. Naturally, artists and philosophers are attracted to this branch of the society. Classical pacifists tend to harbor the secret fantasy that all humans are nonviolent and would act accordingly if only someone who knew better could just talk to them. Classical pacifists can be recognized by their ability to tolerate scorn and ridicule. This quality helps them select out the truly nonviolent members of society who must necessarily be able to "turn the other cheek, " and "love their enemies." In general, classical pacifists perform their duties for little or no compensation. This lack of dependence on material wealth is reflective of another quality of the truly nonviolent – the ability to resist the temptation to take their neighbor’s possessions by force.
The second group of pacifists attempts to identify and influence violent youths to engage in war with the ultimate goal of removing their violent genes from the human gene pool. For their own safety, this second group must remain undercover lest the violent youth discover the plot and turn their violence on the plotters. These pacifists undercover, selectively seducing youth, were originally known as the Selective Service. This title was exposed and discredited in the 1970’s, but the group survived and now goes by an acronym comprised of the first letter of each term that describes them. To avoid exposing them completely, I will, when referring to them, substitute a * for the terminal Y in their name – thus PUSS*. I doubt any of them will be able to figure out my ruse. Since 9-11, it is commonly known that they have trouble connecting dots.
Observe high-ranking military officers, national media commentators, televangelists, or executives in the military-industrial complex. Each one is very likely to be a PUSS*. It is rare to see a politician that is not a PUSS*. Every PUSS* loves to talk about war and combat. He makes it sound necessary and courageous and noble. But while he uses romantic phrases like "defending freedom" and "serving your country," you will never see a PUSS* actively involved in combat. In fact, he will do everything he can to avoid any violence. No excuse is beneath him. This is because every PUSS* is secretly a pacifist. He may have past combat experience. It makes no difference. If he does, he is a convert. Every PUSS* is a pacifist. Of course, he will deny it. Being a liar is a prerequisite for being a PUSS*. It is part of his job. He needs to convince the violent youth that they are fighting and dying for a noble cause, when in fact, they are just removing their genes from the gene pool. In contrast to a classical pacifist, for whom the cause is the most important factor, a PUSS* works for the highest bidder. A PUSS* has no tolerance for scorn or ridicule, on the contrary, he loves yes-men and ass-kissers.
So now you know the real reason for war – to eliminate violent genes from the human gene pool. There is no other reason. You were right when you wondered why, if wars make us safer, are we less safe? You were right when you wondered why, if wars defend our freedom, are we less free? You were right when you wondered why, if war rights a wrong, with all the wars over all the eons, is there so much evil in the world? War does not make us safe, or free, or more holy. War kills people – that is all. When conducted perfectly, war eliminates only violent genes from the population; but only heaven is perfect. War is hell.
If you are not violent by nature, and you are not a PUSS*, do not join the military. If you are in the military, resign or quit. You have made a mistake. You were misled. You were not intended to be there. You will accomplish nothing. You will, in fact, be acting in opposition to the plan. If you are a nonviolent person, it is your duty to God and to humanity to avoid war. Be fruitful and multiply. Do your part in preserving the future of the miracle that is the human race. Bring heaven one step closer. Leave the violence to those whose genes should not be passed on.
But, I digress. To continue, things were going along acceptably until George W. Bush was elected President. Yes, there were inefficiencies. Some nonviolent people joined the military and many violent people did not, but at least we were moving in the right direction. On the whole, our methods were leading to the gradual elimination of violent genes from the population, and it seemed as if the world was a less violent place.
The election, itself, posed some difficulties. To appear innocent, a PUSS* must remain undercover, but anyone who looked closely at George W. Bush’s military record would have seen him clearly for the PUSS* that he is. To make matters worse, everyone he appointed seemed to be a neoconservative – again, each one obviously a PUSS* to anyone who looked closely. Fortunately for Mr. Bush, every PUSS* in the national media came to his assistance, and the issue of his military record, as well as the unimpressive backgrounds of his neoconservative cabal, was buried. The troops still trusted him.
9-11 was a disaster. No civilians should have been killed. President Bush was warned by both domestic and foreign intelligence services of an impending attack using airliners. If President Bush had been intelligent enough simply to connect dots, the terrorists would have been caught and for the next few years, terrorists and soldiers alike would have spent time chasing each other around God’s creation instead of engaging in reproductive acts. In another move that risked exposing him as a PUSS*, President Bush hid out in Nebraska until all the violence had passed. But again, every PUSS* in the national media serviced the President above and beyond the call of duty. They made him out to be some sort of hero, in fact. The troops still trusted Bush enough to go to war.
Then came Afghanistan and Iraq. Huge numbers of civilians died – so many that it began to subvert our plans. We were no longer eliminating violent genes from the population; we were just eliminating genes at random. Worse still, George W. Bush turned out to be a terrible liar. Everyone saw through the Niger uranium charade. Then, no one bought the stories about weapons of mass destruction, or aluminum tubes for gas centrifuges, or the Saddam Hussein–Bin Laden connection.
Presently, the lies seem so poor and so transparent that Bush is risking blowing his cover entirely. This has already happened to Tony Blair in the UK. The troops are dangerously close to seeing Bush for what he really is – a PUSS* who is sending them off to die for no good reason. Soldiers everywhere will shout, "Expose the PUSS*!" This would be completely unacceptable. Soldiers might begin to reproduce instead of fighting and dying for Bush. The entire plan is in jeopardy.
So, I am going public. At least I can try to warn those non-violent youth who, by some mistake, ended up in the military. I have this fantasy, in fact, that our society has done its job better than I know. In the present, perhaps, everyone in the military is nonviolent – just misled. Perhaps, if they only read this essay… But now I am surely dreaming…
September 8, 2003
David Wiggins [send him mail] is a West Point (United States Military Academy) distinguished graduate and an honors graduate of New York Medical College. He left the Army as a Conscientious Objector resigning his commission as an Army Captain on the Iraqi front lines during Operation Desert Storm. He is currently an Emergency Physician.