Peter Alter
Peter Alter
Chicago History Museum

Is armed conflict necessary to achieve freedom?


Everyday nearly everywhere we hear and see stories of war. United States soldiers fight and sometimes die, helping to keep the peace in Iraq and Afghanistan in southwest Asia. To protect rebels, U.S. warplanes bomb Libyan government forces in North Africa. 

Our country was born out of a fight for freedom with Great Britain—the Revolution. It was re-born out of another armed conflict—the Civil War.  Millions of people died around the globe during World War Two (1939-1945). This was also another fight for freedom. The United States fought the Vietnam War, because its leaders believed it was a fight for freedom.   

In the 1960s, some people even criticized Martin Luther King Jr. for his non-violent approach to advocating civil rights and freedom. Those people argued that armed conflict was the best way to achieve their goals of freedom. 

What do you think? Is armed conflict always the answer? Should it just be kept as a last resort? I look forward to reading your thoughts. 


Discussion closed on October 12, 2011