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Michiel Horn, Glendon professor emeritus of history in the media - The Cost of Victory


"If our parents and grandparents were as 'wobbly' as many Canadians are today," retired general Lewis MacKenzie writes, "we would have left the First World War in 1915" (There Is No Such Thing As An 'Exit Strategy" – April 25). If not just Canada but all the belligerent countries had been sensible enough to quit the war in 1915, the world might have been spared a great deal of evil, wrote Michiel Horn, York professor emeritus of history at Glendon, in a letter to The Globe and Mail April 27.

It is unlikely, for example, either Hitler or Stalin would ever have led his country, wrote Horn. It is wrong to assert "wars are over when victory has been achieved." Sometimes, there is no clear victory by either side. Sometimes, wars end when one or both sides realize victory is simply not worth the cost. Perhaps we should take general MacKenzie's column as further evidence war is too important to be left to generals.

From the April 30th, 2007 issue of Y file

Published on May 3, 2007