I never met a Republican that didn’t love a good war. They may be out there but I’ve never met one. Never “good,” in terms of human suffering and lives lost, wars can still be GREAT for an economy, (as long as you “win”)…EXCEPT when you have to BORROW the money and hire MERCENARIES to wage war in your name–or when you declare war on an IDEA or ACT (instead of a “hard target”).
The day Dubya stole the first election, I turned to my wife and said, “That’s it… we’re going to war”. Republicans THRIVE on war…and fear. Bush and the neocons carefully nurtured both. A war president is more powerful, after all. And power is the holy grail. Budget proposals quickly escape scrutiny and get rubber stamped when national security is their justification. Niggling rights and annoying laws can be easily suspended, too, things like privacy and Habeas Corpus
The righties are good at starting wars but far less adept at ending them. Now, I know that FDR led us into WWII after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and Truman committed troops to Korea to block the spread of Communism. Kennedy gets tagged as starting Vietnam even though well before Kennedy’s election, we were underwriting 80% of France’s costs to fight in Vietnam. Kennedy inherited Vietnam and due to his tragic assassination, passed it on to Johnson, who escalated it.
Vietnam dogged Lyndon to the point that largely due to his lack of success there, he refused to run again. By the time Nixon got elected, Vietnam was already pretty much a quagmire. He tried to bomb our way out and failed. Despite this failure by Nixon both abroad and at shoring up public opinion at home, at least he awkwardly got us out.
George Bush Jr., like many of his Republican predecessors, jumped at the chance to wage war, just as he rushed to announce America’s victory. Instead of hunting down the sponsors of the terrorist attacks on 9-11, Bush stoked the fires of hate and fear to wage war on a sovereign nation. And for those who hate America, who wish to see it blown from the face of the earth, Bush had bold words, “Bring It ON!” No need for us to wait until the UN had finished its WMD search. Hesitation is for pussies. “Let’s Roll!”
Bush ignored the biggest problems we faced as a nation to deeply immerse us in an abstract “War on Terror” (an idea) against culturally diverse, warring factions of religious zealots (“A “HOLY” War). Throughout history, such conflicts have proven unwinnable. Nations can destroy matter. They cannot destroy an idea.
The lies have been legendary. The abuses of power and our our rights are shameful. Is the damage to our Constitution irreversible? Time will tell.
In the meantime, at least Obama projects hope. I HOPE that his apparent gifts, coupled with a shared sense of purpose and sincere desire to restore our weary nation will get America moving again, saving it from its leaders.