"That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of Nations is as shocking as it is true..." --Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
"Every nation has its war party. It is not the party of democracy. It is the party of autocracy. It seeks to dominate absolutely." --Senator and Congressman Robert M. La Follette (1855-1925)
Rather than acting as a check and balance on these war-loving extremists, Congressional Republicans have bought into the idea that perpetual war means perpetual re-election. They have sold their souls to the devil (or in this case, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove) in exchange for the promise of reelection. Torture, kidnapping, murder, secret prisons: there is nothing so vile or un-Constitutional that the Congressional Republicans cannot support and defend it--and they have. In just this past week, Republicans have pushed legislation through Congress that renders the U.S. Constitution virtually meaningless and excuses the Bush Administration's war crimes--past, present, and future. (Constitutional scholars believe this legislation will eventually be overturned, but in the meantime, the Bush Administration will continue to kidnap, imprison, torture, and kill.)
The Republicans believe that if a war can get George W. Bush reelected, it can get a tree stump reelected; but they have a problem. Mr. Bush's wars are not going all that well. Iraq is an unmitigated disaster, and the Taliban is rapidly reassuming control of Afghanistan. A majority of Americans believes that invading Iraq was a mistake and that we should get our troops out of there. Evidently, fighting terrorists on the central front in the War of Terror has lost its sales appeal, so the Republicans needed to come up with something new and exciting for this election--and they did:
"We're in the early stages of what I would describe as the Third World War." --former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, National Public Radio, 7/17/06
World War III--a stroke of marketing genius. Not only does it have great brand-name recognition, it evokes any number of emotionally charged images. Republicans can compare the "enemies" to the Nazis, the enemies' leaders to Hitler, and war dissenters to Nazi sympathizers.
Gingrich summed up the Republican sales pitch:
"Okay, if we're in the third world war, which side do you think should win?" --The Seattle Times, 7/15/06
How can you argue with logic like that? Either you're with them or you're with the terrorists (though it gets harder and harder to tell the two apart with each successive war crime). Either you're with them, or you're a Nazi sympathizer--and always remember: No matter how illegal, unnecessary, stupid and unwinnable a war may be--once we start it, you can't "cut and run".
This is why the Republican control of Congress must end. A majority of Americans believe we are heading in the wrong direction, and the Republicans are not going to change course. They are nothing more than a rubber stamp for the neoconservative agenda, and that means war.
"[VP Cheney] has said the US is considering military or other action against '40 to 50 countries' and warns that the new war may last 50 years or more." --John Pilger, Daily Mirror, 1/29/02
"[W]e will export death and violence to the four corners of the earth in defense of this great country and rid the world of evil." --Bush quoted in Bob Woodward's book Bush at War, Simon & Schuster 2002
Even as Americans continue to die in the two unwinnable wars he has already started, President Bush has apparently decided to start another unnecessary preemptive war of choice--this time with Iran. He has ordered a major "strike group" of ships, including the nuclear aircraft carrier Eisenhower to the Persian Gulf. There is also a report that ships capable of mining harbors have received orders to be ready to sail for the Persian Gulf by October 1 (The Nation, 9/21/06).
According to Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force Colonel who taught strategy at the Air Force college, the Naval College and the National War College:
"[T]he decision has been made and military operations are under way [in Iran]." --ThinkProgress.com, 4/18/06