A question often asked in polling; is America heading in the right direction? Our seeming inability to deal with mounting domestic and foreign policy problems indicate that the USS America may have lost its rudder and can't find its compass. A myriad of problems have plagued this nation since our entry into the 21st century; extremely serious problems that threaten the future of our nation. But we seem to have lost our bearings and are confused about what course to follow.
Obviously, the greatest problem we face is our current economic crisis. The question is how are we going to deal with it, how can we stop the bleeding and once again restore our economic foundation? Right now, there are no ready answers to this question. Yes, our government is using bailouts, a stimulus plan, a "cash for clunkers" program, and tax credits for first time home buyers but the economy is still dormant.
While these initiatives will certainly help, they are only band aids being applied to a very deep wound. They do not get to the root of the problem and, if we do not identify the underlying causes of the problem, we will not solve it.
So, if the economic crisis is our greatest problem, then what are the underlying causes? While there are quite a few, I see two specific causes, tightly intertwined, that are rapidly taking our nation on a very dangerous path, definitely in the wrong direction. I'm talking about America's ongoing wars on the one hand and the collapse of its manufacturing base on the other. Either in itself is a major problem but the combination of the two is stretching this nation to its very limits.
Let's start with our on-going wars. It's almost impossible to comprehend that, since the end of World War II, we have conducted military interventions and/or occupations in the following countries: Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Lebanon, Grenada, Somalia, Panama, Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq (twice, in 1991 and 2003) and Afghanistan. I left out a few minor skirmishes, but the conclusion has to be is that America has been mired down in constant war. If you disagree with that premise please tell me which nation in the world, besides Russia, comes even close to that many interventions in the same time frame.
Has America, over the years, become a nation now addicted to war? Prior to entering World War I and World War II, a large part of American people, including our presidents, did not want to get involved militarily, at least to begin with, and leaned heavily toward a policy of isolationism. But we did, eventually, get involved in each. What is really noteworthy is that since those wars and our initial reluctance to enter them, our reluctance seemed to fade away as we got involved in one military intervention after another.