Republicans and Democrats have given us great theater over the recently-passed health care legislation. But when it comes to the one issue that determines the future of our nation, there is complete agreement.
They all give war a chance.
When was the last time Congress voted against a resolution backing the President's authority to use force?
When was the last time a President declined to use force?
When was the last time a credible candidate for President vowed to end a war?
With peace popular (note that few presidents have started a war in a re-election year), it is surprising that none of the questions above has a recent answer. Obviously, the mass of public opinion is not the real reason for these political decisions. So who pushes our nation to go to war?
Those who gain from war.
The contractors who make the weapons.
The stockholders of these contractors.
The intelligence community.
The companies that make equipment for war.
The talking heads on television who tell us their "expertise" on defense matters.
The politicians who got onboard first for war.
This is not a new idea. Smedley Butler wrote War Is a Racket to describe the beneficiaries of World War I. But the thought bears repeating.
We are always at war and/or on our way to one anywhere we can concoct a good excuse to make one happen. The lies about Iraq should have made that abundantly clear.
War gives public policy a focus that nothing else can. It tells our leaders what industries to favor, which side of an argument to give presumption to and how to interpret foreign nations and their actions.