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Why Is America In So Many Wars?

By       Message Sherwood Ross     Permalink
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America is "a nation that seeks war" and if it doesn't change it could end up destroying itself, a law school dean warns.

Given all the wars the United States has waged, "It is preposterous but true that we do not see ourselves as a nation that seeks war," writes Lawrence Velvel, dean of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover. "We see ourselves as a peace loving nation" and that message is constantly drummed into the public by government and media.

Velvel points out that since World War Two, an indisputably necessary conflict, the U.S. has fought the Korean War, the Viet Nam War, secret wars in Laos and Cambodia, the First Gulf War, Afghanistan, and the Second Gulf War in Iraq. It has also invaded, bombed or "quarantined" Panama, Grenada, Cuba, Haiti, Somalia, the Sudan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia and Libya, and has "declared" a global war on terrorists.

"If the United States were a man instead of a country, we would say he must be schizophrenic, or at minimum deeply mentally disturbed, to believe he is peace loving in the face of a record like this," Velvel writes in "The Long Term View," a journal of informed opinion published by his law school.

Velvel further notes the U.S. today spends more on military than perhaps all the rest of the world put together and definitely more than the next 21 highest-spending nations combined, including China, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Israel.

Not only do Americans always appear to be at war but they believe they fight only in good causes, he writes. "We believe we at all times fight only to do God's work, and that we therefore have to fight or democracy, freedom, and economic affluence will be lost," Velvel writes. He says truth cannot be permitted to intrude "because it would destroy our self image."

"Certainly much of the rest of the world---probably most of the rest of the world---does not see us as peaceloving." Gulf War II, Velvel notes, is having the opposite impact on public opinion the U.S. intended. "It has caused Muslims---the Arab "street,' in particular---to hate our guts even more than they already did."

Among the reasons the USA fights so often, Velvel writes, are economic imperialism, a desire to remain preeminent, the glorification of war by the media, hubris, the stupidity of the nation's leaders and the failure to prosecute them for their war crimes, and the inability to learn from past errors.

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Sherwood Ross worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and contributed a regular "Workplace" column for Reuters. He has contributed to national magazines and hosted a talk show on WOL, Washington, D.C. In the Sixties he was active as public (more...)
 

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