Let’s Sit This One Out – We Don’t Need to Fight Every Overhyped Pointless War.

by Pitt Griffin on September 19, 2014 · 2 comments

in Foreign Policy, Military, Patriotism, Terrorism

Is there anything that will stop the chicken-hawks from going to war? Is there a war so pointless that it will finally convince Americans to stay out of fly-specked desert hell-holes or god-forsaken jungles? I doubt it.

President Obama finds himself in an uncomfortable place. Although far too young to have fought in Vietnam – he was only 14 when it ended – he has absorbed its lessons far better than his elders. Especially the ones who so assiduously dodged service. In his heart he knows that “boots on the ground” against ISIS is a fool’s errand. They won’t stand there and fight, any more than the Vietnamese did back in the day.

But politicians have learned that Americans think of inaction as a sign of weakness. Why? Because in the American psyche avoiding conflict is something the French do. We are convinced that God created us to protect the world. That if we sit one out we are letting the side down.

And the media doesn’t help. Because doing nothing doesn’t sell newspapers. War glues people to their TVs regardless of whether they are for it or against it. And regardless of how well or badly the struggle is going. It’s the ultimate reality show. And there’s money to be made.

War-mongering media outlets run the political gamut, but one end of the spectrum is particularly hot on conflict. The right is in a constant state of tumescence over men (and now women) in uniform – luxuriating in the joy of weeping patriotic tears into their beers, at the thought of so many of America’s shining youth, risking life and limb, to protect their right to wear flag pins.

How often must we be warned of existential threats – which turn out to be just so much fireless smoke? There is no doubt that there are many groups that would dearly love to strike a mortal blow against the US. But wishing doesn’t make it so. (If it did, what a stable of girlfriends I would have had as a younger man.)

We hid under our desks in fear of a Soviet nuclear strike and spent trillions over-reacting to the threat. We took on gooks in the jungle to prevent the dominos falling. We crushed a country to dodge Saddam’s WMD – sacrificing lives, to fight fights we didn’t need to. And for what?

The USSR collapsed under its own weight. The Vietnamese are God’s good little capitalists. And Iraq is so thoroughly broken that ISIS – not asking nicely  – are helping themselves to our materiel, complements of the Iraqi military.

Stay out of the Middle East. Let the Iranians and Syrians fight their natural enemy ISIS. And let Saudi Arabia put the genii back in the bottle.

Make love not war

Previous post:

Next post: