18
Mai
2005

Perpetual wars, poor returns for America

05/17/05

Halliburton may be a juicy target, but it's as good as a foil. It keeps attention away from the heart of the issue. After World War II, which boosted America's GDP by 75 percent, Harry Truman needed to keep wartime booms going in peacetime. So he invented the national security state, or what Gore Vidal has aptly called 'perpetual war for perpetual peace.' One of America's most impressive achievements since then has been to make a killing on wars either by imagining them or outsourcing them. The cold war, the war on drugs and the war on terror have all been by and large psychological constructs at home. (The carnage in Vietnam was as real as it's been in Iraq, but both wars' justifications depended on deception. Bumper-sticker sympathies aside, neither made a dent in Americans' lifestyle.) Each war had bits of truth to go on. The Soviets had to be contained. Drug addiction can be a problem. Terrorists can pull off a spectacularly heinous coup once in a while. But does national purpose have to be mortgaged to these manias?

//www.news-journalonline.com/03ColEssays.htm

from Daytona Beach News-Journal, by Pierre Tristam


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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