For many Americans, war is like a sports contest in which they take vicarious pleasure and cheer on their side to victory. Millions of Americans are still bitter that “the liberal media” and war protesters caused America to lose the Vietnam war, and they are determined that this won’t happen again. These Americans have no realization that there was no more reason for the US to be fighting in Vietnam 40 years ago than to be fighting today in Iraq and Afghanistan or tomorrow in Iran.
I read of this sentiment being expressed just two days ago in an Independent article by Johann Hari - telling conversations on an annual ocean cruise for readers of The National Review:
There is something strange about this discussion, and it takes me a few moments to realise exactly what it is. All the tropes that conservatives usually deny in public – that Iraq is another Vietnam, that Bush is fighting a class war on behalf of the rich – are embraced on this shining ship in the middle of the ocean. Yes, they concede, we are fighting another Vietnam; and this time we won't let the weak-kneed liberals lose it. "It's customary to say we lost the Vietnam war, but who's 'we'?" the writer Dinesh D'Souza asks angrily. "The left won by demanding America's humiliation." On this ship, there are no Viet Cong, no three million dead. There is only liberal treachery. Yes, D'Souza says, in a swift shift to domestic politics, "of course" Republican politics is "about class. Republicans are the party of winners, Democrats are the party of losers."
Back to the Counterpunch article, Roberts concludes:
Americans are filled with hubris, not with knowledge. They have no awareness of the calamity that their government’s pursuit of hegemony is bringing to themselves and to life on earth.
Of course, going from rightly asserting that "For many Americans" to making a universal statement suggesting that ALL "Americans are filled with hubris" is a rhetorical stretch.
However, candidate Obama wants to leave Iraq so "we" can finish the job in Afghanistan / Pakistan -- using the military might of the U.S. to seek out an kill Osama Bin Laden. Obama too has pledged American allegiance to Isreal vis-a-vis Iran, "leaving all options on the table" (including, one surmises nuclear). In this, I feel confident, Obama has the backing of the majority of Americans.
Which leaves me feeling not at all charitable towards him, no matter how soaring his rhetoric, no matter how well staged the convention, no matter how much worse a choice McCain is.
I'm in this kind of a mood now:
For many disaffected, delusional and ignorant Americans, especailly including the political, financial, and media elites, war and politics are like sports contests in which they take vicarious pleasure and cheer on their side to victory. To the victor of the political constests goes the "right" to determine against whom the succeeding wars shall be fought. The status quo will not continue into perpetuity.
How will the status quo end? Karmically.