we've just found another war!

is this trip necessary?

Does our singular bellicosity stem simply from our addiction to oil, or from our growing cult of christianism? Or is it simply the pathological expression of a frightened, isolated, ignorant, provincial and bored people?

My question seems to assume that all Americans are responsible for creating and sustaining the most war-like society in history, but while it's clear the buttons themselves are pushed by a military-industrial-media establishment, if we continue to describe our nation as a democracy we have to take as full a responsibility for the evil done in our name as for the good.

[image from C-130 Headquarters]

Oh, what a slimmy web we weave.

Give me a break. I'd say many North African nations are more "war-like" societies than the U.S. When was the last time you saw guns on the streets of Chelsea? Whether is was the warlords or Islamic leaders in Somalia, they all commit barbaric atrocities. I'm not saying the U.S. is right to attack (I won't pretend to have enough knowledge about the incident to make an argument either way), but less-published operations have been ongoing for years for better or worse. The Nation article and your post is as one-sided as the neocons and Bush.

Re. Jackson's statement that "many North African nations are more "war-like" societies than the U.S." I would ask how he came to his conclusion, pointing out that unlike Morrocco, Algieria, Tunisia, Libya or Egypt, the U.S. has armies stationed in some 156 countries around the world and is at this moment it is engaged in several wars at once, all thousands of miles from our own borders. In fact, we have fought over 241 wars since 1798 [see my May 31, 2004 post], almost none related to an attack on U.S. territory, being not defensive, but offensive wars. We have enormous opportunities for committing mayhem, including the "barbaric atrocities" of which we accuse others, and we are no longer able to deny that Americans are capable of such things.

Jackson's first question is hardly relevant to what I thought of as a discussion of wars directed against other than our own people, but the last time I saw guns on the streets of Chelsea? Guns, combat uniforms and even armored vehicles filled our streets, subways and public places and military helicopters hovered overhead continuously during the regular "orange alerts" announced by our government over the last few years at particualry interesting moments. During the Republican Convention the dramatically-increased presence of a fully-armed military, combined with the frightening aggression of our internal police force while dressed in full riot gear, (and the wholesale arrest of 1200 Americans who were then kept in dirty pens for the duration of the political rally) was not the doing of either a peaceful or a democratic government.

Jackson and I apparently agree about laying aside for now the question of our "right to attack" a group of people in a nation on the other side of the world. We do so most likely for different reasons: I don't think this is the space for the discussion, but I can't claim ignorance of the subject; I have been paying some attention to the background to what has become our latest war for some time.

Finally, I entirely agree with Jackson that "less-published operations have been ongoing for years", and I so rest my case.

It is a horror. :-(

Meaning "war like", I'm talking about the ongoing civil wars, the genocides, etc, etc. You can't compare the two. If some of these nations had the money, the resources and the power they would be a much larger burden to this planet than we are.

I'm just as suspect to the reasoning for the recent attacks in Somalia as you probably are; however, let's just get really crazy here and actually somewhat believe from this a government we can't trust that they were after Al Queda fugitives that did blow up the U.S. embassies. The last time I checked those were under our ownership. So we have the right to pursue them.

I didn't live in NYC during the Republican convention. I was as sickened as you though by what I did see first hand. Good point, and it's a scary country we live in.

On the last point I just was talking about no matter the administration, no matter the decade or the war, the U.S. and all other countries capable to act in these types of operations. It's the reality we live in.

At the end of the day, I think we probably both agree on one thing: until the U.S. stops acting as a country using it's power in heavy-handed military police operations, we will be hated, we will suffer and we will someday be irrelevant.

My response to Jackson's final paragraph about when the U.S. will stop acting ["heavy-handed"]: It's just not going to happen. Even a new Democratic Congress seems to have no interest in any real change.

For those who control what passes for a "foreign policy" these days, it's always about the oil, regardless of what they say. This has fundamentally been the case for the last century, regardless of the administration or the Congress.

The oil is ours; those other people are sitting on it; we think we can get it from them; at least for now, we can - and we will.

The world be damned - and it almost certainly will be.