Humanitarian War

To the Editor
American history is filled with a long and almost continuous succession of wars.  From the beginning we fought wars of independence, of unification and expansion.  We fought a “War to End All Wars” and a “World War” against two powerful nations with ambitions of Empire and then embarked upon a “Cold War” during which we amassed a mind-boggling nuclear arsenal aimed at the Soviet Union, formerly an invaluable ally against Nazi Germany.  During this time, despite the warning of departing President Dwight Eisenhower against the rise of a “Congressional military industrial complex”, the budget for the War Department , expediently renamed the Department of Defense, grew astronomically.  With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the vanished threat of nuclear war and spread of global Communism, a hope of beating our swords into plowshares briefly arose until the attacks of 911 elevated the threat level of a few thousand Third World radical Islamists somehow equal to that of Hitler. Mussolini, Tojo, and a possible nuclear holocaust.  We have been engaged in “hot” wars in the Middle East ever since and our “defense” budget exceeds that of the rest of the world combined.  We are also the largest exporter of military hardware and, sadly, we have no jobs available should we begin bringing our soldiers home.  And now, despite Martin Luther King’s shining legacy of non-violence in the Civil Rights Movement and Barack Obama’s (perhaps only hopefully pre-emptive) Nobel Prize for Peace, in our “humanitarian war” in Libya we seem to have fully achieved the double-think mindset of George Orwell’s 1984 that, indeed, “War is Peace”.  It is not a comfortable place to be.