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Forum Post: "Every President is a War President - Politics Protects The Garrison State", by Steve Chapman.

Posted 6 years ago on May 7, 2012, 8:50 p.m. EST by shadz66 (19985)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Every President is a War President !!!

Politics Protects The Garrison State.

by Steve Chapman.

May 07, 2012 "Chicago Tribune" ( http://www.chicagotribune.com/ ) ---

Ninety-six years ago, when President Woodrow Wilson ran for re-election, two notable things happened: 1) His campaign used the slogan "He kept us out of war," and 2) he won.

It has been a long time since any president could seek a second term while making that boast. Looking at recent history, you would conclude not that the Constitution allows the president to make war, but that it requires him to do so. Modern leaders don't brag about keeping us out of war but about getting us in.

Barack Obama reinforces that truth more than any president of our era. He owed his victory in the 2008 Democratic primaries partly to his record of opposing the invasion of Iraq — which Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards supported.

"We've had enough of a misguided war in Iraq that never should have been fought — a war that needs to end," he said during the campaign. He proclaimed, "Now is the time to start bringing our troops out of Iraq — immediately." His opponents, Democratic and Republican, portrayed him as gullible and weak. But the voters were willing to elect someone who might be slightly averse to war.

Or, rather, someone they thought might be slightly averse. Either Obama's supporters misread him or he misled them. In any case, he turned out to be very receptive to war. Instead of immediately withdrawing our troops from Iraq, he adhered to the very same departure timetable established by President George W. Bush. Not until the end of 2011 did the last American forces make their exit.

In Afghanistan, Obama actually increased our presence, while setting a distant deadline (2014) for ending our combat role. He has greatly increased the pace of drone missile attacks on targets in Pakistan, and he has made them in Yemen and Somalia.

He launched an air war against the government of Libya, which had neither attacked nor threatened us. If this is an anti-war candidate, what would a pro-war candidate do?

So far, Obama has held his fire on Iran and Syria. But that brings to mind the scene in the movie "City Slickers" when Billy Crystal asks Jack Palance, "Killed anyone today?" Responds Palance, "The day ain't over yet."

Still Republicans are determined to disparage him as a UN-loving, concession-granting, unilaterally disarming appeaser. At least since 1972, they have prospered by painting Democrats as soft on the threat of the day — from communism to militant Islam.

The narrative of this year's GOP campaign will follow the theme of Obama the Wimp. They compare him to Jimmy Carter, who suffered the humiliation of the Iran hostage crisis. Obama, they argue, is rushing out of Afghanistan, letting Iran pursue nuclear weapons, gutting the defense budget and "apologizing for America." He is simply not warlike enough.

The spectacle involving Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng gave Republicans the chance to shift attention away from the killing of Osama bin Laden to an alleged example of mortifying capitulation. Mitt Romney pronounced it "a day of shame for the Obama administration."

Never mind that U.S. diplomats actually helped Chen reach the sanctuary of the American embassy in Beijing, and that they had no way to prevent Chinese agents from threatening retribution on his family. The particulars of the new controversy don't really matter. What matters is that the default response of American politicians to foreign disputes is breathing fire and belching smoke.

This is partly a cause and partly an effect of a reality that Americans generally manage to overlook. As University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer puts it, "We're addicted to war."

When the Cold War with the Soviet Union ended two decades ago, many people expected to bask in the warm sunshine of lasting peace. The optimism was unwarranted. Since 1991, notes Mearsheimer, we have been at war in two out of every three years. Every president is a wartime president.

Military considerations increasingly shape — and warp — our entire system of democracy and law. Despite the absence of any major threat to our safety and independence, we have become a garrison state, permanently mobilized for incessant intervention. It's a safe bet that whoever wins in November, we will be embroiled in a new war sometime in the next four years.

Romney and Obama may pretend they represent stark differences in America's approach to national security and world affairs. But in this realm, there is no Democratic or Republican party. There is only the war party.


fiat lux ; fiat pax ; fiat justitia ...


Steve Chapman ( http://bio.tribune.com/SteveChapman ) is a member of the Tribune's editorial board and blogs at chicagotribune.com/chapman. e-mail : schapman@tribune.com & Twitter @SteveChapman13

Copyright © 2012, Chicago Tribune

[Article copied verbatim under "Fair Use" from : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31261.htm ]



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[-] 2 points by JackHall (413) 6 years ago

Addicted to war to the point it will declare war on itself just to satisfy this addiction.


[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 6 years ago

Bush and Obama, different names, different parties, different colors, same result.

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 6 years ago

Very sad, but true. America will be remembered as an imperialist bully that squandered its wealth and global goodwill on foreign interventions.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 years ago

Alas, it is not just abroad that 'wealth and goodwill are being squandered' and I apologise in advance for this disturbing but necessary read :

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 6 years ago

Great post.

Say no to warmongers. Obama supporters can keep talking about the end of the war in Iraq that met perfectly with the Status of Forces Agreement signed in 2008... but they always dismiss the fact that this president has bombed more countries than Bush.

A vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama is a vote for Goldman Sachs and war.... and Monsanto. And the theft of our rights.... and so much more.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 years ago

Thanx and I append an article that speaks to the gist of your comment :

fiat lux et fiat pax ...

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 6 years ago

The GOP has thrown in the towel pretty much. Charles Krauthammer was on a show recently making fun of republicans and he was hillarious. Never seen him like that.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

The forces of greed NEVER throw in the towel.

[-] 0 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 6 years ago

That's true, but Obama is definitely the frontrunner.

[-] 0 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

How many newbie, multipile-user-name fools, must we suffer here?

[-] -3 points by katotohanan (-57) 6 years ago

As many as it takes to get the Democratic Party Co-Optation Plants like GypsyClown OUT of this forum!

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

My pet troll, Iron Butt Bruce is back. Hey Iron Butt, haven't been banned enough?

[-] -3 points by katotohanan (-57) 6 years ago

How much has the Democratic Party paid you to pollute this forum with 7,244 points worth of co-optation propaganda, GypsyClown?

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Iron Butt

[+] -4 points by katotohanan (-57) 6 years ago

How much has the Democratic Party paid you to pollute this forum with 7,244 points worth of co-optation propaganda, GypsyClown?

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 years ago

Instead of all the unnecessary unpleasantness which is singularly unedifying, maybe you could be reserve some of you bold statements to something that affects all Americans :

fiat lux et fiat pax ...

[-] -3 points by katotohanan (-57) 6 years ago

As if the wholesale corporate rape of the American Republic in general and the co-optation of the one movement in particular that might reverse it does not "affect all Americans"...


Why are you posting old news?


And why post your old news here?

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 years ago

'k@to' : You are irked easily, querulous, cantankerous, a bit shouty and also not slow to go back and edit your comments !! Further, I'm unsure if you clicked the link or watched the 5 minute video, so in a fit of pique - I didn't open your link either, lol !! Finally consider, what's "old" to you maybe be 'new' to me and others. Have you been reading "How to lose friends and not influence people" ?!

vincit qui se vincit ...

[-] -3 points by katotohanan (-57) 6 years ago

And I'm unsure if you clicked the link I gave you and read the article.

illegitimi non carborundum ... .

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 years ago

As I've said above - I didn't but thanx for your advice. verb. sat. sap. ...

[-] -3 points by katotohanan (-57) 6 years ago

No problem, poser.

i tan i epi tas

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago

You mean the wholesale libe(R)tarian RAPE of the USA, and the World at large.

It's what they do.......

You Lead Butted Bruce are completely co-opted by them too.

Such a moron. So mindless. such a waste.

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

No point in talking to Iron Butt.

[-] -2 points by katotohanan (-57) 6 years ago

Especially, GypsyClown, when you have nothing to say but co-optation lies and ignorant babble like you posted here:


[-] -3 points by katotohanan (-57) 6 years ago

If you have a specific accusation to make with proof to back it up, post both.

If you don't, go back to your DNC/Bushbama/MoveOn handlers and tell'em you're not getting anywhere tryng to co-opt this forum.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago

Blah, blah, blah, blah. Says Lead Butt Bruce.

Go back to start.

It's the libe(R)tarians fucked this shit up.

Let me guess? You're one of those. Or at least you think you are.

Just so's you know, I'm less than impressed with newbie bold type face.

Particularly since you use it to lie.

[-] 3 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 6 years ago

He's not a newbie. He's the 12th (or so) incarnation of a troll who has been banned as many times from these fora. He owns a PR company that looks to profit from OWS and 9/11 Truther conspiracy nut jobs.

[-] -3 points by katotohanan (-57) 6 years ago

Babble. Nothing but mindless, ignorant babble. Pathetic.



[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 6 years ago

"The day aint over with yet"....lmao!

Two parties with little real difference but vastly different approaches on media messaging.

And it STILL works like a fuckin charm....Ugh!!