Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Why we will go to war in Syria, or someplace

After all the politicking and showboating is over, there will be American military involvement in Syria, even though it won't change anything there and there's nothing there we want or need.
Civil War battlefield

Here's why:
  • Americans like to be in a low-grade war someplace so long as it doesn't really threaten them. It makes them feel like by being in favor of it they're supporting a necessary thing and they share in what they perceive as heroism among soldiers.
  • Politicians want to look tough and nothing keeps a party in power better than being in the midst of a war. (George W. Bush was never happier than when he could define himself as "a war president." It made him seem to have things in common with leaders who meant something, like Lincoln and Roosevelt.)
    Iwo Jima
  • The media loves war, whether they're rallying for or against it. Reporters get to tell interesting stories about heroism and gruesome deaths. Columnists get to write impassioned prose. Photographers and videographers get strong images of people in life-or-death situations. (Sports photos don't mean anything. War photos do.) Awards are given, careers are made. They can all pretend that what they do is important and at times it is.

street execution South Vietnam

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