The Folly of War: American Foreign Policy, 1898-2005
The Folly of War is a hard-hitting, critical analysis of American wars in the 20th century that set a pattern for the early 21st century. Drawing on a wide rage of sources and rigorously marshaling the facts, the book concludes that these wars have been futile, unnecessary and foolish. Rejecting the Left's contention that American foreign policy has been driven by greedy corporate interests, the author starts from the premise that average Americans have supported these wars out of a will to do good" but have failed in that aim, and in the process done much harm. This is a disturbing book that raises questions about how we go to war, how we fight wars, and how we eventually lose wars. Many Americans viewed the military defeat in Vietnam as an aberration, interrupting a string of foreign military successes. This book sees that tragedy as part of a line of politically reckless engagements. Driven by a proud self assurance that is often termed American exceptionalism, the nation arms itself to the teeth and intrudes into every region, pacing on a treadmill of perpetual war to achieve perpetual peace. Writing Chapter 13, "The War on Terror - The Contrived War" in 2003, just as the Bush administration was making its fateful decision to invade Iraq, Schmidt concluded at that time that the discussion among the principals (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, etc.) was stacked with faulty information and the decision was made on an emotional level rather than a rational one. Further, he predicted that nothing good would come of the Iraq venture -- unfortunately that assessment was correct. One of the officials in the Bush White House who participated in the pre-war discussions, admitted the attack was irrational: "The only reason we went into Iraq is we were looking for somebody's ass to kick ... Afghanistan was too easy." (Days of Fire - Bush and Cheney in the White House, by Peter Baker, p 191, Doubleday, 2013). At the end of seven major wars and after one million American soldiers have been killed, we are no closer to the perfect security we seek.
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Page 41 - Spain's was; and (4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and, by God's grace, do the very best we could by them, as our fellowmen for whom Christ also died.
Page 9 - Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.