March 29, 2015 Editor

Is War the Real [U.S.] National Pastime?

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These are excerpts from an interview with Eugene Jarecki, director of the documentary: “Why We Fight“.

For consideration: “Pax Americana: War is the means by which Americans learn geography.” – Ambrose Bierce

an excerpt:

Q: It is very interesting that in the film you used the footage of [current US Defence Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld’s meeting with Saddam Hussein in 1983, when he was the special envoy of Pres. Ronald Reagan.
A: You can’t study the history of the current war without following the roots all the way back to the overthrow of Mossedeq (1953) in the interests of British Petroleum. But along the way, there is no way to ignore Ayatollah Khomeini [in Iran]. Along the way, there is no way to ignore Saddam Hussein. No way to ignore that the United States and Saddam Hussein had reasons to ally with each other. The question is, what is it about US foreign policy that makes us these kinds of bedfellows, such that we have to conduct war to unseat them?
Q: Are you hopeful about the realisation of these dreams and aspirations for taking back the republic?
A: I don’t know, but I think the hope for America to be a democratic republic is the founding hope. That has always been a work in progress. And there always come challenges. [The communist-hunting Senator Joseph] McCarthy was a challenge, today is a challenge, slavery was a challenge, the death of the Native Americans was a challenge, the eugenics movement before the Second World War was a challenge, the Depression was a challenge.
There have been so many challenges. We have a nation of leaders who cared deeply about this country. But now we face a situation where the stakes are so high that what I would hope to see is that Americans would look into the streets of New Orleans, into the streets of Falluja, and they would see a world that really is not viable. They would see a platform of ideas that are shortsighted, not holistic in nature. These are platforms of ideas that do not meet the needs of everyday people in the shrinking world. And so the question is: Will Americans come to see that with sufficient vigor to have the kind of impact that people need to have on policy and democracy?

Please click on: Is War the Real National Pastime?

My response: There is no Empire in human history whose national pastime has not been war.

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.