Battle Hymn of the Republic

Sarah Hoyt has a great blog and I always love reading it, but a recent post of hers included this video:

I left my response as a comment there. It reads:


We’ve had one or two good wars, a bunch of stupid and/or evil ones, and several “good” ones that should have been avoided.

The older I get, the more I love the values of America’s Founding Fathers, and the less I love our history of militarism.

This isn’t to take anything away from the bravery and sacrifice of our heroes, but

  • Spanish American War – pure aggression
  • Civil War – fought to establish the principle that no one can ever opt out of American government ever again. Yes, slavery was evil…yet slavery disappeared everywhere in the Western World within 20 years. Why did millions need to die?
  • World War I – a Progressive crusade of no value to Americans, helped to create and cement the Imperial American State
  • World War II – the worst enemies we have ever fought, and we did insanely huge amounts of good work by fighting them … but why, exactly, did we step in to a fight between two left wing dictatorships in Europe? To save England, to some degree. And why did Churchill stick his nose in? In an alternate universe Hitler exiled the Jews to Madagascar, Hitler and Stalin bled each other white, and the US never created the modern military industrial system.
  • Korea and Vietnam – would not have happened at all if FDR hadn’t propped up his good friend “Uncle Joe”, then handed the Soviets all of Eastern Europe.
  • Gulf War I and II – accomplished what, exactly?

Bravery and sacrifice in defense of freedom and homeland is deeply American.

Sacrifice in pointless overseas empire-building wars is not.

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2 Responses to Battle Hymn of the Republic

  1. Brian Dunbar says:

    I’ve mixed feelings about Korea.

    One one hand, completely illegal: Halberstam’s book reports Truman never even _thought_ about asking Congress for a declaration of war.

    On the other hand, my mother-in-law had to flee for her life in 1950 or she, and her entire family, would have been eliminated by the commissars. The US army saved her life by stopping the North Korean army at the Naktong.

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