Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - October 26, 2007

U.S. good at making enemies

The framers of the U.S. Constitution advised a path of nonintervention in the affairs of other nations. John Quincy Adams summed up America's original philosophy on foreign policy: "America ... goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy." The U.S. has, to say the least, strayed from this policy, marching into one war after another having no bearing on the security of the nation and burdening us with massive armies, debts and taxes.

These wars kill thousands, destabilize entire regions, destroy economies, civilizations and cultures, bring resentments against Americans and put U.S. troops in the middle of civil conflicts. We have built a large and expensive overseas military empire, alienating nations that otherwise would support us. We are in no danger from any government except our own. Therefore, our own government is the one to be watched and kept on a short leash. Dwight Eisenhower warned us, to no avail, as he left office about the dangers of the military-industrial complex.

The government has embarked upon a policy of militarism fueled by nationalism. Inevitably, having surrendered to militarism as an economic provider, we will do what other empires have done: The government will keep alive the fears in people of the aggressive ambitions of other countries and then embark upon imperialistic enterprises of its own.

Imperialism is the institution under which one nation asserts the right to seize the land or at least to control the government or resources of another people. The United States has managed to acquire bases all over the world. With such a worldwide presence, it would not be a stretch to claim our interest has been attacked.

When the war is over, there will be a continuing argument in the hands of the imperialists for a vast military establishment ready to attack anywhere or to resist an attack from all the enemies we have made. Because always the most powerful argument for a huge military (for economic reasons) is that we have enemies. We must have enemies, and we are good at making enemies.

Rick Gwin

Rock Hill