US: Turning war-fear into warfare
The US has a strong record of persuading the public that war is the only way.
A military industrial complex worth billions of dollars is largely America’s driving force. Deeply rooted in the system, it would serve no purpose if there was no one to fight.
“If there were no more enemies left, there would be a loss of a sense of mission,” anti-war activist and journalist Don Bebar told RT.
Serving Americans are on permanent stand-by to deploy to battle zones on command.
“The US army flag has 183 campaign ribbons on it. Those 183 ribbons each represent wars,” Iraq war veteran Matthis Chiroux from New York shared with RT.
“When you compare that to the 236 years that we’ve actually been around as a country, you’re talking about a war on average of once every year and three months,” he calculated.
As a consequence of the American bellicosity in general, Matthis Chiroux is now soothing his nerves in company with 170,000 American soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
The US always has a bone to pick with one enemy after another. For nearly half a century it was the Soviet Union.
“The communist threat was the most useful enemy. Where legitimate, and where completely fantastical, it was always available as a global conspiracy against which to justify anything,” Roots Action campaigner David Swanson told RT.
With the Cold War declared over, the list keeps expanding to smaller antagonists.
So it was with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1991, when then President George H. W. Bush Sr. announced that “Allied forces began an attack on military targets in Iraq and Kuwait.”
Or with the former Yugoslavia, to which former President Bill Clinton signed a sentence in 1999 by announcing that the American Air Force was conducting “Air strikes against Serbian forces.”
Then it was ex-President George W. Bush, who was let off the leash after 9/11 terror attacks and announced a global War on Terror symbolized by Al-Qaeda. He started by invading Afghanistan in 2001 and continued with the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
In 2003, the US Air Force was “Striking selective targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein’s ability to wage war,” announced George W. Bush, meaning that waging wars is an exclusive privilege of the chosen mighty ones.
Ultimately, it has been current President Barack Obama, who was elected on promises to end wars, but now looks forward to military conflict with Iran after lending a hand in toppling the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. As in previous cases, last spring he made a characteristic “We hit Gaddafi’s air defenses” statement on the American TV.
With a defense budget that surpasses the military expenditure of all other countries combined, no other nation drums up war as consistently as America.
“While people are still responding and recovering from the violence that’s been committed in one place, or even in the same place, we’re launching new operations and more atrocities in different parts of the world,” acknowledged war correspondent Keith Harmon Snow.
So Fox News cannot but reiterate that Iran is the biggest threat, Syria is a minor threat, Russia is a traditional threat and China is an emerging threat.
That makes America's top brass state that a strike on Tehran is in the planning stages.
It also makes the US President Obama latest quest for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program look derisive in the face of a pending military confrontation.
Year in, year out, Americans are convinced that the US has to remain on the defensive.
“We’re petrified of death by terrorism. Shoot, I think a lot of Americans wish we’d spend more money on war,” veteran Matthis Chiroux confessed.
Finding the next target is never difficult.
Campaigner David Swanson says “We are inventing the nation of Iran as an enemy, as a threat to the United States, as a possessor of nuclear weapons it does not possess, a nation that has not attacked another in literally centuries, and has no capability or desire to attack ours.”
RT's Anastasia Churkina asked people on the streets of New York “Which country is the US going to be in a war with next?”
The most common answer she got was “Iran.”
The US has been picking and choosing which countries to intervene in for centuries. As the list of nations the US loves to hate expands, the concept that no war at all is also an option seems to have been forgotten.