Similar to the Vietnam War, the Iraq war is not going anywhere desirable. Yet unlike the Vietnam War, the true enemy of the States is gaining momentum and Iraq is just delaying our focus from it. Unlike what President Bush wanted us all to believe, the Iraqi war was not based on American patriotism. The military has an obligation to follow the Commander In Chief and it is a pity that the Commander In Chief is a heartless confused individual who for his own benefit and beliefs, ruined hundreds of thousands of lives. One could sit for hours and try to justify killing all the innocent people or even arrogantly blame it on terrorists, who clearly were not present in Iraq before the war.
Let’s assume that President Bush believed that by fighting the terrorists over there, we don’t have to fight them here, meaning the terrorists would transfer to Iraq and not to the United States. From a nationalistic point of view this logic could make sense, but from a humanistic point of view this is a crime against humanity. Why would you want to ruin a country and kill innocent people while destroying their livelihood so you don’t have to have an attack in the US? Why should the innocent Iraqis pay for your problems?
Unfortunately because of the Neocons attitude after the 9/11 attack, no one could criticize the actions that the president of the “free world” was implementing, including the nation building agenda. He probably thought that he is playing a Civilization game, but why bother with a video game when you can play it for real? Sadly the logic behind the invasion of Iraq does not really go further than a game. Maybe most of the critics of the Bush’s administration are furious because of the fact that he does not realize the value of life, or non American lives. Many Neocons seem to take pride in the fact that American image has been reduce to a savage nation in the eyes of the world. Where president Ahmadinajad of Iran becomes a valid philosophical opponent to the president Bush and his ideology!
The United States is a nation of war. The American culture perceives wars as a unifying factor and an economical necessity. Many Americans subconsciously agree with the war policies of their government because they trust the system enough to feel that the administration won’t make them suffer. I call that ignorant. Many see America as a powerful country with a God given Right to declare war on any weak nation. I call that arrogant.
Patriotism is never based on an aggressive action, but rather defensive. One should always remember that an aggressive act such as declaration of war when you have not been attacked is based on an ideology held by the regime. That government might have the side of special interest groups in mind and not the country as a whole. In this case, the government would force the nationalistic ideologies to be patriotic values.
An ideology can cover nationalism but not patriotism. Since many could disagree with the ideology (of war) yet be a patriotic citizen. In a war situation, patriotism can only exist when a country is under attack and is fighting for self defense.
Eugene Debs says it well:
“They have always taught and trained you to believe it to be your patriotic duty to go to war and to have yourselves slaughtered at their command. But in all the history of the world you, the people, have never had a voice in declaring war, and strange as it certainly appears, no war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people. And here let me emphasize the fact–and it cannot be repeated too often–that the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish the corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace. Yours not to reason why; Yours but to do and die. That is their motto and we object on the part of the awakening workers of this nation. If war is right let it be declared by the people. You who have your lives to lose, you certainly above all others have the right to decide the momentous issue of war or peace….”