We’ve been in conflict for about half the period between World War II and the present, but consider ourselves a “peace-loving” nation.
Americans love to think that we’re a peaceful people, and that we fight wars only when we must.
Unfortunately, you can count in nanoseconds how long those assertions hold up when exposed to such insidious commie dirty tricks as the application of logic or the examination of empirical history.
Sure, any war can be spun as some necessity against some Very Bad Person, preferably of brown skin, slanted eyes and/or differing deity. Not only can any war be so spun, probably every war there ever was has been, at least since the days when governments had to start offering some justification or another for their little foreign adventures.
But pick your barometer — any one will work — and you’ll quickly see who the militant folks on the planet really are. For America, it turns out — gulp — to be that bloated, frightened meth-addict staring back at us in the mirror, not some overseas evil emperor du jour.
For example, suppose you wanted to measure comparative national warlike tendencies by simply counting wars. Since World War II, the United States has messed around, in ways big and small, in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Iraq, Panama, Colombia, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Haiti, Afghanistan again, and Iraq again. No country in the world can begin to match this record in the last half-century. And I’m not even listing here the covert operations (almost everywhere), including the ones that toppled democratically elected governments (Iran, Guatemala, Chile, etc.), the long-term occupations of Latin American countries by the U.S. military, the gunboat diplomacy of the American Navy around the world, the aiding and abetting of other killers (Saddam invading Iran, for example, apartheid South Africa or the Israeli occupation of Palestine), the militarization of the oceans and of space, or the myriad other ways in which the United States leads the planet in aggressive tendencies. (For a whole century’s worth of overseas fun — not even counting the big stuff — Stephen Kinzer’s Overthrow is highly recommended reading.)