The Folly of War: American Foreign Policy, 1898-2005

Algora Publishing, 2005 - 370 sider
The Folly of War is a hard-hitting, critical analysis of American wars in the 20th century that set a pattern for the early 21st century. Drawing on a wide rage of sources and rigorously marshaling the facts, the book concludes that these wars have been futile, unnecessary and foolish. Rejecting the Left's contention that American foreign policy has been driven by greedy corporate interests, the author starts from the premise that average Americans have supported these wars out of a will to do good" but have failed in that aim, and in the process done much harm. This is a disturbing book that raises questions about how we go to war, how we fight wars, and how we eventually lose wars. Many Americans viewed the military defeat in Vietnam as an aberration, interrupting a string of foreign military successes. This book sees that tragedy as part of a line of politically reckless engagements. Driven by a proud self assurance that is often termed American exceptionalism, the nation arms itself to the teeth and intrudes into every region, pacing on a treadmill of perpetual war to achieve perpetual peace. Writing Chapter 13, "The War on Terror - The Contrived War" in 2003, just as the Bush administration was making its fateful decision to invade Iraq, Schmidt concluded at that time that the discussion among the principals (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, etc.) was stacked with faulty information and the decision was made on an emotional level rather than a rational one. Further, he predicted that nothing good would come of the Iraq venture -- unfortunately that assessment was correct. One of the officials in the Bush White House who participated in the pre-war discussions, admitted the attack was irrational: "The only reason we went into Iraq is we were looking for somebody's ass to kick ... Afghanistan was too easy." (Days of Fire - Bush and Cheney in the White House, by Peter Baker, p 191, Doubleday, 2013). At the end of seven major wars and after one million American soldiers have been killed, we are no closer to the perfect security we seek.

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Chapter 1 A Critical Review of Americas Wars
The Great Hysteria
Europe Stumbles Into War
Americas First European Crusade
The Armistice and the Treaty
The Infamy of Pearl Harbor
Americas Second European Crusade
A Soviet Victory
Chapter 9 The Origins of the Cold War The Longest War
The Great Reversal
The Great Tragedy
Punishment of Aggression
The Contrived War
Chapter 14 A Presidential Conversation in the West Wing

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Side 84 - With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragical character of the step I am taking and of the grave responsibilities which it involves, but in unhesitating obedience to what I deem my constitutional duty, I advise that the Congress declare the recent course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against the government and people of the United States...
Side 41 - Spain's was; and (4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and, by God's grace, do the very best we could by them, as our fellowmen for whom Christ also died.
Side 111 - The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.
Side 84 - But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts — for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own Governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.
Side 84 - I advise that the Congress declare the recent course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against the Government and people of the United States; that it formally accept the status of belligerent which has thus been thrust upon it; and that it take immediate steps not only to put the country in a more thorough state of defense, but also to exert all its power and employ all its resources to bring the Government of the German Empire to terms and end the war.
Side 266 - Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.
Side 170 - And while I am talking to you mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again : Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.
Side 9 - It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world...
Side 9 - Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.
Side 291 - We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it — and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again — and that is well ; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more.

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