Ending the Mindset That Gets Us into War

Next month in Baltimore they're going to celebrate the War of 1812. That's what we do with wars. We say they're the last resort. We say they're hell. We say they're for the purpose of eliminating themselves: we fight wars for peace. Although we never keep peace for wars. We claim to wage only wars we have been forced into despite all possible effort to find a better way. And then we celebrate the wars. We keep the wars going for their own sake after all the excuses we used to get them started have expired. The WMDs have not been found. Osama bin Laden's been killed. Al Qaeda is gone from the country where we're fighting it. Nobody's threatening Benghazi anymore. But the wars must go on! And then we'll celebrate them. And we'll celebrate the old ones too, the ones that were fought here, the ones that were in their day not quite so heavily painted as last resorts or humanitarian missions. 


Last year Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee persuaded Congress to create an Iraq-Afghanistan Wars holiday. It's on our calendars now along with Loyalty Day (formerly May Day), Veterans Day (formerly Armistice Day), Memorial Day, Yellow Ribbon Day, Patriots Day, Independence Day, Flag Day, Pearl Harbor Day, and of course September 11th, among many others. Last week there was an Armed Forces Spouses Appreciation Day. The military holiday calendar is like the Catholic saints' days now: there's something every day of the year.