Not even a revolution will cause substantial change if no one knows the root of what harms our nation. We should understand that we had a revolution in 1963. It would serve us well to recall how we got from there to here:
In November of that year, several shots fired from different directions felled President John Kennedy in broad daylight in Dallas, Texas. An innocent man, Lee Harvey Oswald, was framed for the crime and the authorities missed several leads, such as dozens of “ear” witnesses who said the fatal shot came from in front of the president’s motorcade.
Enter Lyndon Baines Johnson, sworn in next to the late president’s widow, who still had his blood on her clothes. As soon as LBJ covered up the JFK assassination by appointing enemies of JFK to "investigate" the coup was complete. The revolution began and has never stopped.
Johnson went on to reverse JFK’s draw down of our involvement in a war in Viet Nam. And after using false reports of U.S. ships being fired upon in the Gulf of Tonkin to get “authority” to prosecute the war, he never looked back. He attempted to fund social programs to fight poverty and the war.
Enter Richard Nixon who said we had to choose one or the other. Guess which one he chose?
The war ultimately took the lives of millions of Vietnamese people along with over 58,000 of our troops. The public found out by that time that our leaders had lied about the war thanks to the Pentagon Papers and other reports.
Enter Jimmy Carter. Elected after the only non-elected President, Gerald Ford, took over from Nixon, Carter said he would not lie. But even the president who used military force least often among recent presidents got us involved in a covert war in Afghanistan. He shipped weapons illegally through Pakistan to a group of people who fought alongside Osama bin Laden.
We had to stop the communists!
But the CIA wanted more covert action to fight the communists in Nicaragua. Carter wouldn’t do it. Not a problem. The revolution continued with some new leaders.
Enter Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Reagan was the front man who talked tough about Iran who held our people hostage. Bush was the guy in the back room making deals with the Ayatollah by sending him weapons in exchange for a delay in the release of the hostages.
Since then, we have continued with a succession of presidents who have kept the military happy. Bill Clinton went for Somalia and Bosnia, while George W. Bush used a false 9/11 story about terrorists as a pretext for invading Afghanistan and Iraq. Now Obama has kept the war drums going in both nations.
People such as military generals, arms contractors, politicians, those with stock in the contractors and the idiots who wave the flag no matter what have a major hand in this problem. They make up the "War Party." Though a minority, they have conned the rest of us into accepting a new kind of war.
Instead of fighting wars that we could win or even battle to a draw (like the Korean War), we started getting involved in wars for the sake of fighting wars.
Of course that sounds like unwise policy, so:
The War Party has employed phony arguments like Tonkin and 9/11 and phony enemies like bin Laden.
They have factored the phrase "national security" into public announcements of decisions but no one ever says what it means.
They told us we had to stop the "domino effect" in Viet Nam, but even though we lost South Viet Nam, the dominos did not fall.
They told us that we had to oppose the communists who don’t believe in freedom though South Vietnamese, our allies, never held free elections during the time we occupied their nation.
They told us Saddam Hussein was an ally, then they later said he was another “Hitler.”
They have told us both China and Cuba are evil communists, but that it is OK to trade with China but not Cuba.
They have told us bin Laden did 9/11 but fail to tell us that they have never indicted him for it.
They told us that we must be “tough on terrorists” while they traded arms to try to free them.
We cannot understand change without understand what got us where we are. Ignorance of history and its consequences is far more of any enemy than President Obama or any politician could ever be.
We could say we are victims of the War Party but by tolerating them we become accomplices to their greed. Understanding our own role in perpetuating the revolution is the first step in causing its demise.