Quote of the Day: "How do wars start? Diplomats lie to reporters, and then believe what they read in the newspapers." -- Karl Krauss (the Austrian H.L. Menken)
The politicians are once again clamoring for war with Iran, but we think their claims should be viewed in the light of history, and opposed for that reason.
Remember . . .
The politicians told us we had to invade Iraq to protect ourselves from weapons of mass destruction, but there were NO weapons of mass destruction. The Downsize DC team actually predicted that outcome -- far in advance -- with our Truth About War campaign. Now . . .
The politicians are using "weapons of mass destruction" as an argument for conflict with a new country, Iran. Will people trust the politicians again, or learn from experience?
Here at DownsizeDC.org we believe citizens should maintain the following default positions when it comes to politicians and their claims about national defense . . .
- If a politician's lips are moving, he or she is almost certainly lying. This is true in general, but especially so when it comes to wars and supposed national security threats.
- Most politicians are less interested in your security than they are in their own power. And serving the financial interests of what Eisenhower called "the military industrial complex," is one of the main ways politicians maintain and extend their personal influence and affluence.
These are sufficient reasons to reject the politicians when they argue for conflict, but history provides even stronger reasons. Our wars (and the wars of other countries too) have tended to follow a six-part pattern . . .
1. The politicians and the drama-loving media scare the people with false or inflated dangers, and/or manipulative claims that some evil must be opposed.
2. The people then become frightened and hysterical, or angry and self-righteous, and clamor for a war to destroy the threats and right the wrongs.
3. War comes, and off we go to fight, marching and singing.
4. But the experience soon turns sour, enthusiasm fades, and the people come to regret the war they cheered the war into existence.
5. When the violence ends the main result is debt, death, destruction, and disappointment.
6. The conditions created by the war then serve as the source for the threats and scare stories that the politicians and the media will use to start the next conflict, after the people have forgotten the lessons of their own history.
We've seen all or part of this pattern in every conflict, from the Spanish American War straight through to Iraq and Afghanistan. Just go through your own knowledge of our wars and notice how closely they follow the pattern. Or look up each of our wars on Wikipedia, and judge for yourself.
To us, it seems clear that nearly all of our conflicts began with dramatic claims that later turned out to be false or exaggerated. And most of the time we ended up hating the wars we once zealously favored.
Even the one war that remains popular -- World War II -- still features many elements of the pattern, including, most importantly, the way one war creates the conditions for the next. For instance, there are good reasons to believe that without our intervention in the First World War, the Second World War and the Cold War might never have happened.
We believe this consistent historical pattern points to a clear conclusion . . .
- An interventionist foreign policy makes more enemies than it kills. It is a recipe for perpetual war and insecurity.
- War with Iran would be no different. It would follow the same pattern, and end with the same results -- debt, death, destruction, disappointment, and new dangers.
Are you ready to break this pattern?
If you oppose conflict with Iran, tell Congress. We've created a new campaign for this purpose.
The hardwired letter to Congress reads . . .
I oppose conflict with Iran.
You can add your own personal comments. Withdraw your consent. If you neglect this step then the politicians will take your silence for support. Do not allow this!
And, please support the creation of new congressional education campaigns like this one. Let us know that you appreciate the stand we're taking here.
Since October 1, we've repeated a generous offer of matching funds for new monthly pledges, courtesy of Bill Haynes of CMI Gold & Silver.
Until December 31, Mr. Haynes has agreed to match the first month of your new pledge with $2 for every dollar you pledge. He's invested $5,000 for this purpose. We're now half-way through the allotted time, yet . . .
We've raised just 29% of the necessary funds -- received $736.33 in new pledges.
Pledges are the foundation of our monthly income, and allow us to plan ahead. It is the pledgers who make new campaigns like this initiative to oppose unnecessary foreign conflict, possible.
Please join us as a monthly credit card pledger -- take advantage of Mr. Haynes' match.
Of course, one-time donations are welcome and helpful as well.
Thank you for helping us "Educate the Powerful,"