War Party Myths About Lincoln, Terrorism, and Saddam

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In
this month's Esquire, Tom Junod argues "The Case for
George W. Bush." Junod bases part of his argument on the question
"What if he's right?" He should not be losing sleep over
that question. Junod's article gives several arguments that, unfortunately,
many Americans accept as truth. In reality, they serve as mere War
Party propaganda.

Junod's
article glorifies Abraham Lincoln, defending his tyrannical, unconstitutional
actions because they saved the Union. He even reprints one of Lincoln's
incredibly stupid bits of constitutional interpretation. When the
Supreme Court challenged one of his thousands of unconstitutional
arrests, Lincoln admitted the illegality of his action but defended
it, saying that, since the South had violated the entire Constitution
by seceding, he could violate one clause. This reasoning, accepted
by most Americans, is patently false. Lincoln lied when he said
the South had violated the Constitution by seceding; no part of
it forbids secession. Moreover, since the Southern states entered
the Union freely and independently, they had every right to leave
it as well. These Lincolnian myths allow statists to justify our
oversized, unconstitutional federal government. If the majority
of Americans knew that our current warfare-welfare state, which
originated with Lincoln, is unconstitutional, they might call for
a rollback: an absolute no-no.

The
article argues that there must be a war on terrorism. "The
issue is not whether the United States should be involved in a war
on terrorism but rather whether the war on terrorism is best served
by war in Iraq," Junod writes. However, a war on terrorism
accomplishes nothing, aside from guaranteeing more terrorism. Arabs
join terrorist organizations because of America's Middle Eastern
policies, such as support for brutal dictatorships and imperialist
military actions. If terrorists hate us because of our constant
meddling in the Middle East, how can invading and occupying Middle
Eastern countries stop terrorism? Following a more extreme version
of policies that caused hatred in the first place will never stop
terrorism.

Junod
repeats another War Party myth when he writes "The world is
a better place without Saddam Hussein, and we got rid of
him." But the world is not a safer place. The
war has increased the threat of terrorism.
If the world is not
safer, how can it be better?

These
three myths, prevalent in the media, serve the War Party agenda.
The deification of Lincoln prevents Americans from looking favorably
upon the days of state's rights and constitutional government. The
myth that we have no choice but to fight a war on terrorism helps
keep us from wondering if we really need to send our young people
off to fight and die, and the belief that the world is a better
place without Saddam gives desperate warmongers, now lacking any
other rationales, one last defense for their useless war. The warfare-welfare
state thrives on these myths and others like it; only with truth
will we ever achieve peace and liberty.

August
16, 2004

Andrew
Young [send him mail] is a
junior history major at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro,
Kentucky.

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