What Do Americans Know That Their Government Doesn’t Know?

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Americans have turned against war in the case of bombing Syria. This is described superficially as war-weariness. But why be weary of the last 15 years of war?

Taking them at their most idealistic, government officials, spurred on by a neocon world-view, have launched these attacks, bombings and wars for the sake of uplifting other nations out of dictatorships and into democracies. Justice and progress have been the promise and the dream, to be attained on a revolutionary worldwide path. Congress and the Executive have imagined themselves as the propagators and enforcers of a new order, a higher moral political order of democracies in countries lacking them.

But since morality and social order cannot be imposed by foreign attacks and aggressive wars to alter governments and entire societies, what these American intrusions have caused is death and destruction in one country after another, plus hatred and revenge visited upon the invaders.

What Americans now recognize, if only by gut instinct, is that the war policy has backfired. The global war on terror has backfired. Interventionism has backfired. America has done wrong, morally and pragmatically.

Americans are coming to recognize this while their leaders are still caught up in their false notions that power and their power in particular can remake the world for the better.

10:32 am on September 8, 2013