A new book, THE WAR LOVERS by Evan Thomas, comes out at a time when it is surely needed. The book, well researched, is about the men who were "successful" in finding a war for the United States to fight in 1898 so it could express its "manifest destiny" to the world. There were leaders in the U.S. who were for and against going to war for no good reason.
Teddy Roosevelt was key among those who wanted to fight a war, any war, so he could carry out his own strong desire to fight, to be in battle, to become a war hero. He promoted war against Spain, Germany, and several other nations. Pick one and he was ready to fight. Why? He was a small man, seen as less than masculine in appearence and stature. He wanted to prove otherwise. And he saw war as a way to do that. Others saw war as unnecessary and those who saw the ravages of REAL battle during the Civil War, spoke out against it.
However there were some leaders at the time, along with newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst, who sought some war in some place and now. They concocted a scheme to bring one into being.
The public was manipulated into a war frenzy. They needed war! They needed to read about it in the daily press. They were captivated by "manifest destiny" as a concept. America was no wimp, we could take on a major power. Spain had stature as a world power, but its power had long waned and it was a pushover. No matter. We fought them in Cuba and the Philippines. San Juan Hill in Cuba was a perfect place for Teddy Roosevelt to display his manhood as he charged up that famous hill as leader of "The Rough Riders." The pathetic, sick ego and psychology of it all was lost to the public. As thousands of American men were to lose their lives in The Philippines, the chest-pounding became less and less. The reality of real war became clear to Americans. But Teddy and the rest of the war-mongers in the U.S. had their way.
Of course there are marked similarities to current events. The unprovoked invasion of Iraq by leaders with no battle experience but a desire to strut their stuff, Bush-Cheney, come to mind clearly. And the well-written book, THE WAR LOVERS, will show you much historical evidence and clear connections. Of course you have to bother to read it. It would be easy to criticize the book and/or the premise without actually reading the book. Since many people comment about this blog without ever truly reading it, I suspect that will be the case. Nevertheless, I'm pleased that this book has been written and presented at this time. It is an important read and I hope you take the time to do that.