Friday, May 27, 2011

Peace No Longer Even Gets Lip Service

by: Norman Solomon, Truthout, May 26, 2011

Soldiers of the US Army’s Alpha Company of Third Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division prepare to fire illumination rounds during a training exercise with the Afghan police in the village of Salamanzi, in the eastern Ghazni Province of Afghanistan, January 23, 2011. (Photo: Tyler Hicks / The New York Times)

In times of war, US presidents have often talked about yearning for peace. But the last decade has brought a gradual shift in the rhetorical zeitgeist while a tacit assumption has taken hold – war must go on, one way or another.

“I am continuing and I am increasing the search for every possible path to peace,” Lyndon Johnson said while escalating the Vietnam War. In early 1991, the first President Bush offered the public this convolution: “Even as planes of the multinational forces attack Iraq, I prefer to think of peace, not war.” More than a decade later, George W. Bush told a joint session of Congress: “We seek peace. We strive for peace.”

While absurdly hypocritical, such claims mouthed the idea that the United States need not be at war 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

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