Forever War, Fetishized

By David Stockman  |  November 12, 2018

The Donald took heavy-duty flak for canceling his appearance at a wreath-laying ceremony at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in Northern France, due to inclement weather.

The Mainstream Media, Democrats, Republicans, old-school hawks, grandsons of Winston Churchill… even reconstructed “doves” piled on.

Here’s former Secretary of State John Kerry, taking to Twitter to express the Establishment’s high dudgeon:

President @realDonaldTrump a no-show because of raindrops? Those veterans the president didn’t bother to honor fought in the rain, in the mud, in the snow – & many died in trenches for the cause of freedom. Rain didn’t stop them & it shouldn’t have stopped an American president.

This is the most monumental irony.

In his youth, Kerry led the “Winter Soldier” movement against the Vietnam War. After his own tour in Southeast Asia, he well understood the insanity of America’s role in a needless war.

Now, he’s a spokesmodel for the Warfare State.

Of course, the only war of the 20th century more senseless than Vietnam is what used to be called the “Great War.”

The deadlier, more destructive sequel – World War II – demanded a whole new naming convention.

And it took the likes of George Orwell to come up with a name semi-sufficient to describe what came after that, the “Cold War.”

But even that famous anti-authoritarian wordsmith would struggle with what we’ve made of “the end of history” and the “unipolar moment” that followed the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Indeed, America’s intervention in an old-world tragedy for no good reason whatsoever signaled more than a century of perpetual conflict based on mistaken intentions, political expedience, and, finally, pursuit of pure power…

It’s Forever War.

And the Donald got it all right by getting it all wrong, again: How can you commemorate – rain or shine – the end of a conflict that never really concludes?

The Marines at the bloody battle of Belleau Wood did not die “in the trenches for the cause of freedom.”

They gave their lives in service of President Woodrow Wilson’s megalomaniacal pursuit of a messianic vision of global order.

Wilson’s “good intentions” and a vindictive peace imposed at Versailles paved the way for Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, totalitarian mobilization, and colonial revolt that fostered World War II, the Cold War, and the Global War on Terror.

It also revived Statist interventionism at home. That’s not to mention starting the Federal Reserve on its path from decentralized “bankers’ bank” into all-powerful monetary central planner.

Most insidiously, it generated the baleful notion of America as the Indispensable Nation.

Right there is the beginning of American Empire.

Indeed, the 100th anniversary of November 11, 1918, is a reminder that the “great war” never really ended.

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David Stockman

David Stockman is the ultimate Washington insider turned iconoclast. He began his career in Washington as a young man and quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party to become the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street.MORE FROM AUTHOR