The Folly of War: American Foreign Policy, 1898-2005
Algora Publishing, 2005 - 370 pages
The Folly of War is a critical analysis of American wars in the 20th century. The author contends that US foreign policy has been driven by the public's desire to "do good" -- but has failed, and in the process done much harm. Most people regard history as mythology -- simply a fable to be read for entertainment and to confirm their pride in the nation and its heroes. For these people, history should soothe and comfort, not confuse. For others, history is a critical examination of the past, seeking to learn from the mistakes and successes. These readers analyze history, relying on accumulated facts and logic. They are willing to draw appropriate conclusions, however unpleasant they may be. This is a disturbing book that raises question about how the US goes to war, how we fight wars and, surprisingly, how we lose wars. Drawing on a wide range of sources and rigorously marshalling facts, the book concludes that American participation in wars in the past century have been futile, unnecessary and misguided. Many Americans view the military defeat in Vietnam as an aberration, interrupting a string of military successes. The Folly of War sees that tragedy as part of a line of politically reckless engagements that span the century. Driven by a proud self-assurance that is often termed "American exceptionalism," the nation under the banner of Militant Idealism, arms itself to the teeth and intrudes into every region of the world. The US has been on a treadmill of perpetual war to seek perpetual peace. * Donald E. Schmidt has taught history and political science at the college level for over 20 years. He holds an advanced degree in modern American diplomatic history from California StateUniversity, Northridge.
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Page 84 - With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragical character of the step I am taking and of the grave responsibilities which it involves, but in unhesitating obedience to what I deem my constitutional duty, I advise that the Congress declare the recent course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against the government and people of the United States...
Page 41 - Spain's was; and (4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and, by God's grace, do the very best we could by them, as our fellowmen for whom Christ also died.
Page 111 - The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.
Page 84 - But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts — for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own Governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.
Page 266 - Congress approves and supports the determination of the President, as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.
Page 84 - I advise that the Congress declare the recent course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against the Government and people of the United States; that it formally accept the status of belligerent which has thus been thrust upon it; and that it take immediate steps not only to put the country in a more thorough state of defense, but also to exert all its power and employ all its resources to bring the Government of the German Empire to terms and end the war.
Page 170 - And while I am talking to you mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again : Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.
Page 9 - It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world...
Page 9 - Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.