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Since WWII, what wars have proven to be worthwhile?

War, what it is good for?
War, what it is good for?
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War, what is it good for? Absolutely, nothing. Edwin Starr sung it in 1969. Wars are a losing proposition, mostly. Even the merit of WWII can be debated. For Americans, war is a consistent loser. Our foreign policy has been a loser too. We are losing Central and South America. We can’t even befriend our neighbor, Mexico.

Winning in the world must be based on example, being economically responsible and sustainable is not being greedy capitalists. Our problems begin at home where our energy policy and environmental policies remain flawed.

Now, the popular action is to try to fix President Obama with blame for failing Iraq. Criticism is fair on that front because as is the case with Afghanistan, President Obama acts as if he can flit from one deep subject to another on the fly without his appointees digging in and thinking more deeply in the subjects at hand. We are politically superficial. Add that Congress is completely dysfunctional and adds no value to the process and we have failed foreign policy outcomes.

Edwin Starr:

Iraq is forever lost as is the Middle East. Iraq is an imposed creation just like Syria. Aside from ISIL being terrorists, Middle Eastern civilization is seeking its own identify, carved by its own ethnic and cultural design. The best way to influence the process and outcome is by example. Today, the U.S. cannot tell the world to look at the American government as a best case because it isn’t.

“Blame The Obama Doctrine For Iraq

Obama keeps trying to blame Maliki, but his administration left Baghdad vulnerable so he could claim in 2012 he’d ended the war he’d opposed all along.

The question “Who lost Iraq?” will inspire discussion, debate, and deconstruction by American foreign policy experts and practitioners for generations to come. And with good reason: the implosion of Iraq and the expansion of al-Qaeda-inspired militant movements across the heart of the Middle East represents the type of monumental setback for American foreign policy not seen since the Cold-War-era debates over “who lost China” and “who lost Vietnam.”

But while determining who (or what) is most responsible for the current Iraq debacle is important, of greater significance is figuring out what it means for America’s broader role in the world, and for an Obama White House that still has more than two years left on the ledger.
By any measure, the outlook appears grim. Indeed, Iraq is simply the most recent foreign policy calamity for an administration obsessed with reducing America’s role in the world. There is still time for a course correction. But for that to happen the administration needs to become far less concerned with winning the political “blame game” over Iraq, and focus on restoring America’s flailing global leadership.”

It is even difficult to justify WWII.

“The 'Good War' Myth of World War Two
By Mark Weber

World War II was not only the greatest military conflict in history, it was also America's most important twentieth-century war. It brought profound and permanent social, governmental and cultural changes in the United States, and has had a great impact on how Americans regard themselves and their country's place in the world.

This global clash -- with the United States and the other "Allies" on one side, and Nazi Germany, imperial Japan and the other "Axis" countries on the other -- is routinely portrayed in the US as the "good war," a morally clear-cut conflict between Good and Evil.

In the view of British author and historian Paul Addison, "the war served a generation of Britons and Americans as a myth which enshrined their essential purity, a parable of good and evil." Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme wartime Commander of American forces in Europe, and later US president for eight years, called the fight against Nazi Germany "the Great Crusade." And President Bill Clinton said that in World War II the United States "saved the world from tyranny." Americans are also told that this was an unavoidable and necessary war, one that the US had to wage to keep from being enslaved by cruel and ruthless dictators.

Whatever doubts or misgivings Americans may have had about their country's role in Iraq, Vietnam, or other overseas conflicts, most accept that the sacrifices made by the US in World War II, especially in defeating Hitler's Germany, were entirely justified and worthwhile.

For more than 60 years, this view has been reinforced in countless motion pictures, on television, by teachers, in textbooks, and by political leaders. The reverential way that the US role in the war has been portrayed moved Bruce Russett, professor of political science at Yale University, to write:

"Participation in the war against Hitler remains almost wholly sacrosanct, nearly in the realm of theology ... Whatever criticisms of twentieth-century American policy are put forth, United States participation in World War II remains almost entirely immune. According to our national mythology, that was a 'good war,' one of the few for which the benefits clearly outweighed the costs. Except for a few books published shortly after the war and quickly forgotten, this orthodoxy has been essentially unchallenged."”

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