Fighting For Our Freedom?
Of course, this argument rests upon an assumption. The assumption is that if the U.S. had not fought any of its past or current wars or had not maintained its military presence around the world, that we would have lost some or all of our freedom. This fundamental assumption is never questioned (or I suspect even considered) by supporters of U.S. foreign policy, despite the fact that it completely disintegrates under even superficial examination.
Let’s give conservatives WWII for now, Pat Buchanan’s interesting arguments notwithstanding. Is there any credible argument to be made regarding any of the major wars that the United States has waged since 1945 wherein one could conclude that not fighting it would have resulted in a loss of freedom for Americans? What chain of events can any reasonable person construct whereby U.S. citizens would have lost their freedom if not for the invasions of Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, or Iraq?
The first two post-WWII wars were justified for ostensibly the same reason. We supposedly had to prevent the communist governments of North Korea and North Viet Nam from taking over South Korea and South Viet Nam, respectively, because if we did not, communism would spread like a virus throughout all of Asia and eventually the world. This was the so-called “Domino Theory.” While anyone with a globe that is more or less correctly scaled can see through the ridiculousness of the argument in terms of Korea, one need not even resort to conjecture to refute this argument regarding the Viet Nam war. History has shown in its case that the domino theory was completely untrue.
North Viet Nam did take over South Viet Nam. The U.S. pulled out of Viet Nam in defeat and the very result that the U.S. had spent 14 years, the lives of 50,000 U.S. soldiers, and hundreds of billions of dollars to prevent came to pass. The communists took over all of Viet Nam.
Did American citizens lose any freedom as a result? No. In fact, as young men were no longer conscripted into the army to participate in this futile exercise, anti-war protestors were no longer being suppressed, and a huge chunk of government spending was elminated (in theory, anyway), Americans were actually far freer once the war was lost than they were while it was being fought…
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