• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Why do Americans Love War?

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,433
Reaction score
16,986
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
Only if our enemies waging war against us stand down, first.
 

German guy

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Messages
5,187
Reaction score
4,255
Location
Berlin, Germany
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
Very interesting article.

America's fondness and glorification of war is an obvious difference to us people over here in Germany. We are very skeptical of war and generally don't trust arguments in favor of war. An obvious explanation would be different historical experiences with war: WW2 was devastating for Germany, everybody has heard stories from grandparents about death, hardship, mutilation, rape and pillaging first hand. And then, we were even the bad guys and this war was a huge mistake and a crime of epic proportions. Americans, on the other side, did not have war on their ground since the Civil War -- war is when you send your boys out to kick some tyrant's ass, while their families are safe at home, and in the end, there is a parade. Americans compare any foreign dictator they wage war against to Hitler, while Germans compare everybody to Hitler who wages war.

Not sure which is better. Both sides seem a bit neurotic to me. We Germans hardly have the balls to defend ourselves, while Americans are often blind for the inevitable, inherent evilness of war.
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,433
Reaction score
16,986
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
In that sense you have a good point. . . exposure and first hand knowledge is what we lack.

Riots, protests, gang violence = these things are the only first hand knowledge of the overall nature of violence and social unrest that many Americans have *unless* they are in the military and deploy to a warzone (or immigrate here from a warzone). Even then - quite a few people will never *be* in a riot, will never *witness* a protest and will never participate or be a victim of gang activity. Our country is so vast it's very easy to go your entire life completely avoiding these situations.

A real, full scale and all encompassing war has not been waged on our soil. That physical separation removes us from "the fight" and distances people from the reality of it. . . this actually leads *many* people to support our war in the Middle East and so on with the phrase "as long as it's not in *my* back yard" (meaning - as long as it's not on our soil they'll be ok with it).

However, by living in Germany and other nations in Europe you know and see first hand accounts - constantly - of WWII, WWI and so on. . . knowing full well the long lasting and horrific aftermath. How it effects your economy, your social-coagulation, culture and so forth. It's all *very* real and *very* home. . . you don't need to see it in a movie to witness what happens because of war - you know.

Now - I find it interesting the # of people on this forum who are *from* Germany. Bennyhill posted frequently for a while and he made me interested *in* German politics - so I read some news papers and even read your Basic Law. Anti-war and violence is a fundamental component of your Basic Law on which many other laws are founded - that's not saying that Germans are without crime, of course - but it's a solid government-belief that violence and warfare is detestable and should be avoided at all costs. Whenever something is ingrained in the core of the government's ways - it becomes ingrained in the core of people's beliefs on how everyone should live.

Now - how do we compare to the rest of the world on this? The leading 10 countries? The leading 50? . . . when comparing Germany to the US its' easy to note the differences but, of course, we're not the only two countries in the world.
 
Last edited:

lizzie

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
28,581
Reaction score
31,550
Location
between two worlds
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Very interesting article.

America's fondness and glorification of war is an obvious difference to us people over here in Germany. We are very skeptical of war and generally don't trust arguments in favor of war. Americans, on the other side, did not have war on their ground since the Civil War --
Not sure which is better. Both sides seem a bit neurotic to me.
Up until WWII, Americans didn't favor war either until Japan attacked. Who knows if we would have eventually gone to war then if it hadn't been for Pearl Harbor?

Suggested reading, if you're interested in the issue of war from one psychology perspective: "A Terrible Love of War" by James Hillman. If you have any interest in psychology (Jungian in specific) you may enjoy it.
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,433
Reaction score
16,986
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
I still don't think we 'love' war - I loath it because it does have a direct and horrid effect on our family (my husband's in the military recovering from injuries) . . . I can't watch it on TV, I can't even read news reports sometimes.

But perhaps saying "Americans need a reality check" is quite true.
 

Goshin

The Hammer of Chaos
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
45,504
Reaction score
50,052
Location
Dixie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Hmm.


I'm from the South, where military service is as common as pickup trucks. You'd be hard pressed to find many of my neighbors who don't have a son, daughter, brother, sister or close friend in the military. Many of them know someone personally who has been wounded or killed in combat over the past decade.

We worry about our loved ones when they are in harm's way, yet we take great pride in their service and make much of them when they come home.

Many of my friends are in the service, or are former military. All of them I know want to "finish the job well" in Afganistan and Iraq, and not go home until the job is "done and well done". Many have volunteered for additional tours of duty in-harms-way even after experiencing the devastation of war firsthand.

We have not had a war to speak of on American soil since the Civil War... but in the South that war remains a major cultural factor, because the South was devastated in it and spent a century recovering and rebuilding. We're still poorer than most other regions of the USA. The imprint of having been conquered and militarily occupied is still a part of the Southern psyche. No one living still remembers it, but many of us heard stories passed down from Grandma's Grandpa about "the War".

I think we have a much better idea of what a terrible thing war is than some would credit; yet we also recognize that there are times when NOT going to war is a WORSE choice.
 

Lord Tammerlain

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
19,759
Reaction score
8,564
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Up until WWII, Americans didn't favor war either until Japan attacked. Who knows if we would have eventually gone to war then if it hadn't been for Pearl Harbor?

Suggested reading, if you're interested in the issue of war from one psychology perspective: "A Terrible Love of War" by James Hillman. If you have any interest in psychology (Jungian in specific) you may enjoy it.
Not so

The US instigated war vs the Spanish, the Phillipenes, invaded more then a few Central American countrie and Carib islands before WW2.
 

reefedjib

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
6,763
Reaction score
1,619
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
Not so

The US instigated war vs the Spanish, the Phillipenes, invaded more then a few Central American countrie and Carib islands before WW2.
Don't forget Mexico.
 

Goshin

The Hammer of Chaos
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
45,504
Reaction score
50,052
Location
Dixie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Don't forget Mexico.
Remember the Alamo! :mrgreen:



(Actually, I chiefly remember that they all died, and that the Alamo is a good argument of the superiority of the mobile defense concept vs fixed defenses.)
 
Last edited:

reefedjib

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
6,763
Reaction score
1,619
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
Remember the Alamo! :mrgreen:



(Actually, I chiefly remember that they all died, and that the Alamo is a good argument of the superiority of the mobile defense concept vs fixed defenses.)
That's the Texas Revolution. I was speaking of our invasion into Mexico in 1846 and the consequent initiation of hostilities which resulted in our acquisition of California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona.
 

lizzie

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
28,581
Reaction score
31,550
Location
between two worlds
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Not so

The US instigated war vs the Spanish, the Phillipenes, invaded more then a few Central American countrie and Carib islands before WW2.
I was referring to specifically WWII in response to german guy's post. I guess I could have said "During WWII, and up until we got involved........)
Sorry for the confusion.
 
Last edited:

Goshin

The Hammer of Chaos
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
45,504
Reaction score
50,052
Location
Dixie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
That's the Texas Revolution. I was speaking of our invasion into Mexico in 1846 and the consequent initiation of hostilities which resulted in our acquisition of California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Yup. Clever move on our part... with the possible exception of Kalifornistan. :mrgreen:
 

Orion

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
8,083
Reaction score
3,918
Location
Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
I wouldn't characterize it as Americans loving war, but rather their industry and economy is becoming increasingly dependent on the military-industrial complex, which usually cycles every 5-10 years or so. It's one of the reasons why the U.S. is perpetually involved in conflicts.

It only seems like Americans love war because when the time comes for industry to make a buck, the media will manufacture consent and in that moment people will give their support. During the non-war periods people usually don't care.
 

reefedjib

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
6,763
Reaction score
1,619
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
The issue is not Americans' love of war. We do not love it. The issue is our superpower status. That status carries a global security guarantee obligation that we assumed from the Europeans, especially England, France and Germany. Much of this security guarantee can be addressed through economic means, hence our large amounts of aid to countries like Egypt, which controls the Suez Canal. Still, there are security problems which arise in the Non-functioning Gap which require a military response. This is as it should be, given our role in global security, and we will continue to perform such interventions. We are getting very good at counterinsurgency.
 

WhyteRash

Active member
Joined
May 20, 2010
Messages
272
Reaction score
70
Location
mid-illinois
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
interesting read, but i would contest the implication he's giving of the US generally being war mongers, as his point of view is limited to a militaristic background and his perspective would be from the inside out.

while i also live in a area where its the choice of college or military, i can assure you that very, very few around here want to wage/participate in war. in my terms of military service, i was lucky enough to only be included in peacekeeping, which IMO is what we(the US) is best at.. mostly because we're usually the ones with the military might to spare.

also IMO, as waging war goes, we pretty much suck these days.. there is little inspiration to drive the machine of military retribution and the effort we have put forth was and still is politically limited. we shouldve trashed those responsible for the 9/11 attack and make them really wish they hadnt awoken the sleeping giant. instead we have had not much more than political controversy and backroom dealings again with those govt's who dispise our way of life in general. we again are empowering oppressive regimes by propping up the least aggressive, which will inevidably again fold to the regional influences the minute we let down our guard.

we really had the opportunity to rise above the world's general envy of our freedoms and good will, but it slipped away into the sands that are burying us as we speak. we shouldve chastised those who we know harbored the perp's responsible and instead we pointed the gun in the wrong way.(for reasons again buried in controversy)
now in the eyes of many we again appear to have bungled it and in doing so, showed our vunerable side(the influence of politics and extreme short-sidedness) as opposed to showing our superior abilities, which may have been utilized but has been overshadowed by the ugliness of apparent political rhetoric and misguided vengence.

to add.. anyone in a uniform, in a combat scenario, should be crucified for leaking pictures and information.. treat them in accordance to the traitorous actions theyve commited. if the govt. can watch communications from/to americans on american soil, then they most certainly should be watching our own "combat machines" electronic activities as well. and finally, reporters should not be standing on the beach watching marines/seals approach. (to this day i still cant believe it was a real approach, or they wouldve cleared the beach with lethal force)
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
316
Reaction score
117
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Most of the posts on here are too cynical and it's evident that there isn't a love for war. If anything there is a consistent cynicism of war and constant accusation of a majority that loves war. Here's a better question. Why do Americans love to reflexively criticize wars? Why do we assume our support for war is a love for war? I don't accept premise that we smother our hands and laugh manically whenever we read new headlines from Afghanistan.

The only war anyone ever seems to have support for is the Civil War on the side of the Confederate States which is strange because the CSA suppressed secession from the CSA by arresting and holding these people without trial.
 

spud_meister

Veni, vidi, dormivi!
Dungeon Master
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
36,117
Reaction score
21,520
Location
Didjabringabeeralong
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Communist
they love war 'cause its the only way they learn geography :mrgreen:
 

LiberalAvenger

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
16,881
Reaction score
2,980
Location
virginia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
In that sense you have a good point. . . exposure and first hand knowledge is what we lack.

Riots, protests, gang violence = these things are the only first hand knowledge of the overall nature of violence and social unrest that many Americans have *unless* they are in the military and deploy to a warzone (or immigrate here from a warzone). Even then - quite a few people will never *be* in a riot, will never *witness* a protest and will never participate or be a victim of gang activity. Our country is so vast it's very easy to go your entire life completely avoiding these situations.

A real, full scale and all encompassing war has not been waged on our soil. That physical separation removes us from "the fight" and distances people from the reality of it. . . this actually leads *many* people to support our war in the Middle East and so on with the phrase "as long as it's not in *my* back yard" (meaning - as long as it's not on our soil they'll be ok with it).

However, by living in Germany and other nations in Europe you know and see first hand accounts - constantly - of WWII, WWI and so on. . . knowing full well the long lasting and horrific aftermath. How it effects your economy, your social-coagulation, culture and so forth. It's all *very* real and *very* home. . . you don't need to see it in a movie to witness what happens because of war - you know.

Now - I find it interesting the # of people on this forum who are *from* Germany. Bennyhill posted frequently for a while and he made me interested *in* German politics - so I read some news papers and even read your Basic Law. Anti-war and violence is a fundamental component of your Basic Law on which many other laws are founded - that's not saying that Germans are without crime, of course - but it's a solid government-belief that violence and warfare is detestable and should be avoided at all costs. Whenever something is ingrained in the core of the government's ways - it becomes ingrained in the core of people's beliefs on how everyone should live.

Now - how do we compare to the rest of the world on this? The leading 10 countries? The leading 50? . . . when comparing Germany to the US its' easy to note the differences but, of course, we're not the only two countries in the world.
Actually, we have had three major wars fought on our soil, the revolutionary war, the war of 1812, and the civil war.
 

LiberalAvenger

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
16,881
Reaction score
2,980
Location
virginia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
Why do Americans love to reflexively criticize wars?
Because usually more civilians (women and children) are kill than soldiers in these wars.

Because, I would rather our national wealth was spent on finding a cure for cancer.

Because , "war is hell{".
 
Last edited:

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,433
Reaction score
16,986
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
Actually, we have had three major wars fought on our soil, the revolutionary war, the war of 1812, and the civil war.
I know we've fought wars in our past on our soil - but I was speaking of our modern-day populous and how we think of and handle war.

We're nothing like what we use to be and I feel it impossible to label "all Americans throughout history" with one simple thought (the thought being that we love war, always have and always will). Countries change - a lot - take Germany for example. Are they anything like they were during WWII? Nope.

Thusly - we're nothing like we were during and immediately after WWII . . . and so forth.
 

cpwill

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Messages
64,213
Reaction score
32,787
Location
USofA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
the historical approach is the correct one here. Americans do not love war; we simply view it in a similar way that we view government; it is a tool. like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a deadly master, but it remains a tool nonetheless. Americans were born in war. Our first national experience as an independent polity was to learn that war can bring freedom. Since then, that has been a recurrent experience for us. War, no matter how destructive, can lead to the positive as well as negative. We know that we freed an entire population of slaves in the Civil War, and whatever complaints you want to make about it's prosecution, the fact is that the Spanish-American war was begun largely on Americans' intentions to protect the rights of Cubans living under Spanish rule. In WWI we fought for Democracy, in WWII we fought to end the world of vicious tyrants (though we had to ally with another to do it), and so on and so forth. much (if not most) of the public debate surrounding the initiation of the Iraq invasion had to do with whether or not that would be better for the Iraqi people.

I've 'been to war'; if you will, and I've lost good friends and dealt with my own issues later on and so forth. But at the end of the day I helped bring peace, and self-rule, and freedom to an entire city full of people who for the first time in their lives were able to live happy and free. that's something I don't mind hanging my hat on, not at all.
 

lizzie

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
28,581
Reaction score
31,550
Location
between two worlds
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Most of the posts on here are too cynical and it's evident that there isn't a love for war. If anything there is a consistent cynicism of war and constant accusation of a majority that loves war. Here's a better question. Why do Americans love to reflexively criticize wars?
Oh, but there is a love of war, or at least the emotional responses that conflict brings out. There's a ton of documented evidence that men feel most "alive" in a war over any other experience of their lives. It's not a conscious love, but a subconscious one. Imo, we reflexively criticize it because it's a part of ourselves we wish to deny.
 
Top Bottom