October 15, 2012
Foe of the Month Club

Rudyard Kipling again, this time from the several years he lived in Vermont:

When the people looked, which was seldom, outside their own borders, England was still the dark and dreadful enemy to be feared and guarded against … But how thoroughly the doctrine was exploited I did not realize till we visited Washington in 1896, where I met Theodore Roosevelt, then Under Secretary ( I never caught the name of the Upper) to the U.S. Navy…

It was laid on him, at that time, to furnish his land with an adequate Navy; the existing collection of unrelated types and casual purchases being worn out. I asked him how he proposed to get it, for the American people did not love taxation. “Out of you,” was the disarming reply. And so — to some extent — it was.

The obedient and instructed Press explained how England — treacherous and jealous as ever — only waited round the corner to descend on the unprotected coasts of Liberty, and to that end was preparing, etc. etc. etc. (This in ’96 when England had more than enough hay on her own trident to keep her busy.) But the trick worked, and all the Orators and Senators gave tongue, like the Hannibal Chollops that they were…

And thus was born the military-industrial complex, which was to grow till now it strangles the nation. Perfidious Albion gave way to the Kaiser in 1916, to be replaced some 30 years later by the dark and dreadful Kremlin, which gave way to an Axis of Evil every bit as treacherous and jealous of our freedoms as England had once been before metamorphosing into our closest ally. Which it still is, or would be except for Israel.


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at October 15, 2012 08:28 PM
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Interestingly, now that the Evil Empire has devolved into a mob-mediated mess, our enemy de jour seems to be OURselves (thank you Pogo?); the increasing polarization of American politics and cries of "TRAITOR!" hitting the airwaves (Screw you, Ann Coulter) is a utterly unhelpful sort of introspection.

Posted by: Syrbal/Labrys on October 17, 2012 1:56 PM

Actually, the successor to the Kaiser helped us finish off our old enemy, England. Roosevelt (the other Roosevelt who also ran our navy) drove a hard bargain with lend/lease and like programs ultimately forcing the British to give up her colonies after that second great European conflict of the twentieth century. And we vanquished the Krupp Empire as well in that conflict. Unfortunately, our current enemy is a nameless, faceless nobody, unless you count Osama Bin Laden although I am sure they will come up with another leader of our current enemy in due course.

Posted by: Buck on October 17, 2012 5:42 PM

Nice video suggesting alternatives to war:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrhSuEhJ4OY&feature=related

Posted by: Buck on October 17, 2012 9:17 PM
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