The imperial "republic," which the Anti-Federalists predicted would be the result of ratifying the proposed constitution in 1788, is about to launch or re-launch yet another ill-fated military adventure, this time in Afghanistan. The NY Times gave the game away on Sunday, September 27, in an article which said, about half way through, that Obama could continue to pursue his announced agenda to fight on in Afghanistan or could "drastically change course" and end US "involvement." [Don't you just love the euphemisms used to disguise what is actually going on. Military adventures, often called "wars," now are called "involvements." No, I don't think so. I am "involved" on Sundays with the NY Times crossword puzzle! If I am mugged at gun point I don't say that the mugger and I were "involved." Get real!]
The "drastic course" is not withdrawing but making war in Afghanistan. Once again, the US is out to prove out tough it is and will only end up proving how delusional our politics have become. Isn't it amazing how "change" can be defined so as to make it seem indistinguishable from "continuity?" Ah, George Orwell, where are you when we need you? As Orwell said: "political language...is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind...."
But let me make it clear that I object to this military adventure not simply because it will fail but, more importantly, because it is imperialistic and a republic cannot survive an imperialistic foreign policy. Thus, it might actually be worse for our republic were this adventure to succeed. Were such to be the outcome, the militarization of our society and politics would be reinforced and the "military-industrial complex," that that "radical" President Eisenhower warned us of, would be strengthened. Another "radical," George Washington, also understood that a republic and an imperialistic foreign policy were incompatible, as evidenced by his farewell address. These warnings give a new spin, a more ominous spin to the comment reputedly made by Ben Franklin when the constitutional convention of 1787 adjourned when he was asked what kind of government was created: "A republic - if you can keep it."