Come, You Masters of War

”America’s military involvement in the Middle East began in classic imperial fashion, according to military historian and retired Army colonel Andrew J. Bacevich. They had something we needed, and we made sure we had access to it. “Oil has always defined the raison d’être of the War for the Greater Middle East,” he writes in the first paragraph of his magisterial work, America’s War for the Greater Middle East. Over time, other considerations intruded and complicated the war’s conduct, but oil as a prerequisite of freedom was from day one an abiding consideration.

Too many believe the United States is a global force for good that has the messianic duty to usher in secular modernity, a force that no one should ever interfere with, either militarily or ideologically.

As Bacevich clearly shows over and over again in his narrative, the men and women who make up the defense establishment have a fanatical, almost theological, belief in the transformational power of American violence.”