Grabbing other people’s land and interfering in their affairs became as American as apple pie before the annexation of Texas, and “Manifest Destiny” as the engine of U.S. foreign policy.
In 17th Century inspirational moments God sent His chosen from England to found the “city on a hill” (Boston). He had dispatched other select British subjects to settle “the promised land” (Virginia).
According to John L. O’Sullivan in 1839, God intended “the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.”
See how Americans talked to God before Pat Robertson – before God punished us with Hurricanes for allowing homosexuals to cavort.
In 1898, God, doubling as President McKinley’s National Security Adviser while simultaneously suggesting headlines for William Randolph Hearst, answered McKinley’s prayers for advice. The Big Guy told me to “take the Philippines,” McKinley explained to the press as he launched the Spanish American War.
Secretary of War Elihu Root extolled the virtues of that war because "The American soldier is different from all other soldiers of all other countries since the world began. He is the advance guard of liberty and justice, of law and order, and of peace and happiness." (In Peter Maguire, Law and War: AN AMERICAN STORY. Columbia University Press, 2002, pp.53-54)
Root omitted discussion of U.S. troop’s involvement in massacring suspected Philippine resisters. Our vanguard soldiers killed some 600,000 before President Herbert Hoover ended the U.S. occupation in January 1933. (Howard Zinn, Common Dreams, June 6, 2007)
Woodrow Wilson fought a holy war for democracy. Harry Truman to stop an atheist Communist dictator in North Korea and prop up a Christian fascist one in South Korea. And Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon all invoked His name.
Reagan invaded Grenada, but didn’t recall who advised him and Bush I ordered the hit on Panama after his third lunchtime martini. The born-again Bush II knew his direction came from above. The Iraqis and Afghans will remain ever grateful for those wars.
Making war without congressional declaration has become traditional. Some thought the Nobel Peace Prize winner would challenge that behavior. But, he explained, he had to kill...
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