Saturday, November 13, 2004
fussell on religion in war
"'America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.' If so, this would involve the United States 'beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars and interests and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition. . . . She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.'
"These were the words of John Quincy Adams, the greatest of America's Secretaries of State, in his Fourth of July speech in 1821. In 1995 George F. Kennan, perhaps the greatest but surely one of the most principled American patriots in the twentieth cnetury, wrote that Adams's statement was as timely as it had been 174 years before. What we have seen since, and what stares in our faces now, is a total repudiation of Adams's warning by an American President and his government, by the leading American political party, by the most vocal of America's public intellectuals calling themselves 'conservatives, with at least the tacit support of a majority of conservative' Americans."
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