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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6878/the-long-history-of-lies-for-war/

The Long History of Lies for War

July 20, 2007 by

An authority on international law examines around thirty cases of modern wars, beginning with the Korean War and ending with Iraq. The pattern of mendacity has remained constant in these fifty years. In each instance, he shows, the administration’s account has been blatantly false. Often, for example, it is claimed that we must intervene to protect American citizens at risk in a foreign crisis; but it turns out that almost all of these Americans have left the scene before our expeditionary forces arrive. FULL ARTICLE

{ 12 comments }

D. Saul Weiner July 20, 2007 at 9:55 am

This review serves as a reminder to all that whenever ANY administration pushes for war under whatever circumstances, sensible citizens ought to greatly discount any alleged “evidence” supporting the country going to war as likely misleading if not outright false.

corrigan July 20, 2007 at 10:18 am

As Jules Verne put it all those years ago: “it will be seen that the single
preoccupation of this learned society was the destruction of humanity for philanthropic puproses and the perfecting of firearms, considered as instruments of civilisation. It was a company of Exterminating Angels,at bottom the best fellows in the world…”

TLWP Sam July 20, 2007 at 10:47 am

Here’s a link to an interesting article called ‘War is fun!’ where the author points out, to a certain extent, war must be fun because people, regardless of the type of society and technology, participate in it. Particularly interesting is it also points out how women have been willing participants as opposed to the stereotype of women ‘losing their boys to war’.

http://www.gwiep.net/period/ic166411.htm

Dan July 20, 2007 at 11:50 am

To add some context on the author, Quigley is indeed a steadfast opponent of individualism, free market economy, and the independent nature of the US. He lays this out in his book “Tragedy and Hope”. He is an internationalist, and reveals the international conspiracy to weaken the western world and bring it in line with the views and practices of the communist world (it’s an older book). He believes that subversion of individual rights and even sovereign governments is necessary to achieve world peace (read, world government). This does not automatically mean that he is wrong in this book; indeed, much of it has been said before. However, it’s true that he has a vested ideological interest in sowing dissent and mistrust in the government (even though most of the government is part of the same conspiracy), and so I’m posting to simply say that we must take his word with a grain of salt. The same people encouraging war and strife are the same people who admits to looking up to and working with, so at best, he is merely leading the “opposition” against his own group with the intent to mislead it.

David Gordon July 20, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Tragedy and Hope was written by Carroll Quigley, not John Quigley.

Jim July 20, 2007 at 8:17 pm

The most telling point about modern “warfare states” is not that “statesmen” use lies to justify them.

Rather it is that the most influential of the free mass media, our self-proclaimed guardians of democracy, both spread the lies and conceal the truth.

Here’s a topical link from ‘Down under’.

http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20070720-As-Tony-once-said-to-Rupert-take-me-to-your-leader.html

FD July 20, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Quigley’s dependence on the discredited Bruce Cumings casts a shadow over his account of the Korean War. It’s very clear that Cumings and others were wrong about the origins of that war. Much useful information is available at: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=va2.browse&sort=Collection&item=The%20Korean%20War

This statement is just wrong: ‘North and South Korea were not at the time separate countries; the two regimes were merely in control of administrative zones, supposedly temporary.’

The Republic of Korea (South Korea) was founded on 15 August 1948, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) on 9 September 1948. They were (are) two countries claiming the same territory, including each other’s.

The historical evidence is readily available now in archives around the world, unlike when Cumings penned his musings. The syllabus of errors is too long to catalogue here! This post is disappointing.

Tim Swanson July 21, 2007 at 3:29 am

A couple of interesting notes about the Korean War.

Howard Buffett (father of investor Warren) was a libertarian-esque congressman from Nebraska during this part of history (late ’40s, early ’50s).

According to several sources, Buffett was not at all convinced that the North was the true instigators. Via historian Joseph Stromberg:

Here is how Congressman Howard Buffett (R., Nebraska) characterized these events: “On June 25, 1950, the U. N. Security Council demanded a cease-fire and called on members to render every assistance to the United Nations in the execution of this resolution. Nothing was said about entering the conflict…. But at 12 o’clock noon, on June 27, President Truman ordered United States air and sea units to give the Korean Government troops cover and support. That order put our military forces into the Korean civil war on the side of the South Koreans. At 10:45 that evening, 11 hours later, the Security Council requested members of the U. N. to supply the Republic of Korea with sufficient military assistance to repel invasion.”

Thus, concluded Buffett, “Truman entered that war by his own act, and not because of a United Nations decision.”

There is some more interesting meddlesome history surrounding General Order No.1:

On the night of August 10,1945, Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy turned to two young army colonels in the Pentagon and ordered them to draft a line of demarcation that the United States would present to the Soviets as the dividing line between their separate zones of occupation. The two young colonels {future Secretary of State Dean Rusk and future General Charles Bonesteel} and they were entrusted with the future of Korea in their hands. They were given thirty minutes to draw an imaginary line dividing Korea. Lacking experience and lacking an effective map of Korea, these two “desk officers” drew a line roughly across Korea at the 38th parallel. The rationale for dividing Korea at this arbitrary line was because it included the capital, Seoul, in the American zone. As there were no American forces remotely near the area to add “teeth” to the American recommendation, nothing was in the way of a complete Soviet takeover of Korea. The American proposal was clearly seen as a test of Soviet intentions in the post-war era. Rusk would later reflect on the hurried decision of Aug. 10th and its response, remembering that he himself was “somewhat surprised” when the Soviets agreed to go along with the American proposal and halt at the 38th parallel.

Of course, the whole peninsula has been in turmoil for more than a hundred years. First with potential aggression from Russia/China and then Japanese occupation for 35 years. See more: 1 2

Note: perhaps declassifying Admiral Hillenkoetter’s testimony can clear the air a bit.

Timothy Kelly July 28, 2007 at 10:07 am

Dean Acheson, Truman’s Secretary of State, wrote in his memoirs “Korea came along and saved us.” What did he mean by that? By 1950, the “Truman Doctrine” had been proclaimed and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed for the ostensible purpose of deterring the Red Army in Europe. However there was stiff resistance in Congress to paying for America’s containment policies. The Korean conflict proved to be the grease Cold Warriors needed to push through huge military spending bills that were necessary in the construction of the American Empire.

By 1950, the practice of lying the country into war was already well established in American history.

Madison used the pretext of the Royal Navy’s impressment of American seaman to secure from the Congress a declaration of war against Great Britain in 1812. Britain argued her navy was merely retrieving deserters. The real motivation, however, for Madison’s bellicosity was the belief a war with Great Britain would lead to Canada’s seceding from the British Empire and her joining the American Union. The impressments issue was emphasized in order to spread war fever among the populace.

The Mexican War (1846-1848) was waged by President Polk to seize land the U.S. government had coveted for a decade. Polk dispatched U.S. troops to the Mexican-American border in the hopes of sparking an “incident.” This act of provocation proved successful and Polk got his war. The United States was able to achieve victory and in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo she bit off more than 50 percent of Mexico’s territory. Polk’s mendacity was known at the time and it inspired one Abraham Lincoln, then a serving in what would turn out to be his only term in the U.S. Congress, to issue the ‘Spot Resolution’. This resolution was a congressional demand for Polk to point out the specific spot where Mexican soldiers had fired on U.S. troops on American soil. Polk was unable to do that and the Congress responded by censoring the president. The United States, however, kept the territory it won in the war.

Abraham Lincoln’s legerdemain and mendacity during the secession of crisis 1860 is well known among historians and are now considered reasons for his status as a ‘’great American president.” Lincoln’s war to prevent Southern secession not only proved devastating to the South, killing one in four every adult white male, it laid the foundation for the American Leviathan state by extinguishing the right to secession.

The United States waged war against Spain in 1898 on false pretenses in order to seize large portions of Spain’s rickety empire in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Advocates of a ‘’Large Policy” like Alfred Mahan and Teddy Roosevelt argued America needed a coaling stations to support a Great Navy which was necessary if America was to be a Great Power. This war, like most of America’s wars, was sold to American people as a reprisal to foreign treachery and a crusade to liberate oppressed peoples. Of course, nothing could have been further from the truth and subsequent war to put down Filipino guerrillas fighting American occupation proved to be far more brutal than Spanish rule.

Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on the slogan ‘’He Kept Us Out Of War!” The Great War in Europe had been raging for over two years and had become a horrific war of attrition. Germany had been blunted at the Marne, France had been bled white at Verdun, and Britain had suffered staggering losses on the Somme. The United States, although officially neutral, had effectively become a non belligerent ally of the Triple Entente. Northeastern banking interests had underwritten much of Britain’s war effort. These interests had considerable influence in the Wilson administration which was already Anglophile. But the country had a large German and Irish immigrant population who were understandably not supportive of entering the war on the side of the British.

Wilson, in order to get a Congressional declaration of war against Germany, had to make an issue of Germany’s policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. Wilson claimed that this policy was brutal, a violation of the rights of the sea, contrary to international law, and de facto act of war against the United States because more than a few Americans had been killed on British and French ships. Of course, that assertion was ridiculous. Claiming Americans had the right to travel peacefully on vessels flying belligerent flags was absurd. It was similar to arguing Americans had the right to have a picnic in Flanders and not hazard being shot at. And it is important to recall Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare was a direct reaction to the Royal Navy’s general blockade, an act which was also an affront to the principle of free and open seas and a violation of international law.

Once again, an American president used fatuous and moralistic arguments to conceal the real reasons for waging war. In 1917, influential banking interests (J.P. Morgan) determined it was vital the United States declare war against Germany and thereby socialize their risk. Wilson also saw in the war and opportunity to ‘’change the world” by making it ‘’safe for democracy.” He envisioned himself leading the powers of Europe in great conference that would establish internationally the principles of justice, self determination and democracy. Wilson believed the only way to bring this about was to enter the war. What Wilson didn’t foresee was the entry of the United States in the war would not only prolong it, but also result in total Entente victory thus sewing the seed for an even more destructive war and send Europe and the world off an trajectory that would doom tens millions to genocide, fire bombings and nuclear terror.

The idea that our leaders have unique wisdom when it comes to foreign affairs and thus are justified in deceiving for the purposes of manipulating public opinion in furtherance of their goals is evil and has failed to produce a world that is more secure and peaceful. Each war our leaders have contrived to embroil us in has resulted in a world that is less secure and more menacing than the one that preceded it.

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