A Memo to U.S. Adversaries
by Winslow Myers
One of the first things you need to know about the U.S. is how difficult it is for us to tolerate ambiguity — especially when untangling our own motives. An example was our second invasion of Iraq. After 9/11 we felt an itch to retaliate against a clear enemy. Because we could not pinpoint one, we scratched the itch by inventing a false enemy — conveniently, one with lots of oil under its sand — and going to war against it, to no one’s great benefit.
That endeavor revealed a lot about us at this moment in our history, though similar themes can be found in our past. We have been all too certain, like some of you, that we are exceptional, that wrongs done to us justify our flouting international law, and that violent military force is the only way to get our way. (more…)