Who wrote this?
In great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them, scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies. To them this amusement compensates the small difference between the taxes which they pay on account of the war, and those which they had been accustomed to pay in time of peace. They are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory, from a longer continuance of the war.
In my last post, I argued incidentally:
If oil were a serious consideration, the US would make an effort to keep the region stable. The true concerns are clearly of a different nature: distraction from domestic problems, boosting (presidential) popularity by appeal to jingoism, keeping the industrial-military complex in business.
In his excellent book The Great Deformation, David Stockman offers a fascinating background history of what I referred to as "keeping the industrial-military complex busy."
At the heart of the Reagan defense buildup was a great double shuffle. The war drums were sounding a strategic nuclear threat that virtually imperiled American civilization. Yet the money was actually being allocated to tanks, amphibious landing craft, close air support helicopters, and a vast conventional armada of ships and planes.
These weapons were of little use in the existing nuclear standoff, but were well suited to imperialistic missions of invasion and occupation. Ironically, therefore, the Reagan defense buildup was justified by an Evil Empire that was rapidly fading but was eventually used to launch elective wars against an Axis of Evil which didn’t even exist.
Make sure to read the entire section entitled How Obama Got His Tomahawks.