From Stephen Peter Rosen
Understanding the reasons why Americans are more willing to wage wars than Europeans is of historical interest, but not only. It has been asserted, for example, that Americans were willing to wage war against Saddam Hussein because of the manipulation of the American political system by a lobby that was more loyal to Israel than it was to the United States. It has also been speculated that after the latest Iraq war, the American public will become more like Europeans, and less likely to employ war abroad.
Bob Kagan has argued that Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus. Yes, but why? In my article in The American Interest, “Blood Brothers” (sorry, editor’s choice), I discuss how the large immigration to British North America from the English-Scotch border area, and the subsequent endemic and brutal warfare against the North American Indians, created a political culture in the United States in which failures to respond violently to challenges were seen as the mark of weakness that would lead to predation against the weakling, and in which willingness to fight was part of the duties of a citizen. We are a warlike people. We fought in Iraq because we rise, violently, to violent challenges, and we will remain a warlike people for the foreseeable future.
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