I'm not a fan of children's story books that have a bully. The bullied child fights back and eventually the situation is resolved. In the end, the bullied child is happy. There are numerous books with this storyline and conflict. They only differ by the way the conflict is varied. Sometimes the bully steals lunch money, sometimes the bully pokes fun at clothing. Regardless, the story is the same. It's predictable.
Just like this storybook plot, war stories are repetitive. In each case, the leaders present an issue to the public that evokes lots of emotion. The more the public hears the emotional story, the more they support the war effort. However, in most cases, the public is completely unaware of the true motive behind the war. MONEY! In almost every case the story is the same. The true reason for war is money.
I'm not a history expert by any means. In fact, I didn't do that great in history class in either high school or college. However, for the past seven years I have been homeschooling my children. Each year we study history. For the past five years we have selected one cultural and time period of history and learned all about it. We have covered Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Persia, Celts, Vikings, China, Scythians, Middle Ages, Renaissance and now we're into American History. I'm amazed how frequently the war story repeats itself. Here are a few examples:
War - Public Support Gained of Issue - True reason
Roman EmpireThe Romans fought many wars to expand their empire. The public supported the wars because they believed their enemies were barbarians and uncivilized people which they could teach and reform. However, the true reason for the wars was money. Each time the empire conquered new territory, slaves were taken. In ancient Rome slaves meant money.
Middle Ages (Crusades)During the Middle Ages the Crusades were supposedly about religion, but in actuality they were all about money. The public felt they had a right to the holy land and that it was their duty to take the land from the non-believers. If they fought for the holy land they believed their sins would be forgiven and they would be rewarded in heaven. However, throughout the conquest, religious leaders with public support not only plundered wealthy cities, they also began services which resulted in huge economic gains. Groups of knights formed which became wealthy by offering protection to travelers. The knights enjoyed a tax exempt status which greatly contributed to their wealth. In addition, they offered travelers high-interest rate loans. This series of wars fought in the name of religion, was really about money.
Mexican-American WarIn the early days of America President Polk hoped to achieve greater economic wealth by acquiring all of the land between the two oceans. However, Polk gained public support for the war by telling the people that Mexico fired on American soldiers on American soil. In actuality, the American soldiers who were fired upon were on land Mexico rightly believed belonged to them. Once again, public support was created for the war under the guise of righteousness when the true reason for the war was all about money.
Civil WarIn recent weeks I've been reading about the Civil War. This most deadly of all past American Wars was fought in the name of slavery, when again the true motivation was money. The Lincoln administration wanted a big central government in which favors could be given to friends and big businessmen. Most of the favors were being received by people in the north. In the south, taxes were being raised on imports in order to force the people to purchase goods from the north. Because the south was opposed to these taxes, the north ended up closing ports in the south. This economic dispute lead to states in the south wanting to leave the union and ultimately war. The war fought in the name of slavery, was actually all about money.
PresentSo now fast forward to present times. Why are we fighting in the middle east? I've heard women in those countries are treated poorly. I've heard we're scared those countries have weapons of mass destruction. Well I know they have oil. Oil represents money. I ask you........ do you think the war story has changed?
If you have any good books to recommend on this topic please leave me a comment.