There is a huge embedded constituency in Washington that cuts across many parts of the government that promotes war. From Joey Clark at theantimedia.org:
I hope we will soon stop simply damning war presidents as hypocrites and killers so we may take the time to see the complex reasons why presidential peace candidates continue to become warmongers.
As a candidate, George W. Bush promised a humble foreign policy.
But as president — especially in reaction to the violent and tragic imperial blowback of 9/11 — humility gave way to hubris. War was not only waged against Bin Laden’s terror network and the Taliban in Afghanistan but also globally against all Terror, a campaign that somehow led U.S. forces to topple a tyrant in Baghdad only to ignite and invite more terror to a fight amongst the rubble.
As a candidate, Barack Obama railed against Bush’s wars of “choice,” promising peace in Baghdad, Kabul, and beyond.
But as president, Obama’s peace prize and campaign promises gave way to more wars of choice.Though Obama “ended” the war in Afghanistan, leaving thousands of troops stationed there, he escalated the Afghan war first. Obama pulled out of Iraq only to topple Gaddafi in Libya. He attempted to topple Assad in Syria only to jump back into Iraq once again to take on ISIS — no doubt an enemy of the United States but an enemy also interested in toppling Assad in Syria. He fought both sides of the same war, inflaming the conflict further. His expanded use of drones is also well documented.
As a candidate, Donald Trump railed against the Bush and Obama wars, including Afghanistan, as an utter waste of American blood and treasure — treasure and manpower that should go to “America First.” Candidate Trump didn’t shy away from saying he would bomb the shit out of ISIS, but his candidacy did seem to suggest a change in direction to a more ‘realist’ and ‘transactional’ approach to foreign policy as opposed to Bush’s overt hubris and Obama’s covert idealism.
To continue reading: Why Presidents Campaign on Peace but Rule by War