Gather around the fire my friends. I want to tell you a story that will give understanding to the current mentality of the war hawks. Find a stump or chair, and make yourself comfortable. Feel the warmth of the camp fire as it gives you comfort in the chill of the night. In January 1898, the USS Maine was sent to Cuba during a time of chaos. Local insurrection and civil disturbances, caused the U.S. to send the USS Maine to Havana to protect U.S. interests. On February 15, 1898, at 9:30 p.m. in Havana Harbor, the USS Maine, like Bush’s approval ratings, was sunk. Yellow Journalism soon was alive and thriving. An internal and accidental explosion, soon became a reason to declare war, with the help of journalists like William R. Hearst. The death of 274 men on the Maine, and yellow Journalism, helped to fuel American anger. Journalist like William R. Hearst were quick to spread the conspiracy theory of Spanish officials in Cuba being the blame.
The President and the Speaker of the House both opposed the growing beating of war drums. Unlike with Iraq, the president was not willing to have a war for the sake of war, and use it for profiteering. What was the same during those times, was the Republicans that wanted war. Republican Senator Redfield Proctor gave a speech that can be viewed as a decisive moment for the road to war. In his speech, Senator Proctor declared that “war was the only answer.” Now you have a Republican Senator stepping up, and giving voice to the will for war. The Religious community and the business sector that was first in opposition of war, did an about face. This about face, left both the President and the Speaker of the House isolated in their views.
So you have Republican Senators, the business sector, and the religious communities wanting war together. Sounds familiar? Also among the war hawks, was a future President of America, Teddy Roosevelt, who called it a “splendid little war.” While the war did help with some of the scars left behind from the Civil War, America became another Imperialist nation. Much like what has happened with Iraq today, you have a war that should not have happened. Republicans, the religious right, and big business, what a “splendid little war” you have now!