We Need a War - Any Will Do Jim Henley makes a point I quite agree with. After the demise of the Soviet Union the Right has cast about almost comically in their search for a new villian. Someone - anyone - to fill the role of despised enemy, which would justify the military-industrial complex, and which would provide a focus for a national mission:
The same group of wonks and journalists that argued us into the current war were agitating for a new cold war with China before Zacarias Moussaoui ever enrolled in flight school. They wanted to turn a single snafu over a surveillance plane into a casus frigid belli in the spring of 2001.
Now they have their mission. The military budget is safe for the foreseeable future. And the ideological mission has crystalized: American world hegemony. It's suitably large to fully consume however much effort (read: taxes) our masters manage to mulct from us.

UPDATE - Gene Healy has this masterful demonic definition: "National Greatness Conservatism: n. The vicarious thrill certain right-wing pundits get from watching better men risk their lives."

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