The Manifestation of Manifest Destiny: The War On Terror

Let me make this clear in the first sentence: I am by no means, in this post, advocating for or against military action of any form in the Middle East.  OK, now that we got that out of the way, lets talk about Bush.  I don’t know exactly the Bush Administration’s complete motives for going to war in the Middle East, and I won’t pretend to.  Some say it was oil; others say it was the elimination of terrorism.  Whatever the cause, the United States of America is now ending an almost thirteen year war against belligerent groups of radicals and fundamentalists in attempt to gain stability in the Middle East and to put an end to terrorism everywhere.  Lets go back a few hundred years.  The United States was in a national state of greed (known as “Manifest Destiny”), in love with the idea that the God-beloved America was manifestly destined by God to be His nation and to spread this idea of a Christian democracy through the entire North American continent, specifically to the west coast.  Without all the religion (which, by the way, played a HUGE role), we Americans are better than everyone else and our government system was better than all others, and, by this token, we will (and should) thrive.  This is a very conceded and nerve-racking thought, and yet, as I sit at my computer on the north side of Chicago, IL, it makes me feel proud and a little voice in my head says, “Go America!”  I can’t say that I blame those 19th century Americans for feeling this way.  I believe that there is some sort of identity that everyone can find in their country, and that being a bit nationalistic every once and a while never hurt anybody . . . except Iraq and just about everyone around there.

Our nationalism as a country spiked directly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  We were never more proud of our nation for getting through something that no nation had ever been through before.  This feat brought us together: One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all.  With this, we felt we could accomplish anything and everything, and indeed, why couldn’t we?  We had (have) the highest ranked economy on the planet, a shining example of democracy, and the elect of God himself.  We then, having this pride, went to war against groups such as one which, just nine days earlier, had successfully carried out the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon.  This “War on Terror” led the United States to be involved in a motley of conflicts in that region to “better those people and their governments.”  What we were really doing was showing our Manifest Destiny and spreading democracy to the poor, helpless, barely human people just waiting to be taught our God-sent ways because that’s the conceded jerk that we are.

There is obviously controversy about this very topic, and parties are split.  In the 1850’s, the same issue was being brought up, this issue concerning what to do with the land and people with the control they had just gained.  The question then was about the expansion of slavery.  This very question, I’m convinced, was a major factor in beginning the U.S. Civil War.  Now the question becomes, “What is to be done with all the chaos we caused and what should we do with all the people who’s lives are now completely changed?”

Post Script: I can’t the only one who found it a bit ironic that the top song of choice after the assassination of Bin Laden was “God Bless America.”

Image Credits:




The American Pageant 11 Edition

“War on Terror.” – Global Issues. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2013. <;.

“U.S. “War On Terror” Has INCREASED Terrorism.” Washingtons Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. <;.

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