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William McKinley
Why are Americans so easily taken to war?

To the editor: Professor Joseph J. Ellis' essay should be mandatory reading for all Americans. ("The American way of war: It may surprise you," Op-Ed, July 1) When any politician is eager to go to war, watch out. Any objective reading of U.S. history would show that the Mexican-American War of 1845, the Spanish-American War of 1898, the Vietnam War and the 2003 Iraq War were bogus. Our presidents — from James Polk, to William McKinley, to Lyndon Johnson and, of course, George W. Bush — lied this nation into war for imperial ambitions. That's why we are called an empire. This is what happens when too many of our citizens are not paying attention. Remember, voters (and non-voters) get...

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