Bush/Blair made it clear at their newsie today that we are engaged in a global struggle not to restore the "old-think" of the post Westphalia search for stability in the world, but rather to conquer the world for "good," for better and more worthy ideas. The acknowledgment was made that the enemy is also motivated by ideas but their ideas are "bad." At the end of the 30 Years War, a war fought largely over religious belief and allegiance, the treaty system that merged created the modern state system, and established the principle that stability in the principle of state sovereignty was needed to limit the scope and extent of future wars. This set of principles worked well when it was not corrupted by ideological madmen like Hitler.
We did this once before in this country. We fought it out over the ideas of nationalism, state sovereignty and eventually the abolition of slavery. There were a million casualties, and the best men of a generation died. Once it started and the grip of ideas took over, then there was no way to stop the war short of total victory or defeat. All, all was sacrificed to that goal. Habeas Corpus? A triviality suspended by Lincoln until he could suspend it no more.
Now we are committed to a new war of ideology which may soon become a war of all against all. Will it last more than 30 years this time?
I thought the British had more sense.