Even more ponderous is the fact that we're even still in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's fascinating how resistant we are to the lessons of history - even recent history given the Soviet example in the same country. But then another lesson from history is that wars are infinitely easier to start than to end, which we seem to be demonstrating with fervor.
Am reading a biography of paleoconservative Russell Kirk who, like the military, had a similar appreciation for discipline & hierarchy and yet whose Sunday mass attendance was spotty. (Should we carve out exceptions for the exceptional?)
Crucial to Kirk was the "moral imagination", loosely defined as the ability to hold two thoughts in one's mind: "Human beings are flawed but at the same time responsible for moral choices, beloved by God, and meant for eternity." [James E. Person in "Russell Kirk: A Critical Biography"] The errors of the last few centuries have attacked one or the other of these precepts. Either man is expendable and not beloved (i.e. Stalin, Hitler, Nietzsche, Marquis de Sade) or man is not flawed but institutions hold him down (Rousseau, hedonists).