Hardball with Chris Matthews, 4/29/14, 8:19 PM ET

Matthews on the problem with ‘war hawks’

Chris Matthews responds to the war hawks on the right who seize on every world conflict, whatever the sides, to root for American engagement.

The problem with ‘war hawks’ who seize on every world conflict

Let me finish tonight with these war hawks who seize on every world conflict, whatever the sides, to root for American engagement. There is no war that can’t use U.S. military action or the threat of it. In their alarmist worldview, this country must forever be aiming its guns at someone somewhere demanding they follow our orders.

What’s good about this posture, as we’ve learned in tragedy, is to transform every regional difference into a loaded weapon. We set up a demand, an ultimatum to use an old World War I term: when it’s not met, we have no choice but to act. Load her up: argue that Saddam Hussein’s possession of WMD constitutes a cause for war, accuse him of having them, then it’s on to Baghdad.

Do the same with Iran and Libya and Syria and Russia, and God knows what other nation, then cock the hammer. If they don’t do what we demand they do, we start the war drums. This has been the ‘Geronimo talk’ before and after the hell and stupidity of Iraq. Ever since Vietnam, the neo-conservatives and the militarist hawks have pushed this line. If a country fails to act the way we’d like, we start the war talk. We are always one thumbed-nose away from battle. 

This is the world of Dick Cheney, the American Enterprise Institute, and those killers of the keyboard, those chicken-hawks who send others to battle while they man the op-ed pages.

President Obama did a great job in calling them out for what they are: warriors without swords, hawks without wings, patriots by the page, soldiers of the soundbite.

The problem with 'war hawks' who seize on every world conflict