"How do you like the Journal's war?"
So boasted the headline of William Randolph Hearst's New York flagship that week in 1898 that the United States declared war on Spain.
While Hearst's Journal, in a circulation battle with Joe Pulitzer's World, was a warmongering sheet, it did not start the war.
Yet the headline comes to mind reading the Wall Street Journal, whose editorial pages seem to have concluded that on Nov. 4 America voted for new wars in the Middle East, and beyond.
On Nov. 13, the Journal's op-ed page was given over to Mark Dubowitz and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Assuming nuclear talks with Iran conclude unsuccessfully by the Nov. 24 deadline, they write, we have four options.
Two involve continued or tougher sanctions. The other two are a preemptive war featuring U.S. air and missile strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities, or a U.S. attack to bring down Bashar Assad's regime.
"Taking Mr. Assad down would let Tehran know that America's withdrawal from the Middle East and President Obama's dreams of an entente with Iran are over."
It would surely do that.
But taking down the Syrian regime could also lead to a slaughter of Christians and Alawites, an al Qaida-ISIS takeover in Damascus, war with Iran, and attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and across the Middle East.
Which raises a question: What is this FDD?
Answer: A War Party think tank that in 2011, according to Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss website and Eli Clifton of Salon, took in $19 million from five rabidly pro-Israel givers.
Home Depot's Bernard Marcus gave $10.7 million, hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer $3.6 million. Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas-Macau casino kingpin, chipped in $1.5 million.
Last week, Adelson and media mogul Haim Saban spoke of plans to dump hundreds of millions into the presidential campaigns of 2016.
What does the pair want from our next president? According to the Washington Post's Phil Rucker and Tom Hamburger, action on Iran:
"Saban said that fundamentalist Iranians represent a real threat. If necessary to defend Israel, and as a last resort, he added, 'I would bomb the living daylights out of the sons of bitches.'"
Echoed the 81-year-old Adelson, "I would not just talk. I would take action."
Last year, at Yeshiva University, Adelson, who pumped $150 million into the 2012 campaign, said the U.S. should fire a nuclear missile into the Iranian desert as a warning to end their nuclear program, or the next atom bomb would be dropped on Teheran.
This billionaires boys club wants to buy U.S. foreign policy and a U.S. war on Iran. And the propagandists of FDD are paid to produce that war, in which they will not be doing the fighting and dying.
Back to the Journal. On Nov. 15, its lead editorial declared that the great "question before President Obama and Europe is how to stop the Napoleon of the Kremlin."
Putin is Napoleon? Has the Journal lost it?
Vladimir Putin is 62. By age 40, Napoleon's empire encompassed nearly all of Europe. France had swallowed Belgium, Holland, parts of Germany and the Italian coast to Rome. The Emperor had alliances with Austria, Russia, Denmark, Sweden and a truncated Prussia. Virtually all the resources, industries and populations of Continental Europe were at the service of the French Empire.
Putin has reacquired Crimea, which belonged to Russia before the United States was a nation, and is about the size of Vermont.
Napoleon made it to Moscow. Does the Journal think Putin will make it to Paris, as Czar Alexander I did, or to Berlin, as Stalin did?
The Journal hails the Senate Foreign Relations Committee 18-0 vote to arm the Ukrainians, and urges Congress to do the same.
And what would be the result of U.S. heavy weapons arriving in Kiev?
Would Putin recoil in shock and awe and scurry out of Crimea?
Probably not, as the Journal itself concedes, "In 15 years running Russia, Mr. Putin has never stood down."
And if Putin, seeing U.S. weapons arriving in Kiev, sent in the Russian army to annex Luhansk and Donetsk, took Mariupol on the Black Sea coast, established a land bridge to Crimea, and then offered to negotiate, what would Kiev do?
Even with U.S. weapons Ukraine cannot defeat Russia.
What would we do? Accept defeat? Send U.S. advisers or troops into Ukraine? Launch strikes on Russian forces? Blockade Crimea? Are we really prepared for war with Russia, over Donetsk?
Since Nov. 4, the Journal and its neocon allies have been cawing for U.S. troops to fight ISIL in Iraq and Syria, for U.S. air strikes on Assad's regime, for bombing Iran, and for arming Ukraine to fight the Russians in a war that Kiev would surely lose.
Was this what America voted for on Nov. 4?
Is this what the Grand Old Party has on offer -- endless war?