The electronic media invariably beat the war drums, presumably in subconscious anticipation of higher ratings for blood and guts live from the scene of the action, what war correspondents called "bang bang" assignments.
This could be one of the reasons the United States has gone to war time and again since World War II without the constitutional requirement of a congressional mandate.
In his latest book "The Road to War -- Presidential Commitments Honored and Betrayed," Kalb reminds us that the U.S. Constitution stipulates beyond the shadow of a doubt that only Congress can declare war. But the last declaration of war authorized by Congress was World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
For the past 40 years, says Kalb, the United States, like kings of yesteryear, was drawn into non-stop wars, from Korea to Vietnam, Panama to Grenada, Lebanon to Bosnia, Afghanistan to Iraq, using volunteers who are dispatched abroad wherever modern-day war lords say they need them.
Mass media welcomes war, Kalb argues, noting the last president authorized by Congress to declare war was Franklin Roosevelt after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.