The Iraq occupation/counter-insurgency stands as one manifestation of our nation's Greedy Soul.
The poet Robert Bly talked about "The Greedy Soul" a few weeks ago on Bill Moyers' Journal (PBS). The Greedy Soul is that dark insistent thing inside each of us that makes us dissatisfied with what we already have, that makes us envious of others, that whispers in our ear "you're not good enough," that makes us fly too close to the sun, that makes us play God. The Greedy Soul can drive us to destroy ourselves and others while we blindly pursue ephemeral treasures like "security" or "sustained economic growth."
The Greedy Soul is the self's attempt to salve personal insecurity with the accumulation of more power, more wealth, more distance from the inevitable pain of being mortal, fallible, and vulnerable.