Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wars and Rumors of War.

Good Day Good People.

I've just been thinking today about War. Most people of my generation have either been either a witness to, or a participant in, five wars, as well as two or more short lived military deployments, and most, if not all of our generation have an opinion on the subject of War.

My own feelings on the subject is simply this: There is no such thing as a "Good" War. There have been, as always, justifications for just about any War one cares to mention, as World War Two, for example, stopped the Tyranny and Insanity of that Devil's Disciple , Adolf Hitler, and stopped the further slaughter of the Jewish People, much too late, as over six million Jews can bear a mute and terrible witness to. And of course, the U.S. was brought into that War by the attack on Pearl Harbor, just as our Nation was brought into the current wars by the unprovoked and filthily insane occurrences of September Eleventh, two thousand and one.

I can recall vividly, after the First gulf War, when U.S. forces drove Saddam Hussein's legions of brigands from Kuwait, that many people criticized President George H.W. Bush (41) for not going on into Iraq and capturing Saddam Hussein.

But I am reminded of a quote from Sun tzu's "The Art of War" "He who wishes to fight must first count the cost" And History records Then President George H.W. Bush's statement that further pursuit and attacks would result in too many casualties.

I think that subsequent events ( The Iraq War) have proven that Bush the first was correct in his assessment. He (bush the Elder), after all, was a True veteran of World War Two, and knew first hand of the terrible price of war, first, and most importantly, the cost in Human Lives Lost, and secondly, the impact on our Economy.

I find it somewhat Ironic that in the period immediately following the First Gulf War, the President and all of his Military Leaders were cheered, and then not much later, He (Bush the First) was voted out of office. Go Figure.

This, in turn reminds me of Winston Churchill, who showed his Great Wisdom and Council during World War two, and was celebrated throughout the Civilized world, was promptly voted out of Office after the War was over,but no matter, for along with Teddy Roosevelt, P.M. Churchill remains one of my Heroes.

But, I digress (again) I was speaking of Gulf War One, more usually known as Desert Storm, and President Bush 's (forty one) explaining why he did not go onto Baghdad in pursuit of Saddam Hussein.

I recall thinking at the time, that we had proven that Hussein's military was in no way a match for our forces, and we could have easily keep that Great Fool isolated with our Air Power and strategic bombing, plus I agreed with the statement by the then President, that such an Invasion, by our forces would occasion far too many additional casualties,for as I advance in age, I have developed a greater and greater sense of the value of most human lives, including my own.

I, like many other people, completely agreed with the United States intervening in Afghanistan.

I had seen too many tapes of the brutality and ignorance of the Taliban (Beating a woman with a length of electrical cable, closing schools, etc) plus I was reasonably sure that Osama bin Lauden had his headquarters and training camps there , so the Invasion seemed reasonable, and just. I think that among the few reasons that justify going to War is to Alleviate human Suffering.

But when we invaded Iraq, I admit I did not know how to apprise the Intelligence the Government of President Bush (43) shared with the general Public, as well as with the U.N. As I look back today, and keeping in mind that hindsight is always 20/20, I have to wonder how Secretary of State Powell was fooled into making the statements he made to the U.N., in days leading up to the second Gulf War. And I think the then President Bush the second was ignorant of Sun Tzu's cautions Including" In War, let your Great Object be Victory, not lengthy campaigns"

Whatever the reason, I have to say I am heartily sick of War, and sick at heart when I think of the families of the nearly Five Thousand men and women of our Military Services who have lost their lives in these currently ongoing Wars, and mourn each and every one of the Heroic Fallen.
And promise to myself never to forget the thousands of wounded and maimed .

But, throughout recorded History it seems there have always been Wars. It seems that there has always been some despot who made war on his enemies, using one excuse or another. But I think if you really think about it, most wars were based on one simple thing: Greed. It seems that no King was ever satisfied with the extent of Land His kingdom possessed. Let us all temper our greed with Common Sense, and let not Ego ever influence our leaders again. But, it is easy to talk about War, and this or that strategy, than it is to fight one.

Stay Well, and study History, for it is truly written by george Santayana ;" Those who cannot learn from History, are doomed to repeat it" Remember our Servicemen and Women, and when you meet one on the street or elsewhere, take a few moments to say "Thank you for your Service to our Nation" It is also important, I think to remember General Wm. Tecumseh Sherman's Quote about War, he said, " There is no Hell like War, its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have never fired a shot, nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded, who cry aloud-for Blood, for Vengeance, for Desolation. War is Hell" (This is one of the few occasions I have ever agreed with anything said or done by Sherman)


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