Wednesday, January 24, 2007

There Was A Time

There was a time, many years ago, when this country was at war. This country was attacked, unprovoked, at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Many sailors died on that early Sunday morning when the ships they were on sank due to Japanese torpedo bombers. The Americans of that generation volunteered to serve, even knowing that for many it would mean their deaths. When beloved sons, brothers and fathers died, they were mourned by placing a star in the living room window, so that all that passed the house would know of their families sacrifice. They all contributed, using war stamps to purchase rationed food, gasoline and supplies so that the men in uniform could have what they needed to complete their mission. Families planted victory gardens to grow thier own food. They participated in air raid warnings and used black window shades at night so our enemy could not bomb our cities. They worked in factories producing bombs, bullets, guns, tanks, jeeps, aircraft, ships and uniforms.

There was no complaining about how many soldiers were wounded, or killed. No daily death statistics about how many sacrificed themselves for their country. No criticism of our president at the time, Franklin Delanore Roosevelt (FDR) for dragging us into a european/asian war that, before Pearl Harbor, did not directly involve us. We were committed in a world wide war because we knew that if we failed, the next stop for Hitler would be the United States, and Nazi storm troopers and panzer tanks would be rolling down our streets, and the blood that would flow would be our own.

Viet Nam changed us as a nation, in the 1960's and early 1970's. This was a war in which the United States supported a corrupt regime, the South Vietnamese government, in its struggle to resist the communist North Vietnamese government from uniting the nation under one rule. Young men were being drafted to fight and die in a country far from our own, where our freedom and security was not at risk. Many Americans openly questioned and protested the wisdom of this. The president at the time was Nixon. He was a corrupt leader, and our country was severely divided among those who supported this foreign war and those who denounced it, much as our country is today.

Bush should be questioned for his decision to take us into Iraq. He should be held accountable for starting an unprovoked war in Iraq, and not foreseeing the consequences, an uncontrolled civil war with two factions bent on destroying one another in the quest for power. The invasion of Afghanistan by the United Nations is understandable; they were shielding Osama Bin Laden, who was responsible for 9/11.

Our leaders must be cautious about using the word "war." It means a total and complete resolved commitment on the part of every person in this country for victory. When the purpose of war itself is called into question, we have defeated ourselves already, because the call for war should be righteous, unquestionable, and absolutely necessary to preserve our way of life.

The question we face now is, "What do we do now that we are involved in a war in Iraq?" Some say we should cut our losses and withdraw, admitting that we were wrong in the first place. Others say that this war is part of a larger, global scenario, and that we must insure victory in Iraq to keep Islamic extremists from coming to America.

It seems like a scenario without answer. History will be the judge. Attacking our president for his call to war in Iraq does not change our situation, even though it seems to this writer to be deserved. Hindsight is 20/20. We have not sacrificed as our forefathers have. We are not on rations, with limited amounts of gasoline and food. Our men have not died in the numbers they did in WWII. Bush calls for victory as the only option. Our government, however, is as divided as we are, for if we were truly commited to victory, every soldier would be pulled from Korea, Japan, Germany, and other parts of the world and redeployed to Iraq, and the draft would have been reinstated. We are commited instead to hesitancy and uncertaincy, and our plush standards of living, without sacrifice.

There is one thing that many of us have completely ignored. Prayer, on a daily basis.

armchair coach
amateur historian

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