Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Page of Notes

A Page of Notes

I’m an avid newsreader, preferring to read of national and international events of importance rather than listening to talking heads. I also enjoy documentaries of different kinds, usually involving war and history. Recently, there were two stories I read or watched; it took a while of simmering in my noggin until I saw where these two stories intersected. They appear at different times in history and each has lessons that are apt for today.
The first was a story about the actual Boston Tea Party. It can be found here:

Fascinating. Although the writer was a liberal hack, he came up with some interesting facts and ideas. Here they are in no particular order.
1. Americans were mad, John Hancock in particular, that the British were reducing the cost of tea in America to cut into the illegal tea trade.
2. The British government required all tea to be purchased through them.
3. The British government was subsidizing the East India Tea Company much as Obama and Bush subsidized the banking industry. Consumers were not buying tea with its inflated cost. But wait, there’s more!
4. The author makes a comparison between the tea party of the 1700’s and the tea party of today. He says that it was moral outrage over the taxes themselves that drove the movement, and that it is moral outrage today that drives the Tea Party advocates of today- of the gap between, as he puts it, the “Responsibles and the Deadbeats,” or as Neal Boortz puts it, the “Producers and the Moochers.”

The author tries to defend the incredible amounts of government money which is being spent as well as pointing to the modern Tea Party as zealots who demand the “Deadbeats” be punished. Punished by… not stealing it from those who earned it by way of government?
Here is the way I see it- our current government is duplicating the events of the past which resulted in the colonies break from England. Keep this in mind as we continue.

The Korean War is sometimes called, “The Forgotten War.” I was not too familiar with the specifics of the events until I watched a 2 hour documentary over the weekend. America was just coming out of WWII, many of her valiant young men had died defending freedom against the aggressive Nazis. The Soviet Union, taking advantage of the positioning of her armies, turned all of east Europe into soviet communist puppet states, along with North Korea. Their philosophy was one of expansionism. In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea with the goal of “unifying the country.” Truman sent in General Douglas MacArthur to stop the invasion.

Over the course of several years, the battle went back and forth, each command overextending its supply lines and being driven back. Finally, MacArthur had the North Korean army on the run and had driven them almost to the border with China. What happened next, no one including MacArthur could foresee. The Chinese had amassed a 250,000 man army to retake the north in a chilling winter campaign that our troops were ill prepared for. (You would think they would have learned after Bastogne.) In a series of retreats, the US and United Nations fought back, the Chinese sustaining 150,000 casualties, the US, 50,000. Instead of having the resolve of FDR and sending the troops needed to win, Truman blinked and backed down, agreeing to an armistice ceasing hostilities. Christian Koreans caught behind enemy lines were slaughtered. Civilians were brutally cut down in the hundreds of thousands. Does any of this sound familiar? (Obama does not send troops to Afghanistan at the request of his generals, instead waiting until mounting public pressure and 3 months of studies forces him to do so.)

MacArthur was furious at Truman’s lack of support during a war time operation, and refused to be silenced, much as a recent general who also spoke out against our current president.
My point: There are costs to be counted in ceasing to be firm in the defense of liberty. What was the cost? 60 years of tyrannical rule in North Korea has resulted in 2 million deaths from starvation in the last decade… from starvation, this in spite of relief efforts. North Korea now has the bomb, (thanks, Clinton!) and has tried to export this technology to Syria. North Korea, to put it mildly, has become an unstabilizing influence in the world, threatening war as they did back in 1950.

What do these two events, the Boston Tea Party and the Korean War have in common? The lack of foresight to learn from the lessons of the past. It is true that George Bush was mislead into believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, at least those not given to him by his father in the first place (gas weapons that were used against the Kurds.) However, the regime of Saddam Hussein was brutally horrific by any standard, and in waging this war, and winning, it is my belief that inadvertently he may have saved many more lives than those which have been lost during the war.

History will be the judge of the actions and inactions of our leaders. God will be the judge of us all.

armchair coach
amateur historian

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