Monday, December 8, 2008

An infamous date

Hi folks,

Today is the 67th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. This was the beginning of the end for a brutal regime in Japan that slaughtered and otherwise abused millions of Chinese, Koreans, and others on the islands in South East Asia. A bold strike at an adversary they considered weak and lazy.

I believe we solved that issue in the right way. FDR put the entire nation to work to ensure that the Japanese would not control the Pacific and continue to rape and pillage in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, etc. The unfortunate final Ace of Spades is something historians will debate for years to come.

The ensuing war cost millions of lives, probably quadrillions of dollars, and changed the shape of the world. From a self-sufficient, isolationist country, content with its own natural boundaries, we returned to the interventionist stance embodied in the Monroe Doctrine, and the Gunboat Diplomacy of Woodrow Wilson.

Hmmmm. Today seems to look a lot different from May 7, or August 15, 1945, when Germany, and then Japan, finally surrendered.

I see an over-reliance on technology instead of brains and guts--machines instead of real human strength. Was Sept. 11, 2001 GW Bush's Pearl Harbor? Some have postulated that. But did he respond the way Roosevelt did, with a total mobilization of the country? No. He let most of us go scot-free as he sent a bunch of poor kids into combat, and beefed up the budgets of the Military Industrial Complex (which Eisenhower warned about) to make more drones and other stuff, but left the troops under-supplied, thanks to the corruption of the Halliburtons and others like them.

I am not saying that I wish there had been a general draft (I would have been ineligible anyway), but if more attention had been paid to the potential outcomes of these conflicts, their strategic relevance (or lack thereof) to US interests, their effects on US influence in the world, and the fact that we, as a nation, were not ready to devote WWII-style support to these efforts, we might have a better economy, and several thousand fewer graves in national cemeteries.

Not to mention the holes in the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq. Filled with people from families and villages that will forever suffer for their loss.

Is terrorism a threat? Yes. Would these fanatics lurch out at us regardless of who is president and what the current mood of the country is? Yes. Is it right to impoverish whole nations because of the alleged actions of some individuals? No. Should we remove the constraints on assassinations? Perhaps, but that approach has been seriously flawed in the past. Could we abduct the people we need to remove and change regimes that way?

Anyone got a helo to get into Zimbabwe and invite Robert Mugabe for a little dinner party on Crete? The guys and the guns are here. I just need to have plausible deniability!

However you choose to remember this day, please pray for our men and women in the field. George W. Bush is no Roosevelt. What he has done to our country is no equivalent of the emergence into a world power that came as a result of WWII. Pearl Harbor was the touchstone. Our nation rose to the challenge.

I think of the Bush administration as a reverse Pearl Harbor. Diminished influence, an anemic military, overstreched, underfunded (because all the money is going to the Halliburtons), AND UNDERMANNED because it's not politically correct to get our unemployed off the streets and into uniform, make them fit and train them, and finish the job. This is a long-sought-after scenario to have a low-key war (or two) in order to keep the coffers open for Halliburton and their ilk.

I am sick with this reality. But I also somehow am gaining from it. What a hypocrite.

All of my heart goes to the men and women putting their lives on the line to do what they are told. Sometimes I just wish they could have been told to do different things.

Love and Peace to all!

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