In the lead-in to Veterans Day, one looks around the world and compares the good fortune of this nation in having had both the human and material resources to allow its citizens a modicum of freedom and prosperity unrealized in most places. This circumstance accrues to representative governing on all levels and, of course, the military, both of which make entrepreneurship and labor work.
Currently, this country is feeling the financial pinch of the war on terror, a conflict not soon to end, though perhaps in the process of being significantly ameliorated. The focus is on the military at present because this is the entity that protects the entire process of self-government; it’s the machine that stands between freedom/civility and utter chaos/anarchy. The “rulers of darkness,” as Paul the Apostle would have it, driven either by an amoral ethic or a fanatic obeisance to the writings of an essentially illiterate Arab of the sixth century, or both, would murder everyone in the world who is not Muslim.
Born of the Armistice-signing of World War I and carried on through other conflicts, principally World War II but other actions as well such as Korea and Vietnam, Veterans Day remarks the extent to which this country will go to maintain its freedom…sufficient blood and treasure, no matter the cost. Conceived by greed within the womb of British rule and birthed through the pains of the Revolution, the nation has not yet grown into maturity, though it has aged magnificently through struggle.
Each generation has had to make its fight, either with itself, as in the Civil War, or with others, such as Germany, Japan, Italy, and the usual communist countries such as the Soviet Union (mostly by mutually assured destruction), in order to maintain its uniqueness as a successful republic. Today, the threat does not come from other nations in the traditional way, i.e., war fought between armed nations, or the threat of it; rather, it accrues to governments that use terror as the weapon of choice, obviously directed not primarily at military operatives, but in a far more cowardly way toward the butchering of the most vulnerable non-combatants – women, children, old people – in the interest of bringing entire nations to their knees out of abject fear, such as in Sudan and Somalia presently.
Perhaps the greater danger in the U.S. today has to do with the current generation having another fight with itself, this time a sort of partisanship carried to an intolerable degree. At a time when things seem to be improving in Iraq, the U.S. House a few weeks ago – in the full knowledge of the fallout it was about to create – passed a nonsensical resolution virtually guaranteeing the alienation of this country’s most stable and valuable middle-eastern ally, Turkey. The question must be asked as to why this action was taken, especially since causing that alienation might have meant cutting off the valuable supply routes in Turkey servicing American troops in Iraq.
Was the action taken precisely to slow down directly the improvements in Iraq, thus, though unintentionally or not, creating further danger/injury/death, indirectly, to American GIs? If so, the reprehensibility is obvious, and those who passed that silly resolution (since abandoned) should be held accountable for little short of a war crime. Since it’s hard to believe the majority of House members were irrevocably dumb and totally unaware of the world situation, one wonders about their motivation. Do political opportunists trump loyalists? In 2008, about the only issue the democrats can agree on is the badness of the war, thus, if things are looking up concerning that matter things will be looking down for election successes.
The problem of congressional subversion is compounded by its quite obvious preoccupation with administration-destruction, dragging its feet while mired in trivialities at the time it can’t even pass a budget. Michael Mukasey, after seemingly endless inanities purveyed by democrats on Senator “Leaky” Leahy’s Judiciary Committee concerning water-boarding – as if any candidate would express an opinion before-the-fact – was finally confirmed. Leahy commented that torture was torture and murder was murder in comparing the two, apparently lacking the good sense to recognize that the outcome of water-boarding is not even injury, let alone death, while the outcome of murder is the final solution.
Meanwhile, as an example of supporting the nation a few weeks ago in its fight against terrorism, the democrats on Senator Biden’s Foreign Affairs Committee practically told the world that the top U.S. commander, Gen. Petraeus, was either untrustworthy or perhaps woefully incompetent. Senator Clinton, not a member but running for the presidency, was allowed into the hearing to call the general a liar to his face. This is the kind of stuff guaranteed to make the battle harder and cost more lives. With Biden and Clinton running for the presidency, as well as fellow committee members Obama and Dodd, also democrat president-wannabes, what does the world think?
Yes, the nation is battling with itself right now, as particularly evidenced in the Congress. Surely, the rank-and-file know what’s at stake. The congressional Civil War is unfortunate, and opportunists trump loyalists there. Sad. Every lawmaker should watch a tape of the crashes and/or crash sites of 9/11 every day before she/he goes into the office. Just maybe – though don’t count on it – they might then get things in the proper perspective if they haven’t already.