The Error of Our Ways
At the end of World War II, Harry S. Truman was looking for ways to switch the United States from its war-time economy to one better suited to a society that wanted —and needed peace. Unhappily, the President’s cost-cutting measures involved a one-third reduction of the military services: Army, Navy, and Marines. Washington, D. C. was a busy place between 1945-1950:
- World War II veterans were expeditiously discharged
- The Department of War was transformed into the Department of Defense.
- The Navy Department was rolled into DoD.
- The Army-Air Force became the United States Air Force.
Missions and structure for all services was under review. Within the naval establishment, one-third of the Navy’s ships were moth-balled. In the Army and Marines, infantry battalions were forced to give up one rifle company, which meant that battalions had no combat reserve; no way to rotate company off the front lines; no way to form the battle area in depth.
In 1949, Secretary of State Dean Acheson produced a study of Sino-American relations. Officially, this document was titled United States Relations with China with Special Reference to the Period 1944-1949. Its short title was simply, the China White Paper. In over 1,000 pages, Acheson explained that America’s intervention in China was doomed to failure. Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong was overjoyed to hear this news.
Then, on 12thJanuary 1950, Secretary Acheson gave an address before the National Press Club. In his discussion of the all-important US Defense Perimeter, he neglected to include the Korean Peninsula and Formosa as places the United States was prepared to defend. North Korean leader Kim Il-sung immediately conferred with the Soviet Union. Would the USSR back him in reunifying the Korean peninsula?
This wasn’t the first time where America’s diplomatic incompetence caused harm to the American people —nor was it the last.
Thanks to Truman’s cost cutting and Acheson’s incompetence, war once more turned its horrid face toward America in June 1950; worse, America was unprepared to fight it. There was no money for training, munitions for live fire exercises, fuel for military aircraft, or replacement parts for vehicles. Military skills are perishable. Pilots who are limited in their flight hours lose their edge in the cockpit. Infantry units that do not regularly train with artillery and armored units lose their efficiency. So, it should not have surprised anyone in July 1950 when the US Army’s first act in the Korean War was full-scale retreat to Pusan in southeast South Korea. It was a very bad situation; and America’s army was in real danger of being pushed into the Sea of Japan.
Well, we know why America was unprepared for the Korean War in 1950: Truman was a Democrat and the Secretary of Defense was his shill. But why did Truman pursue a deadly, costly, and static strategy for three years? The effect of this muddleheaded policy was the loss of 38,000 American lives. Did we learn anything?
Apparently not … because the US repeated this foolishness during the Viet Nam War —a conflict we never have entered in the first place. Washington insiders tried time and again to convince President Eisenhower to send combat troops to Viet Nam in the mid-1950s; beyond providing US funds, however, Eisenhower refused to take that bait. Under Democrat Lyndon Johnson, America gave up another 58,000 lives.
In my mind, the lessons from both of these conflicts are self-evident—and yet, George Bush and Barack Obama managed to involve and keep us in conflicts that have nothing whatever to do with “national defense.” I keep asking, how is going to war in the Middle East in our nation’s best interests? What are those interests, exactly?
I believe that the American people have a right to know what our interests are BEFORE getting involved in foreign entanglements … something more than telling us that it’s in our national interest. I also think that whenever a decision is made to go to war, then our government is obliged to prosecute it with unmatched ruthlessness. If we are going to war, then we must beat the enemy so bad that he won’t consider another war for ten more generations —and for the sake of God, get the damn thing over with. No more pussyfooting around with the lives of our service men and women. Short wars, if you have to fight them, are better than protracted wars. Americans hate going more than four quarters in any contest.
If Democrats were serious about “national defense,” then why are we importing terrorist-refugees into the United States to wreak havoc here at home? Where is the sense in having porous borders where very bad people can walk through at their leisure? Isn’t Congress and the administrative departments and agencies obliged to “defend” Americans here at home? Note: Republicans could have fixed the southern border issue but didn’t. Now they’re criticizing Democrats for doing nothing. Our entire congressional structure does “nothing.”
We Americans —or at least the governments we elect— still have not learned any important lessons about our enemies. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been tiptoeing around the extremist issue since the early 1990s. Rather than addressing the problem directly, our government pursues a failed static policy. How long have we been in Afghanistan? Folks, America needs a reset.
- Let us resolve to avoid involving ourselves in the internal affairs of other nations. If we do not want Russia meddling in our political affairs, then we should refrain from meddling in their elections (Bill Clinton).
- Let’s stop pretending that we understand the Islamic mindset. We don’t.
- Let us stop pretending that our diplomats understand anything or are clever; if anything, our diplomats are incompetent or criminally malfeasant.
- Let us be fair and consistent in our dealings with the extremist mentality. They can do as they wish in their own back yards —but God have mercy should they ever attack, assault, or give menacing looks toward any American citizen. Our resolve should be to terminate with extreme prejudice anyone who threatens the safety of the American people, but more than this, we should be resolved to take out the entire kitchen staff, as well. If the extremists (foreign or domestic) do not stop this nonsense, our intention should be to completely eradicate them: lay down such waste on their homeland that no human being will be able to live there for another ten generations (or until the year 2319).
This is how you bring peace and prosperity to America. Why have we not learned from the error of our ways?