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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What I Believe - The Military


This is a tough post for me. The use of our military at any time stirs mixed emotions. However, the fact of the matter is that this is a dangerous world. There are people out there that want to kill us simply because of who we are and what we believe. Contrary to what some on the left would have us think, there is no negotiating with people like that. The only choice is to defeat them.

I have said many times that the only roll of the federal gubment should be to print money and defend the shores. If you read the constitution you will find no other powers granted to almighty Uncle Sam. The rest is left to the states. Left with this task, the federal gubment should make it its bidness to do a damn good job of national defense.

I believe no expense should be spared when it comes to our military, peace through strength as Reagan put it. The country should strive to have the highest tech weapons possible. We should strive to have the most competent and highly trained military possible, and we should make it clear to the rest of the world that if you mess with the United States, we will kick your ass back to the stone age. Sadly we have fallen short here. I fear most of the world thinks we are a paper tiger. From what I have read, this is exactly why Osama Bin Laden figured he could get away with attacking us. From what I have seen lately, he is probably right.

Some in the strictly libertarian camp as well as many others think we should withdraw our military from hotspots around the world and take a purely isolationist stance. 100 years ago, this might have worked. Most thought our oceans would protect us from attack. In fact even before world war 2, we were kinda like this. Europe became overrun by Hitler and we sat on the sidelines. Now we did help Great Britain and Russia with supplies. Some freelance American pilots joined the RAF and fought the Germans before we entered the war. The Flying Tigers fought with the Chinese against Japan before the US officially became involved. It is interesting to speculate what would have happened if Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor or at least the delayed the attack. What if Hitler had not declared war on the US after the attack, or delayed the declaration? What if Britain had fallen?

We know now that Hitler was working on nuclear weapons. We know that he was working on ways to deliver such weapons across the ocean to the US. Eventually the protection of our oceans would have become useless as is the case today.

I don’t believe it is realistic in the present day to advocate an isolationist military policy. Of course there are ways to reduce our involvement on the world military stage. One way that would make a huge difference is to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil and that would entail drilling for our own, but that is a topic for another post. As long as we get oil from the middle east, we will be militarily involved there, there is no way around this fact. I would cheer the day that we tell OPEC to go to hell and let them eat sand. I’m not holding my breath that this will ever become a reality.

Since Vietnam and to some extent in Korea it seems like we have made it a point to tie the hands of our military. You hear stories about the “rules of engagement”. In Vietnam we refused to bomb SAM missile sites in the north (before they were completed) for fear of hurting “Russian advisors”. There is no telling how many of our pilots ended up lost or killed because of this boneheaded policy.

George Patton wanted to attack the Russians after WW2 when we had the army there to do it. Patton was a little “out there” I’ll admit but I’m not sure that he wasn’t right about that one. MacArthur wanted to use nuclear weapons against the Chinese after they flooded into North Korea. He was a little “out there” as well but the gargoyle might not be threatening us with nukes today if we had pursued that course.

My point is that if we are going to go to war, there should be no rules of engagement. The war should be prosecuted quickly, ruthlessly, and violently. If we are not willing to do this, we should not do it at all. We get way too concerned over what the rest of the world thinks of us. Frankly I don’t give a rat’s ass what the rest of the world thinks. Since WW2 most of Europe has more or less rested on their asses and cultivated their little social experiments and social democracies and have left it to Uncle Sam to come to their defense. Yet these same countries will be the first to criticize and complain when we do something militarily that they don’t like. Isn’t it funny that when a European country comes to the defense of the United States that it is usually one that was formerly behind the iron curtain? Many of those people have fresh recollections of what it was like to live under tyranny.

It makes no difference to me whether you agree with our presence in Iraq or not. The fact is that we are there. If it had been up to me, Saddam Hussein would have been removed in 1991 when we had the army there to do it, and also a damn good reason to do it. When we went there in 2003, we should have violently prosecuted the war and not worried about world opinion or negotiating with some mullah or some cleric or worrying about collateral damage. We did not worry much about collateral damage in WW2. In war, innocent people get hurt. That’s why they call it war. Now if you cannot stomach that idea, fine, don’t use the military. Let’s just negotiate with North Korea, and Iran, and see how far we get.

And when it is all said and done, our enemies and any other potential enemies that remain should be left with nothing but abject fear of the United States and realize there is no limit of reprisal against them if they first lift a hand against us. I have always enjoyed a statement by the marine corps, “No Greater Friend, No Worse Enemy!” I dunno if that is a marine corps original, but it should be the world view of the United States.

By the way, before I go, should there be a draft? The only way I would be for a draft is if the very existence of the country depended on it. Unfortunately, if it ever gets to that point, it may already be too late.

Our all volunteer military is the finest fighting force in history. They deserve nothing but our gratitude and respect.

3 comments:

  1. Very nice post. You know I agree with you on all points on this one.

    I understand the Ron Paul followers, who think we need to get our military out of everywhere and get them home, who can argue with wanting that. But it's not possible.

    Debbie Hamilton
    Right Truth

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  2. Grouch! You are a very literate and educated person and I think you are 100% on track!
    Scary, aint it?

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  3. Great post with many historical facts. Roosevelt was guided not only by his love for Britian, but his support for the Soviet state and after operation Barbarossa in June 1941 he was determined that the U.S. should enter WWII. In someways I believed he welcomed Pearl Harbor (many writers have commented on this over the years).

    Yes, anytime we enter a conflict it should NOT be a half-measured action. I'm reminded of a Russian general who was presented with a group of French prisoners during Napoleon's retreat from Moscow and asked by one of his subordinates, what to do with them. His responce: "shoot them, war is not a game, I don't play games, if more would follow this rule then we would think longer and harder before starting wars." An extreme measure, but the message is clear.

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