Tuesday, December 7, 2010

History will repeat itself

If it is true that History does repeat itself, then we have much to learn. War and how war is fought has changed. It is time for America to change its thinking about war as well. On December 7, 1941 the situation was clear: Japan had declared war on the United States of America. In our history no one single event has so unified the American people. Over one thousand people lost their lives in a sudden and violent attack at Pearl Harbor. We were at war. Specifically, we were at war with Japan, all of it. Japan had declared war on the US; not in a public declaration from their government but by a violent and sudden strike from their naval and air forces. War with a country was obvious.

September 11, 2001 the situation was changed. Our country was again attacked. This time, as before, there was no declaration of war by a country against the United States. This time, however, the situation was different. The attack was not by the Afghan people, who we went to war with; or from the Iraqi people, who we went to war with in 2003. No, this attack came from a group of Islamic radicals; a specific group of people who called Afghanistan and Iraq home. The people of those countries did not declare war on the US and neither did their countries. While it may be true that these countries did not consider themselves allies with the US they were not our enemy; people from these counties were.

Our response, tragically, was similar to every conflict prior: attack the country, that would solve the problem. Friends, nearly 10 years have passed since that tragic and terrible attack on the Twin Towers that cost thousands of American lives. This time, it was a civilian target. Our military was not targeted, our very heart was. And while a swift and calculated response was called for, we, like an old relic from a time that has past, retaliated in a manor not consistent with the conflict we were in.

When will America learn? The world has shown us that nuclear war is obsolete, and yet we have more nuclear arms than any other country in the world. The world has also shown us that naval wars are obsolete, yet we have one of the most technologically advanced Navy in the world. The world has shown us that wars no longer have clear defined front lines as they did during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Yet we continue to fight as though we have a front line and resources that support it. The world has shown us that war has changed, yet we continue to wage war in the ways of days past. Until we learn that war has changed and adapt to the way war is being fought we will continue to face loss.

Operation Iraqi Freedom may be over, but make no mistake, we have not won. Moreover, we have not changed the situation in which our nation finds itself. We will continue to be threatened by radical groups who now have power independent of the country which they call home. Until we can change our view of who we are war at we will continue to be threatened. Our boarders will become weak and we will continue to send our forces to fight wars they cannot win. Our country will divide and we will war with ourselves. This day is coming, mark my words. We cannot continue to be a dinosaur in this modern age. It is time to change how we fight and who we fight.


Mom Jones said...

I'm just seeing this post ... and it is the 28th of December. I'm not usually so negligent in checking family blogs, but I had almost given up on you ever writing another piece, Jes.

I appreciate what you are saying here, having lived through the Vietnam war, watching it through teen-aged eyes, literally watching the war on the evening news as we sat and ate dinner ... I will never forget the sadness I felt during those years for our soldiers and their families ...

Much love to you, Jesse.

judy hand said...

Hi Jes, it's January and I have just
read your blog. I agree with many
points. But in some areas, I feel
we need to be more aggressive. Just
my opinion. Love ya.

Mo said...

Very thought provoking.

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st millerr said...

i got shot in the us army

B.Irby said...

Hello. I found this blog randomly, but I enjoy how thought provoking your words are. I hope you update soon.

This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I found this randomly. If I could I would shake your hand. I would agree with most everything you said, but I also wonder when we as Americans are also going to stop pointing fingers and pointing out what went wrong, and start thinking of ways to fix it. If History is to repeat itself then we should be prepared to handle it the next time around? The fact is that the right way is not always the effective way nor is it the easy way or the practical way. Life is not fair and because of that we as humans will repeat ourselves forever, because you cant make everyone happy. I thank you for what you do and hopefully this quote will help you along your way.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
- Teddy Roosevelt

As a part of the armed forces you are the far from those poor timid souls.

Sir Lancealot said...

Could not agree more with you on your post. Imagine if we as a country could see that global warfare is obsolete than it would most likely have a trickle down affect to prevent wars on our streets. Just as one of the anonymous comments to your post said, when are we going to start doing the things necessary to fix it.

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Sil said...

Hello, I've found your blog randomly and luckily! thank you for the truth of your words I am really glad that there are people who really appreciate the value of peace and the critical judgment. sorry for my awful english I'll improve soon. God bless you!

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