Sunday, September 27, 2009

"I Pray For War"

Embedded in my brain is a statement made inside a classroom at the United States Air Force Academy in 1959; "I pray for war". The speaker was our class instructor, a one star general in the Air Force who was a hero during World War II. During his talk, the general reminded us that as academy men we had the obligation to protect our country using all military means available. It was obvious from listening to the speaker that his opinion was that the only way to defend the country or advance the country's interests was by military means. He likened the role of the military to deer hunting. One didn't go into the woods and play nice-nice with the deer, or try to talk them into coming out of hiding so that they could be captured as a pet. The purpose was to kill. It was "kill or be killed", another statement from his mouth that day. I am writing about this now inasmuch as President Obama is wrestling with a decision that, in my opinion, carries far more significant potential impact on our nation than the Vietnam War. For the younger set, I must indicate that that war resulted in the deaths of more than fifty thousand young, brave men and emotionally isolated hundreds of thousands more as they returned to a hostile homeland which never quite figured out the difference between the so-called message (we must not lose) and the messengers (the young men who were sent to their deaths and oblivion by irresponsible politicians). As President Obama considers his options in expanding or walking away from the Afghanistan conflict, he should keep in mind that the top military brass does pray for war and that war is their solution for the resolution of every conflict. These men (and now women) are trained for war and their lives are geared for war in terms of looking at war as the "solution". The predicament facing Obama is that even if the war is "won" the question of who we hand over the keys to government in Afghanistan is open. Currently, we all know without a doubt that the present governmental structure is filled with corruption and is being run by unworthy scoundrels. The term 'quagmire' is heard frequently and perfectly describes the present situation. I recommend that we close up shop over there and spend the time and energy developing safeguards for our borders. I pray for peace.

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