Monday, September 2, 2013

War Eagle

Obama seeks Congressional approval for Syria strike.

By Mark W. Danielson

Most of this is a re-post.  At a time when our President seeks to involve the U.S. in yet another war, it seems appropriate that some of us make some noise.  Bear in mind that we cannot right all of the wrongs in this world, that no one else is interested in becoming involved in the Syrian mess, that this part of the world does not respect us, nor will be better off because of us, or that we have the highest deficit in our nation's history because we pay everyone off and start wars where we have no business.  With this in mind, please take a brief moment to reflect on what I previously posted and ask yourself why are we still "over there."

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The movie, Across the Universe, stirred thoughts about our military’s involvement in Vietnam and its current deployment to Iraq.  This movie accurately portrays life during the 60s and early 70s when thousands of young soldiers were dying for a cause that few believed in.  This war split our country apart in much the same manner as the Civil War of a century before.  During high school, I worked in downtown Berkeley, California, where protests frequently turned violent.  Eventually, National Guardsmen were situated on street corners while helicopters flew overhead spraying tear gas on unruly mobs.  Across the Universe vividly brought back those memories, and that is good, for we should never forget this turbulent period.

As a retired fighter pilot fortunate enough not to have dropped bombs in harms way, I compare Vietnam with our war in Iraq.  The draft may have ended after Vietnam, but that didn’t prevent thousands of volunteers from defending our country.  Every day, volunteer soldiers are giving their lives so ours can continue uninterrupted.  While time has made the Iraq War as unpopular as Vietnam, few people ever mention it.  I can only come up with two reasons why Americans are so indifferent.  First, it appears many believe those soldiers who died did so voluntarily.  Second, our populace is too self-absorbed to care about overseas matters.

As an international airline pilot, I see the world as few do.  I find the Internet a valuable tool, but it rarely portrays events accurately.  People would rather base their opinions on what the media portrays than seek the facts.  US newspapers gloss over world affairs while international newspapers devote entire sections to international issues.   

Sadly, our government has learned little about foreign policy since the Vietnam War.  Even worse, too many countries call upon the US for aid and then later blame our government for their woes.  No doubt, the US has made many serious foreign policy blunders since 1973, but if the United Nations had any clout, those errors would have been minimized.

If people wish to make noise about something, then question what the United Nations is doing to resolve the conflicts in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the numerous African countries in dire straights.  The United States cannot and should not be the World’s police force.  If our civilization is to survive, then every country must become involved in the process of spreading peace across the universe.


Jean Henry Mead said...

I agree, Mark. We have no more right to invade other countries than they do us. War is big business, unfortunately, and those who profit most from war are in favor of the Syrian invasion. Although most of us are horrified by the Syrians' plight, we've already lost too many of our young men and women in foreign conflicts and our government has spent this nation into economic chaos. The most tragic results of our policing the world are those who return home crippled for life and brain damaged. It's time to say "enough!"

Mark W. Danielson said...

You're absolutely right, Jean, but where are the protestors? I'm sure if the draft was reinstated, young people would be setting their iPhones aside to storm Washington DC. As it is, few recall we're still at war with an unknown enemy.

Jean Henry Mead said...

I heard today there is strong evidence rebel forces gassed their own people to implicate Bashar al-Assad, so that the U.S. would bomb the Syrian capitol. There's so much more to the story . . .

Mark W. Danielson said...

You're right, Jean. Our track record proves we are puppets being led down the path of destruction. I wish every American would stand up and voice their opinion.

Mark W. Danielson said...

I sent this letter to the President today. I'm posting it here because it ties in with this post. A simpler way to voice your opinion is to take a simple poll at this link.

Mr. President, I retired from the military, but am no expert on war. I’ve made several trips to the Middle East, but I’m far from knowledgeable in their ways. Even so, I am probably more understanding of the Middle East than those setting international policy, and that is not good.

Clearly, our leaders do not understand the long term ramifications of their actions. They fail to realize that in the eyes of the world, the United States is an aggressive occupier. They also fail to realize democracy does not work in every country, and that Middle East leaders will not yield to infidels.

With our perceptions being shaped by the social and news media, we believe what we are told rather than challenge Washington and demand proof. Nowadays, the only politicians I trust are dead.

I am stunned by liberals demanding overseas intervention after our sad history of arming those we deem to be rebels. We put Saddam Hussein in power and then left his country in shambles after removing him. The same holds true for other countries where we have intervened.

Rather than fight other peoples’ wars, why not ask the Arab leaders to take a stand on these uprisings? After all, we’ve been providing them with military and financial aid for decades. Why aren’t they watching their own back yards? Why does the U.S. think it should be the World’s Police Force when no one wants them? Our aggressive approach to peace is flawed when most of the world is united against us.

In Syria’s case, Russia is right -- we need to butt out. If our leaders looked in the mirror and saw how the world currently views us, they would understand we are no longer America the Beautiful in the eyes of most people.

Life is not fair. It never has been, and never will be. Politically, financially, and emotionally, the U.S. cannot afford any more wars.