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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cost of War

I don't consider myself a conspiracy theorist.  I do believe President Kennedy was shot by somebody other than Lee Harvey Oswald.  I do believe that Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson got up that fateful morning knowing he would be President by the end of the day.  I do believe that Franklin D. Roosevelt knew the United States was going to be attacked on or around the morning of December 7th, December 8th from Japan's perspective, and they let it happen.  I also feel in my heart that in retrospect, hind sight always being 20/20, it needed to happen to get us into World War II.  If the attack had been stopped, even challenged, the public opinion and America's prevailing attitude that we should stay out of the War in Europe might have continued.  If we had not entered the War, God only knows the atrocities and horrific things that might have happened if the Germany and Japan of that time would have won the War, from our reluctance to fight.
A Gallop Poll which had been done in November of 1941 showed that 47 percent of Americans believed we would be at war with Japan within the near future.  Hostilities had been heating up all over the world.  Europe had been at War already since 1938, with only meager help from the United States.  MacArthur was sent to the Philippines to hold and requested that he would need ten times as many troops to hold the islands.  He was there to provoke hostilities from the Japanese, not to actually hold the islands, he knew that also.  I also believed the Carrier Commanders who were not in Pearl Harbor knew we were to be attacked and knew not to intervene.  What the U.S. Government wanted to happen did happen!  The Japanese attacked and the bulk of the American population got pissed and wanted pay back!
Great Britain especially was glad, even hopeful, as was the U.S. Government, that the country had been attacked.  In Churchill's history of The Second World War he wrote of his emotions upon hearing that Japan had attacked United States forces at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Only "silly people, and there were many," underestimated American strength.  For him, the entry of the United States into the war meant that the ultimate outcome . . favorable for his country . . was now assured.  Feeling "the greatest joy" that the attack had arrayed his mother's country on the side of Britain; he "went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved and thankful."
Four days later Germany declared War on the United States.  Churchill was anxious for Americans to fight alongside the troops of his country.  So much so he immediately boarded the HMS Duke of York and made the transatlantic journey to the United States to arrive by December 22, and spend Christmas in the United States.  He addressed the Joint session of Congress on December 26, the day after Christmas!
I can't imagine what it must have been like to live in such times.  Faced with such uncertainties, and having to make such monumental decisions with such lasting consequences.  I think everybody probably grows up wanting to change the world in some way.  Unfortunately for humanity too many times the changes are made with weapons instead of education and cooperation.  Fortunately for humanity people fight the good fight and stomp the crap out of fascists and dictators, and keep the hope of liberty and freedom alive in the world, even if you don't get to live under its blessings.
We live in uncertain times today, where the world has grown closer and economies have become reliant on each other.  The weapons are more deadly and the troops can be utilized around the globe faster than ever before in history.  Even in America we are still fighting to keep our liberties and freedom from a government that wants to strip them from us.  These have already been bought and paid for, time and time again.  Thomas Jefferson was right, that we will always be at odds with the growth and control of our own government by the people from those who wish to be tyrants.  I look back at Pearl Harbor and I am thankful for the outcome.  I commend the leadership at the time for doing the horrendous things they had to do to ensure our involvement and eventual triumph over the tyrants of their age.
We will stop our tyrants of this age?  Will we have to go to world war again in the future?  Can the powers that be, the many countries of the world, and different religious factions find a way to co-exist or will the sabers have to be rattled on for another couple hundred years before people learn how to cooperate and get along together.
I imagine this has been asked over and over throughout history!  I am a soldier!  I always will be.  Even though I haven't been an active part of the U.S. Military for 20 some years, I will always be a soldier at heart.  A soldier of the soul from my Scottish Heritage, we have always been fighting since before we were known as Scots!  Soldiers more than anybody know the price of War and always want peace more than anybody.
Because I preach about Peace and Cooperation and the World working together to get along, never for a minute misconstrue it for weakness, ignorance, or stupidity.  I will fight if pushed; I will fight for those who cannot protect themselves.  I will fight my own government, God forbid, if they try and take away my freedom, liberties or weapons!  I am not alone!
Not my normal historical feel good post but it is from the heart and how I feel.
Amen!  Have a wonderful day!

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