27 July 1953-27 July 2014
Representatives of the United Nations, Korea, and China signed the Korean War armistice at Panmunjom, Korea, 27 July, 1953.
This was the “first” war whose events I remember first hand, mostly from the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, Washington, Theater’s “Movietone News” narrated by Lowell Thomas.
I remember my father being absent for “long” periods of time, as his squadron was “overseas,” and I remember asking, upon awakening one cold morning, my mother “Whose that man in your bed?” Of course it was my father, who had come home to our Quonset “hut” after my brother and I had been put to bed, the night before. In the interest of propriety, and my mother’s reputation, let me assure you that was the only time I remember a strange man being in her bed.
I have many memories of NAS Whidbey, the urgency of the times, the frustration with “another war,” though it was called a “Police Action;” the ineptness of the UN, formed to prevent such wars, and of course, hearing the voices of so many mothers and wives, on station stateside, cheering for their men, while living in fear they might never see them again.
The notion of “War” as a limited action, a partial victory, a moral affair… War is immoral, and by all reason, it should be unnecessary, but by God, if men’s lives and a nation’s treasure are to be committed to such folly, then such a price must only be paid for total victory, for the destruction of the enemy, for the perpetuation of our way of life.
War is not effort at state craft, it is not an extension of diplomacy; it is the absolute failure of both. When our elected leaders and politicians fail to use all methods at their disposal, when they lack the will to succeed peacefully, it is inevitable that they will lack the will to win militarily.
This is the history of my generation, of the “Boomer” generation. We sought to wage “rational” war, to fight “limited” war, almost preferring to avoid war at any cost, and then to use a “tailored” and proscribed “just the right amount of force” to accomplish what we failed to achieve through other halfhearted efforts, a delay of resolution, an avoidance of conflict.
Our parents, the “Greatest Generation of Americans,” war weary after four years of a brutal World War, after three years of a UN police action, walked away from a resolution of an aggressor’s act against an ally, and set a course of compromise and deferral that we follow even to this day.
Psychobabble, free association, free thought, free love have corrupted our national character and guided us into moral decay. Sentimental humanism, Euroamerican rationalization, and craven consumerism have so weakened our resolve, our self determination, that we are adrift on a sea of platitudes, of commercials, of material quests and childish impulses; there is no adult in the room. We are swamped with vivid colorful stimuli, over-awed with surround sound and the bass four beats to the bar, our heads bob in conformity to the latest twerky rhythm, we are a nation of consumers, not of citizens.
They, our parents, those who came earlier had cause to avoid War, it had become so much a part of their life. The horrors of Nazi Germany began in 1933, for twenty years the inevitability of War had hung over their heads, a noose awaiting a neck. They walked away from that rope on July 27, 1953, hoping, probably against hope, that War would be at an end.
We have had no such threat, we have had the greatest freedom from fear of War of any American generation; in fact, had not our fathers drawn out their unfinished business of Eastern Europe and the Asian Coasts, we might never have become the cannon fodder whose names see etched upon that great Memorial Wall resting in the shadow of Lincoln’s Memorial.
A cadre of Neo-cons, World-War born, and Boomers, sought to use military power surgically, to excise the demons and free the masses, and all, after Thirty years, proven to have been of no avail; the world is more dangerous to America today than it was in 1988, when Bush the First ascended the Capitol steps and took the Oath of Office as President.
History, it is said, teaches us lessons. Perhaps we have failed to go back enough, for we failed to understand that zealots and jingoists are a near immortal strain of humanity, that we are born animals who are easily bred and lead into brutality, viciousness, rapine and rape, conquest and dominance. True, we have a thin veneer of “civilization” about us, but that is most often expressed in our Culture, in the “Arts, in Dance, In Music, and in the fantasy we call “Literature” no more than the blatant attempt to escape some horror we know lurks within ourselves. And in government and politics, we manifest our civilized self in our pursuit of egalitarianism and pacifism.
Take a deep breath for a minute, then go back in time to another Republic that sought accommodation with an avowed enemy, a sworn enemy that sought to promote itself not as first among equals, as did the Republic, but as “First above all.” A bitter, elongated War ended in triumph for the Republic, and brought a dearly longed for respite from war and chaos, from privation and sacrifice. A peace was reached, not an unconditional surrender, but a negotiated peace, which while favoring the Republic, left open the opportunity for future instability, strife and conflict. In the interim, small wars through-out the Republic’s area of influence gave time for the enemy to regroup, strengthen itself economically and militarily, and once again wage war.
Now, while there are not direct parallels between the Punic Wars and our modern history, the lesson that must be understood, is that War, if it is to end, must end in the total destruction of an opposing culture, notice, I did not say an opposing army, but the culture which supports the army must be destroyed.
America, under the influence of both Neo-com and Progressive ideologies and leaders has failed to grasp this lesson. Military force should not be used to chastise oe weaken an opponent, it should be used, and only used, to utterly defeat an opponent, an to destroy the culture that promoted the opponent.
The outcome of three successive Punic Wars was ultimately the total destruction of Carthage by the Roman Republic, Only after this festering canker was excised from its world, was Peace restored in Rome, and for nearly seven centuries no threat appeared at the Gates of Rome.
It is time to understand that world peace will only occur when no culture is allowed to threaten the governance, religion, or body politic of another; it is time to quench the blood lust of Jihad with Jihadist blood. Actually, there shouldn’t be much blood, as it should be vaporized. No need for a World War, just the resolve to extinguish immediate and ancestral threats to our culture, with the full force of the nuclear weapons we should have used on the Korean Peninsula some 70 years ago, along the Yalu River, and above Soviet and Chinese Nuclear research facilities as well.
It is not too late, though the clock be ticking, the nuclear devices are much cleaner, anti radiation drugs and therapies are much more advanced, and whether you want to face it or not, only if all but one Nation is disarmed, will there ever be world peace.
Finish the business, or be finished. It is an existential and very personal decision, and if not faced now, who will you attack when a warhead kills twenty million Americans in the New York or Los Angles metropolis, or both? Who will your grandchildren wage war against when generations of immigrant infiltrators arise to enforce Sharia? Who, who, who?
Lou wrote: You have been reading Sherman. Man is an unfinished business, as you well know most wars have unsatisfactory conclusions. We are not going to eliminate entire cultures but we will eliminate known threats and can do so with intelligent use of necessary force. Hopefully some day we will be logically and emotionally as advanced as our tech/weapons and can cease these “police actions” which while frustrating, produce less carnage than even a Pickett’s type charge.Bull SullivanLou, who would have thought you were so…compassionate. Sherman is a late comer, Cato the Elder wrote inflammatory prose proposing a solution to the Punic problem, and before that Homer cites the intemperate speech of Menelaus, and then we read of the speeches of Nebuchadnezzar, Artaxerxes, and oh yes, Joshua, in our Sacred Text, the Bible, acting on the command of our God to slay every inhabitant, man, woman, and child, of every city the Jews took by force And it should be noted that God got quite angry when they failed, for various reasons, to do so..
You may think technology will lessen man’s dependence on violence, you may posit a future where all men will live in copacetic harmony, you may envision homo sapiens boarding Star Ships, beginning journey’s to colonize New Worlds, perhaps there is more truth in that vision then I can acknowledge, but the rest of humankind will wallow in dystopian misery, poverty and violence, just as they do now.
A fatal error was made when Truman failed to stop the Chinese at the Yalu, a gross treachery was committed when the Rosenberg’s gave the bomb to the Soviets, both acts committed out of compassion for people who are not at all like us, who are aliens in our midst. Had we disarmed the East in 1951, there would have been no Vietnam, no memorials to dead Americans on the mall, and little likelihood of muslim jihadists waging war against us.
Of course my speculation of a possible past future is no less unlikely than yours of a present future, but then that is what is unique about our culture, we can appreciate and respect different points of view, or, can we, anymore?
A few random thoughts, for what I recall is “your little red wagon…”:
Carnage? I have always believed it is more difficult to live well, than to die well, or as Patton said, “No…(one) ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb…(one) die for his country. The woman and children who support jihad are not innocent, they are merely there, just as the women and children of Jericho were merely there. War is sinful, war is murder, there is no moral high ground on which to stand. You survive, or you perish. and if you survive, you pray to God to be forgiven.
I believe that government of the people, by the people and for the people should not perish from this earth, and it galls me to quote such lofty sentiment spoken by such a despicable man, but to do nothing while all or even a plurality of mankind evolves into sentient beings is to do nothing at all, but perish.
Having exhorted man to mass murder in the name of preserving liberty, I will now pray for forgiveness, and a more rapid second coming, as I surely will be one “left behind …”