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The Candid Conservative: The cowards of polital adventurism
Saturday, 02 October 2021 11:58
“There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.” 
– Sun Tzu


Special to the Daily Planet

Since WWII, America has fought four major conflicts. Each ended in surrender.

Politicians – our politicians – embraced those foreign entanglements, micro-managed them, and, in the end, betrayed the people who were called on to fight in them.

There are a number of conclusions culturists should take from Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and our latest fiasco in Afghanistan.

None have anything to do with honor, freedom or truth.


Do not trust America

In our first political war, we responded to North Korea’s attack on the south with astounding effectiveness. We won essentially the entire Korean peninsula and then allowed China to step in. We surrendered half of what we’d won, and have endured the consequences for 70-plus years.  

I was 18 when, after 10 years, we began to peel away from Vietnam.

I watched it play out one closed fire support base, airfield and troop concentration at a time. 

I watched the other side attack from the north and test the readiness of the South Vietnamese Army. 

I watched them learn that even with overwhelming air support, the ARVN could barely hold their own. 

I watched them understand that all they had to do was be patient with America’s “Peace with Honor” charade.

They gave us some of our POWs and waited until they could confidently invade without fear of America’s political promise to re-enter the conflict with airpower, supplies and other support. We sat still, and the north won quickly.

In Iraq we came in with a fierce determination that evolved into political mush. We unleashed ISIS, betrayed almost everyone allied with us in the fight, and left behind what is essentially a vassal state of the number one terror exporter in the world – Iran.

In Afghanistan we decided to invade a country where nobody – even Afghans – has ever won a war. We exported a temporary layer of American pretense, spent thousands of lives, two-trillion dollars, and 20 years to end up trapped in our own fabrications and betrayed by our own politicians and senior military leadership.

There are many lessons in these defeats.


Dog-paddling is not a sincere form of war

If there is anything true about fighting of any sort, once you decide to enter the fray, you’d better bring your enthusiasm. Half-heartedness assures one thing – you lose.

Amazingly, in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, a major reason we lost was a duplication of error. We left the enemy with a sanctuary.

MacArthur was right in insisting we bomb the connecting bridges between Korea and China and under no circumstances allow China to enter that fray without penalties. Politics won against courage and reason.

For the vast majority of the Vietnam War, we maintained “no-fly” zones over crucial strategic sanctuaries like Haiphong harbor, Hanoi and areas in neighboring countries. The North Vietnamese Army and their Chinese and Russian allies exploited these gifts to great advantage.

When we removed those restrictions, the war went our way, but we were politically unwilling to sustain the pressure. We sacrificed almost 57,000 American lives on top of hundreds of thousands of civilian and ARVN casualties.  

Throughout the Iraqi war, our internal adversaries were supplied, protected and coordinated through Iran. We never held Iran accountable and our politicians were relentlessly willing to allow our troops to absorb the consequences.

Amazingly, in Afghanistan the sanctuary was Pakistan. You know, the guys who hid Obama Bin Laden next to their military academy while they absorbed $1 billion-plus a year in aid from America for the entire span of the war.

If you wonder why the Taliban was able to muster a well-supplied, well-led and successful fighting force in such a short period of time, it was because “our friends” in Pakistan purposefully provided sanctuary, planning and the tools of war.

By confusing dog-paddling with action, bad leaders have killed a lot of good soldiers and left behind a wake of crushed promises.

What’s it all mean?

It means that a country that can’t protect its own borders, elect honest, wise or principled leaders, manage its own finances, or unite behind much of anything but its own pleasures, is not going to succeed at nation building in foreign lands.

It means that in pretending we can, we’ve spent tomorrow’s defense dollars on yesterday’s illusions. China knows that we’ve done that and one day they will make sure we know it too.

It means the majority of the electorate have been trained to vote for what’s in their best personal interests instead of grander things that once guided our balloted hand.

It means that we have cultivated a generation of liars in governance, industry, technology, religion, education, science and the military who’re taking the heart out of our country.

It means that we have strayed from the values, faith and standards that made America great and are assured to be increasingly confronted with our folly.

Tragically, it means that America is no longer a nation to be trusted.

That doesn’t mean you or I need to become cynical, angry or reclusive. None of those things will help.

Individual beacons of light and truth matter now more than ever....



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