The Realities and the Aftermath of War

People often forget that a Soldier’s mission is to fight and win the nations wars, and that war is a brutal, savage endeavor. In the confusion, the chaos and the fog of war men are called on to make split second decisions about hurting other human beings, and the slightest bit of hesitation can get one maimed or killed. To survive requires a mindset that puts in gear the classic “kill or be killed outlook”. It is a dark place and only those who have gone there can truly understand. During the Iraq war there was an outcry when cameras captured Marines firing on an enemy combatant who appeared to be wounded, lying on the ground, and not a threat to anyone. What the cameras did not capture and people did not know was after that battle, some combatants continued to attack while pretending to be dead or wounded-and while being truly wounded. The people sitting in judgement in TV land saw cruelty. The men in the midst of the battle had to make a quick judgement call and respond to what appeared to be another “wounded” combatant preparing to fire on them. It is easy for people to lose sight of these harsh realities when sitting thousands of miles away in the comfort of their living room.

People spit out nice sounding clichés like “war is not the answer” and “make love not war” they philosophically declare that “nobody wins a war,” but in a world where evil exists; these clichés mean nothing. The aggressive use of force is sometimes necessary in order to stop evil and give peace a chance to thrive. Make no mistake about it, Soldiers do not delight in war, for it is “the soldier above all others who prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war” (General Douglas McArthur). On June 6 1944 allied forces led by American Soldiers were called upon to bear the scars of war in a battle unlike any before it. Young men said goodbye to family, friends, fiancés and other loved ones in their lives, to answer the call. They understood that they might never see their loved ones again. Many paid the ultimate price in answering that call, others came back permanently scarred. They never attempted to shirk the heavy burden that they were called to bear, but responded to the sense of duty that they had. These men knew that they had the full support of a grateful nation, they understood that their cause was just, and they gave their all confronting evil, and in defense of freedom. No one back home was protesting the war, no one was offended by the concept of American might, there were no peaceniks demanding that we give diplomacy a chance. Americans understood that a decisive victory was needed. The allies defeated Hitler’s Army at a costly price and liberated the people who were held captive by his iron grip. The world soon learned the shocking depths of depravity to which people can sink when the plight of the Jews in the Holocaust became known.

Americas fighting forces are the most compassionate, have shown the most grit and determination, and shown the world that freedom is worth the cost of the ultimate price. America, like individuals is not perfect, but America is the greatest entity for good in the world, while also vigorously and unapologetically pursuing its interests (as it should). The sacrifices that America’s service men and women have made the world over has helped to usher in an era of prosperity in the different regions of the world that they have liberated. Western Europe experienced unparalleled economic growth, peace, political and economic stability, with Germany becoming the third biggest economy in the world and the mecca of engineering, Japan rose to become and industrial giant and an economic power, becoming the second biggest economy in the world. After the surrender of Japan, and the United States Military took control of South Korea they sacrificed another fifty-five thousand Soldiers in defense of South Korea five years later to beat back the forces of the invading North Korean Army. South Korea eventually went on to become the fourth largest economy in the world and the premier ship builders on the planet. Compare the countries where there continued to be an American presence and the countries where the Soviet Union remained. Look at North Korea today, East Germany during the split of the country, the countries that formed the Warsaw Pact and African Nations that aligned themselves with Russia/The Soviet Union. All of these countries experienced unprecedented misery, suffering, economic disaster, political chaos and corruption. There are no success stories!

It is interesting to note that the two American Military campaigns where no American Military presence was left or significant aid continued, both countries soon also became catastrophic failures. On both occasions the Military effort was sabotaged by liberal politicians in pursuit of their ideology, and the desire to embarrass their political opponents. Despite American Soldiers being portrayed as barbarians, scenes of the war being beamed nightly to living rooms, and people calling for withdrawal from Vietnam, American Soldiers were able to overcome the Vietcong, forced them to concede, and got them to sign the Paris peace agreement in 1973. America left Vietnam but continued providing Military aid to the South in order to keep the North at bay and ensure they upheld their part of the agreement. After the peace agreement was signed, a liberal Democratic congress swept into power in the United States and they proceeded to cut off Military aid to South Vietnam. With no more Military aid to the South, the North resumed their attacks and South Vietnam fell. The slaughter of five million people in the killing fields of Laos and Cambodia followed the fall of Saigon. To liberal politicians, their ideology was more important than the sacrifices made by America’s Service men and women, and more important than the slaughter of those millions of people. True to form liberals would give a repeat performance during the Iraq war. After voting to send more American’s into harm’s way based on information they had, they then proceeded to do everything in their power to sabotage the war effort. Who can forget the words of Harry Reid when he stood up on the Senate floor said “Mr. President this war is lost.” Once again the prowess of American fighters prevailed and they gained another victory for their country, and once again liberal ideology trumped the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces. After so much blood and sacrifice, American troops pulled out of Iraq. The country quickly regressed into chaos and the scourge of ISIS was borne.

Recently someone wondered aloud if the victories of World War two would be possible today. With the carnage, the savagery, the deaths of civilians and all of the other catastrophic side effects of war being broadcast on TV every night, how would the American public and Politicians react today? As America reflects on the sacrifices of those brave men who stormed the beaches of Normandy seventy two years ago, remember that they were successful because they were given the tools that they needed to succeed, perhaps the most important tool being the political will to follow through on the commitment that its leaders had made.

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