Thursday, November 12, 2009

Veterans Day

I think it is great that our country, for the most part, supports our military. It hasn't always been the case. I spent the entire Vietnam War in the Navy, and the response to the troops was disgraceful. People who avoided service by deceptive means or with "a trip to Canada" were respected: go figure. Recently, the Vietnam War Traveling Wall was in our little town and the response was amazing. More than five thousand signed the visitor's log, coming from twenty states and countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, and Australia. For those unfamiliar with this Memorial, it is a half size replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. It contains 58,261 names of the men and women who gave their lives in an effort to stop Communism's advance into South Vietnam. The first to die was in 1959. Apparently we had advisers there much longer than the public was told. The last to die was in 1975. The Vietnam War (it was never declared a war) lasted for Americans seventeen years! While I am sure that the history books will tell you otherwise, the "war" lasted nearly as long as the rest of our wars put together. I served from 1959 until retiring in 1978, so I had the "opportunity" to see how our military was treated.

I noticed that when President Bush was in office, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were very unpopular with the public. However, instead of spitting on our troops and calling them baby killers, the public "supported the troops" while placing all their wrath on the Commander-in-Chief. Now, we have a new President and from what I can gather from the media, he can do no wrong. And yet, there are signs that his rhetoric is just that: rhetoric. In February, Congress approved the sending of seventeen thousand troops in addition to those already in country. They have yet to arrive. President Obama is still evaluating the situation. He had declared that he would bring the troops home within a year of his taking office, but they are still there. In fact, by redirecting his attention to Afghanistan, he has jeopardized our troops in Iraq. I guess decision making is much harder in the oval office, than as a community organizer in Chicago. Now, he is considering sending thirty thousand more troops to Afghanistan, while making no mention of how he will get our troops out of Iraq. This reminds me of a newspaper headline during the Vietnam War that said Johnson was bringing twenty-five thousand troops home, and no one noticed that he had authorized the sending of forty-five thousand the very same day. Such hypocrisy. My observation is that ever since the Korean War, our Presidents have run the military based upon political polls. I will say this for George W. Bush; he wasn't afraid to take an unpopular stand and he had the guts to stick with his decision!

God is not a Republican, nor is He a Democrat, but He is pleased with politicians who put the well-being of their citizens above political gain. He would have us all do good, love mercy, and walk humbly before Him in serving America. In fact, He is not an American either, and He would have us look out for His children who live in every nation on this planet. When He said to allow the children to come to Him, America, as we know it, did not exist. Bottom line: political decisions should take into consideration what is best for the world as a whole. Helping the helpless, defending the defenseless, feeding the hungry, and freeing the captives are just of few of things our politicians should consider basic to decision making. Whatever our President does, it should match what he said to get elected. And that is not easy to do!

No comments:

Post a Comment