On December 1, 2009 another President of the United States went in front of the American public to make a case for war, in this instance a continuation and escalation of the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. Within seconds of the completion of his speech at West Point the usual banal chatter, speculation and political posturing flooded all avenues of electronic communication.
During my nearly six decades of life almost every sitting Commander-in-Chief has had to justify to our citizens the need to commit troops to combat. Being a person who has watched The Magnificent Seven no less than fifty times, I certainly believe that the good guys should always save the village from the bandidos. And having also viewed Camelot on a number of occasions, I tend to align myself with the Arthurian tradition of “Might for the cause of Right.” So like many of my fellow citizens, I consider myself a peaceful man with a gunslinger’s heart.
On balance though, we as a nation or species have very little to show as a result of our armed squabbles. For most of mankind there has been little cause for celebration since the end of the Second World War. In the wake of our brutal and bloody ideological struggles there has been nothing but broken bodies, broken minds, broken souls, broken communities and broken promises. The current nature of warfare does not seem to allow for clearcut winners and losers, just days with a bit less bloodshed and a few less casualties. Perhaps this frustrating realization might cause all participants in the folly to finally make a case for peace…or at least a very long truce.
The staff and writers of American Public House Review raise a glass to all our men and women in the armed forces of the United States. We pray for their protection and safe return…and we look to that day when none of our soldiers will have to spend another Christmas in harm’s way.
Click on “Christmas in the Trenches” by John McCutcheon on YouTube.
Posted by: Chris Poh