Friday Firesmith – Why War

Friday firesmithAll you really need to be anti-war is a good sense of history. Wars rarely end well. In fact, most end poorly for one side, the other side, and sometimes for both sides and everyone else around them. War pretty much sucks. Yet every time we turn around there is someone out there who thinks we ought to go riding in to save someone else from certain doom. The sky is falling, once again, and only America can fix it.

How’d that work out last time?

The intervention to end all interventions was Viet Nam. We stayed there until 58,222 American service members were killed. Another 1,500 or so were never accounted for and are presumed dead, except for those people who listen to talk radio and believe they’re still being held captive.

We went into Nam to help prop up and unpopular government and as the years went by things went from terrible to oh my god can’t we just leave and not care what happens to these people anymore?

In 1962 President Kennedy, Secretary of Defense McNamara, and their military advisors decided to stay in Nam not because it was the right thing to do but because they simply couldn’t find a way out. At that time there were fewer than three hundred American dead.

But then there was Iraq One and then there was Iraq Two and then there was Afghanistan Version 399.76 because everyone on earth has invaded that country at one point in time or another.

It ends poorly. Stay out of the place!

But we were certain that Desert Storm, the First Gulf War, was right. It did end well, didn’t it? Except that there we were, just a Bush removed from the first war and then we were there again.

So what happened after we left Nam? There was a bloodbath and a lot of people were killed. We left Iraq and now the blood is beginning to flow again. What in the hell did we expect to happen? We took out the world’s tenth strongest military and we replaced it with some people who did business with us when we took out their government. The people who played by our rules were not those people who would one day get the people to follow them, hey, that does sound like Nam, doesn’t it?

When you go into a country and kill some folks and blow things up, you might as well kill as many people as you can and just keep the place, like we did over here in America. That’s how wars are won. If you aren’t interested in that, what the hell are you doing? It’s like kicking in someone’s door but not taking everything and telling them you’re a friend because you didn’t.

Our government has no idea how to conduct a war or why wars are waged.

We ought to just get out before we get back in. We ought to tell people, “We’re sorry, but you’re just going to have to fight your own wars because when we do it the results are never what we expect.”

That’s pretty much reason enough never to go to war again, unless we mean it.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.


22 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – Why War”

  1. I understand what you are saying, but I do believe that someone has to do something and unfortunately that means us or U.S. if you will. For whatever reason, Islam seems to have a penchant for world domination and radicalism and if someone doesn’t give Isis a slapdown that radical group in Malaysia or Indonesia or Bosnia might think they can do the same. Idk what the solution is, but I also don’t think it can go unchecked. Look what happened when Dorthy slapped the lion.

    • Yes, Galen, I would gladly base our foreign policy on a movie made in 1938 about the magical land of Oz.

      It would be leaps and bounds better than what we’ve had for the last twenty years or so.

  2. My dad was LURPS in Vietnam. He’s 72 yrs old. To this day, when anyone walks up behind him, he jumps. He’s been stateside since 1967. It left a lasting impression. And that’s the harmless one.
    I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, that both my grandfathers were WW2 vets, one of then was interred in a German prisoner of war camp for 18 months. The one who wasn’t captured however,had nightmares the rest of his life, he opened up a concentration camp. I cannot imagine the horror. We see the photos, I’m sure they have nothing on the experience.
    I can’t count the number of veterans I know, I’ve known, from WW1 to the current situation, they all have one thing in common. They all say it’s senseless. Not a single one of them wants to get back out there and kill again. I used to tend bar at an American Legion post, every vet there was the same.
    My mother always says: follow the money, the older I’ve become, the more I’ve realized how truly wise she’s always been.

  3. Chick, you’re mom was absolutely correct. In the Middle East, the money is pumped from the ground. Just ask them oil men fellers who used an attack by Saudis as an excuse to go fight some other guy who had nothing to do with the Saudi attack.

  4. I’d go back further and ask what the hell we were doing in Korea?
    The basic premise is you go to war when you’re attacked, became when you’re threatened, to include preemptive action which would prevent another Pearl Harbor.
    But now the definition of a threat has become so bastardized it’s become the go-to reason for anything/everything they send the military to do.

    Then there’s NATO, SEATO, and all the treaties that say mutual aid. But they really mean the US has to go save yet another country’s ass, even from their own people trying to dump a corrupt government.

    I guess that’s payback for making nice with so many corrupt regimes, as long as they kept the rabble from interfering with our corporate interests.

    But alas, you can’t say never, because that takes that very powerful option off the negotiation table. How about, not without a damn good reason… and Exxon/United Fruit is not a damn good reason.

  5. How well did the ‘let everything be’ strategy work out September 11th, 2001 or Dec 7th 1941? I’m not saying war is right or good, sometimes it’s just necessary. As a nation, we just need to figure out when it is necessary and when it is not.

    • Ebars,

      I’m pretty certain that the embargo we hit Japan with was enough to get them looking for a fight.

      Now, 9-11? I’m pretty sure that other than invading Saudi Arabia, there was nothing we could have done, militarily, to stop that.

      • Actually 9-11 was a result of the first Gulf War as Saudi Arabia let us station some troops there. That did not make bin Laden happy and he said as much. Essentially saying he would attack the US unless we removed our troops from there. Shortly after 9-11, Bush closed down the base. So, yes there was good chance 9-11 could have been prevented.

  6. One of the reason we went into Nam was to show off all our “toys of destruction”. The cold war was “heating up” and Nam, and desert storm was just the U.S. Putting “theirs on the table” to show how big and bad we are. Remember the video of smart bombs? Probably put the fear in our Cold War adversaries and any new kid on the block”. It certainly said we don’t even have to land our troops there, we can surgically remove you.

  7. Does anybody else remember Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex? We’ve got all these companies that make bombers, warships, munitions, tanks, etc. They have to be used so they can make money to make more war toys.

  8. OJ? He’s got a great web site, accessed by “slash,slash, backslash, escape”
    Barb, you’re spot on with the MIC Ike warned us about.

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