Reality Check

March/24/2008 6:19AM
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Since I started this blog I’ve begun to rethink everything I’ve always taken for granted. I will continue to add to this, but here’s a start on my personal reality check. 

In my lifetime we have been in four major wars. WWII, I was born less than a month after Pearl Harbor. Korea, Viet Nam, and now Iraq. Not to diminish Desert Storm, but it was such a success it’s hard to put that with the others. WWII was certainly not an option. My Dad and all the Dads went off to save us from total destruction. They did a great job. The aftermath was the beginning of our work as policemen. Even after you win a war you keep troops on the ground to insure the country you defeated behaves themself.  Korea was a different matter. Once China entered the picture we felt the need to pull out. North Korea is still a threat. Viet Nam was fought because Communism was going to take over the world and we couldn’t let that happen. I took the physical for Viet Nam and flunked. I lost some close friends in Nam. Others came home and never got it back together. I went down in a plane crash with a man who was a Marine Captain in Nam and had crashed in a helicopter there. If you have to survive a plane crash, this is a good man to do it with. Now Iraq. Our President says we need to do this to make America safe.

Two lessons from Viet Nam are forgotten. One, we left and nothing bad happened to us or Viet Nam. Communism died because it was not a good idea. Only Cuba holds out. They spent all their money on defense and went broke. That’s lesson number two. We did not defeat Communism. They defeated themselves.

Here’s my reality check. I suspect we can leave Iraq and nothing bad will happen to us. And, if we don’t we could end up like Communism. Our run as the leader of the free world may be drawing to a close. The cost of Iraq may be the final straw. Two trillion and counting may be too much even for us. Our form of government may be so distorted from where it was 50 years ago that it can’t continue.  We want to solve everyone’s problems but our own and everyone here gets to put their hands on the steering wheel. But, as you know, I believe you can’t drive anywhere without gas. It will be close to see whether we run out of money or gas first.

Two realities. We walked out on two wars and nothing changed. Many forms of government have come and gone in my short lifetime. Maybe ours is next.

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