The American Revolution was started by a small group of exceptional men and when underway supported by less than half of American colonists. The majority either remained loyal to the crown or just kept their heads down and didn't want to be involved. The War of 1812 began when the England's navy began a campaign of piracy and terrorism against American shipping and its army was making threatening noises along the Canadian border. The Spanish American War was largely a creation of the press with the ignition point the sinking of USS Maine in Havana Harbor. We stayed out of World War One for three years until it became obvious that Europe would not leave us alone in our desire to remain largely in isolation. WW I was the first war Americans saw on movies and it horrified them so that America again reverted to isolationism for thirteen years, two years after World War II started. The Japanese attack against Naval Station Pearl Harbor – coming upon two years of movies from the European war -- again tipped the nation unavoidably into war. The press supported the war effort and Americans saw again a sanitized version of the fighting.
But Americans got queasy about war with the heavy coverage of WW II during and after the war. When North Korea (China) invaded the south in 1950, the US, as part of the weak UN, was thrown into another war under treaty. Korea was the first modern war without public enthusiasm in the US and when it stumbled to a cease fire after three years most Americans just wanted to forget it and feel safe under the nuclear umbrella then provided against the Soviet Union in particular and communism in general. Since the cease fire, of course, South Korea has become one of the world’s most successful nations and its neighbors have all benefited.
Then came Vietnam. As with Korea, most Americans could not even find it on a map and were uncertain why we would again go to war to honor a treaty. Vietnam also occurred when the early baby boomers – having been raised by Great Depression/WW II parents intent upon ensuring that their kids would grow-up socially free- thinking, selfish, and unconcerned with the “strictures of society” – were safely in college “finding themselves” and damn sure they were not gonna be inconvenienced by something like a treaty commitment. Thus my generation – the result of many parents’ failed experiments in child-raising -- sadly, invented today’s politics of personal attack and social destruction for purely selfish self-gratification, as well as adopting the most efficient methods of Marxist propaganda, leading to a generation of surly Eloi, damned determined not to be inconvenienced by adulthood. The Vietnam War, angrily rejected by potential draftees just wanting to have fun, was also betrayed by a press comprised of older people seeking the approval of the baby boomers by setting a standard for inserting its personal opinions in news coverage. The result was an abandoning of the South Vietnamese by Congress which even after the US was out of the war, cut-off all funding, even for rifle ammunition for the South (sound familiar?) Two years later the communists rolled through SE Asia and savagely slaughtered between three and five million people who didn’t kiss pictures of Uncle Ho’s butt quickly enough. No one seemed to notice that the “anti-war protests” ended immediately after the draft ended in the US ended, even though the war continued for years and ended in such debacles as Cambodia’s Killing Fields. The pattern of selfish dishonesty and manipulation by the media and academia had been set.
On October 23, 1983, a hijacked truck drove to the US Marines' compound in Beirut and crashed into the lobby, detonating 12,000 pounds of TNT. The force of the explosion collapsed the four-story cinder-block building into rubble, crushing many inside. The resulting explosion was the largest non-nuclear explosion that had ever up to that time been detonated on the face of the Earth. Radical Islam had struck America, which since the 1920s had been heavily involved in the Middle East because of oil and since 1948 had been an ally of Israel. Subsequently, Islamic terrorists tried to blow-up the World Trade Center in New York with a truck bomb, attacked US embassies overseas with great loss of life, and on September 11, 2001, succeeded in destroying the World Trade Center and killing almost 3,000 people, mostly Americans. The shock of this attack finally got the US off the dime (if temporarily) and we responded with the beginning of what is known as the War on Terror.
In the nearly six years that have passed, the same college kids who helped force the abandonment of Southeast Asia to unspeakable communist butchery had become politicians, unionized teachers and professors, and press managers, their attitudes and beliefs unchanged for thirty-five years. The Left now preaches that the 9-11 attack was basically a law enforcement problem and that the US’ response in going to war against radical Islam was, at best, a mistake, and more likely, simply an excuse by evil conservatives and businessmen to somehow benefit from the waging of war. After all, it has been almost six years since the attack upon New York and our initial military response. Americans remain basically optimists and live in a short attention span world. Although we are afforded this rather care-free life by our having in the past stopped people who sought to destroy us, we remain reluctant to do anything that would get our hands dirty, or, even worse, bloody. The comforts afforded by our wealth, technology, and separation from the rest of the world by two oceans (not to mention the world’s best armed forces) has allowed the country to again be lulled again into a false sense of security. The majority of US voters are now reported (by my old classmates in the mainstream media) to be against the war against radical Islam in general (“Shriek! Racism!”) and against our continued fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Life is good. The stock market is roaring with money and the majority of Americans either hold private investments or belong to financial plans based upon the stock market. HDTV is here, as is PS3. The web allows anyone with a PC and a connection to sit in their den, sipping coffee, and talk and share pictures with someone else on the other side of the world. Even in outer space when NASA links a space shuttle to the internet. The most popular entertainment includes televised football, unknown singers seeking fame and stardom, and soap operas. Americans now demand “free” medical care, sumptuous retirement based upon someone else’s money, cheap energy, ever grander failed public schools, and a no-fuss life. Yes, some Americans are volunteering for military duty and are fighting and dying overseas, but they are, of course, the exception – people not very bright who have no other job opportunities and are basically to be pitied. So we can “support” them – these poor dumb slobs from West Virginia and Idaho and Tennessee -- while castigating what they do and calling them criminals and somehow keeping our heads from exploding over this impossible cognitive dissonance. Until we get hit hard again. For that is the essence of this. America remains a tipping point nation, most recently spoiled beyond the ability of earlier people to have believed. Until we get hurt badly again we are likely to waver over doing the hard, dirty work of defending ourselves. Thousands – perhaps hundred of thousands – more innocent Americans will have to be slaughtered by the world’s huge store of savages until we finally get to work. Meanwhile, liberals and leftists – enjoying their immediate lives of safety and great comfort earned for them by others -- will continue feel good about themselves as they pat one another on the back over who can call George Bush the worst names. We are in a lull. Lulls never last.
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