John L. Katchelman: Forever Wars
US helicopters leave Saigon and Kabul
Guest post by John Katchelman, Jr.
From the ruin of Churchill’s Gallipoli campaign comes these words from a soldier’s diary. “These English are very interesting. Either not very smart, or reckless: in a foreign land, in a shallow stream, they set up a breakfast table. Jams, tea, sugar, bisquits, chocolate, butter, cheese, forks and knives. We raided them of course. Some are dead. Others are dying. How terrible. A little while ago they were enjoying their morning tea, now they are dying. I don’t know these English and they don’t know me. I curse the ones responsible for pitting us against each other. I pray for not having to fire another unnecessary bullet again” (First Lieutenant İsmail Hakkı, Ottoman Army, 16th Division, 36th regiment, 15 August 1915, Suvla Bay, Gallipoli).
A new term has been introduced in the American language—“the forever war.” This term identifies the endless military conflicts marking our nation—Europe, the Caribbean, Korea, Vietnam, Beirut, Somalia, Sudan, the Philippines, Iraq, Afghanistan, and far too many others to list that are found in the open files and far more are recorded in covert files. The term does not define national pride in vanquishing evil, but describes the political sphere by which our military is manipulated and distressed. Today’s military records more suicides than ever; more “woke” regulations demoralize the warriors and compromises our strength; more civilian applications from military thinktanks; and, more constraints on true military operations.
And, the political manipulation of the “forever war” continues. It may be different theatres of combat, but it continues. Under the cloak of “national security” is a reckless abandon that politicians use for profit and power.
Here is an interesting development: The Senate is voting to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that provided authorizations for the military’s presence in Iraq. Last Thursday, the Senate held a procedural vote to repeal the 2002 and 1991 AUMF in Iraq. It passed 68-27. The question begging to be answered is why are there 27 votes to maintain the AUMF? Why perpetuate the forever war? The issue is not Red or Blue but Purple—both sides of the Congressional aisle have history in this issue.
Historic realities of the forever wars
Mankind’s civilization can be charted by the armed conflicts decimating cultures, murdering millions, and justifying “political expediency” that coerces compliance to the politically correct governing’s perspective.
Bloodthirsty politicians and weapons manufacturers eagerly promote the “forever wars” as a lab, testing their new technologies. Who benefits from these forever wars? Not the populations on the battlefields. Not the troops and workers sent into the theatres. There is a great money-making profit in war and the lack of war means some groups are not getting enough money.
An incompetency in the Presidency and a failed popular opinion fuels forever wars. Is it coincidence that when the political party in power begins to tank in public opinion, that it takes the public’s focus and attention off the miserable national performance of the Administration by stoking WWIII fears on the international plane?
Each “forever war” begins with the politicians, merchants of death, and financiers looking to see how they can profit from the conflict. There is a callous disregard for the humanity and rights of those who become the prey for the Lords of War.
It is not unpatriotic to question the motives of POLS clamoring for deployment of combat units. As the Turkish soldier wrote, “I curse the ones responsible for pitting us against each other. I pray for not having to fire another unnecessary bullet again.” I support our military and have countless actions involving their participation, but I cannot support the political agenda that uses these brave warriors for politically obscene profit as they are manipulated to “fire another unnecessary bullet.”
National sovereignty and forever wars
Scan the annuals of history and note how often the invasion and occupation of another nation was used to justify forever wars. This historical pattern leads me to these points of consideration:
Each nation is a sovereign entity and responsible for providing its citizens the respect and governing that allows peace and prosperity to exist.
It is not possible for one nation to be the “world’s policeman.” Most nations do not want the rules of another nation forced upon them. The sovereignty of each nation decides that nation’s governing.
A basic principle is cast aside by the supplanting of national sovereignty—the population of the nation deciding how it is governed. The governing should be by educational reasoning where the population examines its options and decides which is best. Too many populations simply march in goose-step to the politicians’ decrees and never question the morality of whether it is right or wrong (and there is a prevailing, over-reaching morality that applies worldwide).
It is not one nation’s place to “build nations” as the arrogant politicians imagine, or, “to mandate behavior” as the politicians deem necessary for another culture and political structure.
Nations are NOT in the “nation building” operational mode for AUMF (whether overt or covert)! The military is not designed for social work services. Nations are to be focused on THEIR own governing, THEIR population’s rights, and maintain justice for THEIR citizens without bias. Their focus is to be on THEIR population!
Common Sense and forever wars
For one nation to authorize military involvement in another nation, unless its security is threatened with absolute evidence, is contrary to common sense. Why should a nation use military force on the basis of feigned threats or imagined evil? And yet, history shows that justifications for invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation have historically been used. (Think back to the “1939 Defensive War” justified by Hitler saying Poland had attacked Germany and that Germans in Poland were persecuted with a bloody terror. But nothing was revealed about Stalin’s part in this Faustian bargain). And yet, in spite of history, this devilish dealing continues in the political realms. Here are some thoughts associated with this point.
It is an utter idiotic delusion to think a “one-world governing” system will be successful in resolving the evil that plagues the earth. The utter failure of this humanistic governing philosophy is seen in the failed “League of Nations” and its inept successor “The United Nations.” If nothing more, these two failed attempts highlight the evil divisiveness and oppression that ungodly governments wish to force upon others. The one-world governing, envisioned by some, enthrones a despotic committee to mandate issues and ultimately history shows from that committee will emerge a supreme Despotic Dictator who cares nothing about the populations under his rule.
It is the sovereign nation’s obligation to govern WITHIN ITS BOUNDARIES and NOT overreach or invade and oppress another nation.
If a government cannot agree with the situations in other nations, they have a choice—they can choose to have nothing to do with them.
It is the sovereign nation’s duty to sustain a defensive posture that protects its citizens from harm and that assures its population of God-given rights belonging to each human.
It is the citizens’ duty to stand up, boldly proclaim, and tenaciously defend their land—Gadsden’s flag aptly summarizes this duty—“Don’t tread on me!”
There must be benevolent assistance offered from nation-to-nation, or better yet is the operational mode of citizen-to-citizen. John Donne was spot-on “No man is an island entire of itself; Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” Even better is Inspiration’s urging “Let us do good to all men” (The Bible, Galatians 6:10). We were not created to live in an isolated vacuum but neither were we created to crush, oppress or destroy because of political arrogance.
Evil must be punished and not ignored. But when justice is meted it must be carefully discerned and rationally justified with neither a hyped fabrication of “evidence,” nor the manipulation of public opinion. Failure to do so spirals into catastrophic ruin and destroys millions of lives!
A final plea
Do not ignore the reality that a population’s indifference to the Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) on foreign soils will eventually evolve into a coercive instrument within the nation itself.
Even today we are sarcastically told that “domestic terrorists” will face our fighter jets and missiles. An even more troubling query asks, just who determines the definition and application of “domestic terrorists”? Ask the J6ers who have been incarcerated, abused and denied basic Constitutional rights how this works for them.
And…the population yawns as they slowly slide into the historical rut leading to totalitarianism.
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