Monday, September 15, 2014

War is Politics by Other Means (von Clausewitz)

I was born 6 weeks before the end of WWII. June of 1945. After VE Day and before the Japanese surrendered in August. There was dancing and kissing in the streets all over the world because war was over.

It wasn’t…

We had advisors and flyers and boots on the ground for the Nationalist Chinese against Mao, until the Mao beat them and the nationalists retreated to Taiwan in 1949.

After the surrender of Japan the US sent a Military advisory group to Korea in 1945. In 1950 the Korean War started. At the same time we had a Military advisory group in Vietnam to work with the French. The French lost in 1956 and Viet Nam was partitioned into North and South like Korea. At that point we upped the number of advisors and supported corrupt politicians in the south.

In the early 60’s we had the Cuban Missile Crisis, our first intervention into Lebanon, intervened in Egypt, troops in the Dominican Republic all before the Vietnam War escalated. The Vietnam War ended in 1975 after 58,000 Americans were killed and tens of thousands were wounded. Things calmed down for a few years and then in 1979 we began assisting the Afghans against the Soviet Union. We got involved in the Congo and Liberia and other African countries. In the 80’s we backed Saddam’s Iraq against the Iranians. Then sold the Iranians arms to have the “off the books money” to supply the Contras in Nicaragua. We had another disaster in Lebanon and 247 Marines were killed. We attacked Libya a few times. We invaded Grenada and backed Britain against Argentina in the Falklands War and poked around some more in South and Central America. (we’d been doing that since the end of WWII)

In the 90’s we invaded Panama, got involved in Somalia and the Balkans. And had the First Gulf War, shot down an Iranian airliner filled with families and businessmen.

At the turn of the century we invaded Afghanistan and then went to war in Iraq under false pretenses. We’re still there. And we are blowing the trumpets and beating the drums for more war.

I’m 69 years old and I’m hard pressed to come up with 5 years of my life when my country wasn’t at war, threatening war or assisting other countries in making war and I’ve almost forgotten about spending most of my life under the threat of nuclear annihilation. 



  1. It's a helluva record isn't it? Do you think there's been any profits made?