Sacrifice of American lives where their sacrifice was and is essentially for naught

A Limited War, Is A War That Shouldn’t Be Fought!

By —— Bio and Archives--April 14, 2010

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“In war, there is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change.  It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy, in the minimum amount of time.”  General George Patton Jr.

“It is fatal to enter any war, without the will to win it.”   General Douglas MacArthur

On the continent of Europe and throughout the Western Pacific, hundreds of thousands of brave Americans lay buried on foreign shores who gave their lives in the defense of American freedom and sovereignty, in World Wars I and II.  Tens of thousands more lay forever interred in cemeteries throughout America, as a collective symbol of their sacrifice for each of us.

Even thousands more are missing in action and their loved ones are forced to reside in permanent limbo over the fate of those they love.  Hundreds of thousands more who battled and lived, bear the physical and emotional scars of those wars we won in the first half of the Twentieth Century.

But then came the era of limited wars.  Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Iraq and now Afghanistan.  The result of these limited wars is the sacrifice of American lives where their sacrifice was and is essentially for naught, as no clear victory was, or will be achieved.

In Korea, a country now divided in North and South who are still in a silent war with each other, cost 36,000 American deaths, over 103,000 wounded and almost 4,800 missing in action, whose loved ones will never know their fate.  Today, over 37,000 American men and women still occupy the southern half of that country and are in grave danger every day.

The Korean war ended in a draw.  A draw mind you!  A draw by a primitive country against the most powerful nation on Earth?  How is that possible after winning World Wars I and II against mightier nations?

Could it be that General MacArthur was right when he wanted to cross the Yalu River into China and attack the source of North Korea’s military machine?  Could he have brought the war to a shorter end?  Would Korea now be one country instead of a divided country?  Could he have saved American lives by taking on the Chinese while they were still relatively weak?  We’ll never know.

In Vietnam over 58,000 American men and women of the armed services lost their lives, over 153,000 were wounded and almost 2,500 are still missing in action, whose loved ones will never know their fate.  We ended the Vietnam war by cutting and running with our tail between our legs, having left many of our dead, wounded, MIA’s and prisoners on the battle field.  Once again we entered a limited war that we refused, or didn’t have the stomach to win.

This author had a close high-school friend who entered Vietnam as an Army Ranger, before the build up.  He was captured and spent two and half years as a prisoner of war in either Cambodia or Laos.  From his description of the events, his escape from captivity would have made a movie, but alas he was forgotten by his country and was repatriated with severe injuries, without any notice of his ordeal, nor not one single medal in acknowledgement for what he gave for his country.  The injuries he received in captivity plagued him for the rest of his life.  He died in great pain on July 4, 2006 as a result of the brutal treatment he received at the hands of his captors.  We keep asking, what did his sacrifice, or the sacrifice of others who died or were wounded in that limited war, achieve?

In tribute to his sacrifice, we wrote an article entitled, “In A Soldier’s Name” and delivered it in person at a 4th of July celebration last year.  The article also appeared in several venues across America.

Since 2001, men and women have been dying and have been and are being wounded on the battle fields of Iraq and Afghanistan.  At least 4,500 have died and over 30,000 have been wounded in Iraq.  The numbers of dead and wounded continue to grow in Afghanistan.

In short order, we drove Saddam Hussein’s regime out of Kuwait in the gulf war, after a massive American military build up.  We then ousted him from power in less than a month in the second Iraq war.  But in contrast, we have spent the last eight years fighting a limited war, instead of doing what we did to achieve victory in World War II and that is outright subjugation and non-conditional surrender by the entire population of the countries we conquered.

When we bombed the cities of Germany, we gave only slight consideration to collateral damage.  Many cities were bombed into oblivion and whatever the bombs didn’t destroy, fire storms consumed the rest.  Collateral damage (that’s innocent civilians) was very high.  However, before we carpet bombed Germany, Hitler had engaged in a vicious blitz on London, without any regard whatsoever to collateral damage.

We brought the Pacific war to a halt after four torturous years and heavy loss of life, with nuclear bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  The collateral damage was enormous, but the result was Americans that did not have to die or be wounded in the forceful occupation of Japan.  The other result was unconditional surrender by the Japanese civilian and military leaders, who took brutality in war to a degree more savage than ever recorded in most of human history.

America did not start the European and Pacific wars but they finished them and America was the victor.  We then set about to rebuild both countries and American taxpayers footed the bill.  No other country but a generous, fair and a gentle America would do such a thing.

Unfortunately, in all wars since World War II, we have entered into the failed policy of limited engagements and victory has been so blurred as to be unrecognizable.  Did we win a victory in Iraq?  Not likely.  They are still blowing each other up and could easily descend into civil war the minute we leave.  What then will the sacrifice of our brave and courageous military and the American taxpayers have achieved, if the ground they gained is returned to a condition, perhaps even worse than what it was under Saddam Hussein, civil war?

Will we win a victory in Afghanistan?  Again, very unlikely.  Government corruption, tribal savagery and living conditions that date back almost 2,000 years, make any hope of victory almost impossible, without completely conquering the country and then bringing it into the 21st Century, at great cost in men, materials and money.  But then, even if we do re-build the country, how do you expunge the savage out of the tribal inhabitants of that land?

What then will have been the fruits of the sacrifice of our brave men and women who were asked by their country to engage in limited wars, where a clear victory was not America’s objective?  A war in which our men and women have their hands tied by policies that inhibit their ability to kill the enemy, destroy the enemy’s ability to make war and instead get killed themselves.  Had these policies been in place during World War II and all previous wars, America would have never survived as a free and sovereign country.  If we continue to fight wars with these failed policies, America’s future is in grave doubt as a free, prosperous and mighty nation.

The world we live in is dangerous, destructive and deadly.  To not be prepared to take on the insane or narcissistic bullies that would inflict pain upon us on a whim, is both foolhardy and suicidal.  The leaders and the people of many countries hate us and would love to do us harm.  Even today, there are still Japanese and Germans who hate us for what we did in World War II.  There are still Americans who hate the Germans and the Japanese for what they did to America during World War II.

War breeds hate and revenge and inflicts collateral damage.  If we shrink in fear because of the hate and collateral damage that could result in war, we limit our ability to win.  If we limit our ability to win, brave Americans die needlessly.  That is the real tragedy of a limited war and way too many Americans have died needlessly because America did not have the will to win, or have the good sense not to enter the war in the first place.

Any current and future wars that America engages in, had better have five unshakeable policies, if victory is truly America’s goal.  1) Kill the heads of government or other entities that are directing the war; 2) destroy all means of manufacturing or transporting the weapons of war; 3) use whatever force is necessary to bring the rest of the enemy nation to its knees, where the only alternative is to surrender unconditionally; 4) should other adjacent nations stick their nose in the fight, a strong warning should be issued immediately to that nation that if they persist, their centers of power, those that occupy those centers and their military installations will be destroyed and have the will and courage to do just that.  And finally 5) the larger super powers of Russia and China should be engaged diplomatically to bring pressure to bear on smaller nations to leave well enough alone, in order to prevent the outbreak of an unthinkable, third World War.

War is its own horror and should never be entered into without the will and dedication to win.  Any other type of war should never be fought.

Let us close with a grateful tribute to the brave men and women who swear on oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all foreign enemies.  They are the most dedicated and well-trained fighting men and women in the world.  Our gratitude to their ready, willing and able sacrifice should be constant, highly visible and never-ending.  God bless them, one and all.


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Ron Ewart -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Ron Ewart, President, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RURAL LANDOWNERS. An organization dedicated to re-establish, preserve, protect and defend property rights.

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