Friday, October 23, 2009

How'd we get to this point?

Winston Churchill once said, "The farther back into the past you look. The further into the future you can see." There have been so many lessons in America's history that could have taught us to avoid war. General Robert E. Lee, the greatest tactician in the American Civil War, won almost every battle field encounter. Yet, The Confederacy lost the war. The combined forces of The US military won every battle field encounter, including the Tet offensive, yet the Viet Nam war was considered a loss. But battles don't win wars. Wars are not the property of the military. War is the property of the leadership of a nation. In our country, war and the power to start it belongs to the Congress. They can't just "Cry Havoc. And set loose the dogs of war" as Caesar said. They must have a strategy. A "WHY" and a "When" and a "Where' and a "When it's over." The congress says go, and the military responds. But the congress must stipulate the end objective.

Lets take a look into the "WAY-BACK Machine" to the time of early Rome. The lessons we learned in school when I was a boy told of Hannibal. Everyone knows he marched across the Alps with Elephants to conquer Rome. If that was his strategy, then why is there still a Rome? Truth be known, conquest of Rome was never his objective. Hannibal was from Carthage, somewhere in northern Africa. I say somewhere , because Archeologists still aren't sure exactly where. More on that in a minute.
The fledgling Roman empire had cut off the trading ports in central and northern Italy. So the Carthaginians were forced to go through the the Iberian peninsula (modern day Andorra, Portugal and Spain) to conduct trade with Europe. Hannibal's father Hannibal 1, was general of the army and his hatred of Rome and everything Romish was passed on to his son, Hannibal II. So when his father died, Hannibal carried the torch. He was a ruthless leader. When any his field generals lost in battle, Hannibal would have them crucified (I bet you thought the Romans invented that). As far a tactics were concerned, Hannibal has no equals. Every encounter with the Legions of Rome where a total rout and ended in annihilation of the Romans. The Roman senate gave up their power to a military leader to help stop the Carthaginian scourge. Rome was still no match for Hannibal's superior generalship. The Romans feared that a single military leader would fail to return power to the people. So, they established a dual military leadership. One was an all out warrior. Fight until no one is left. The other preferred guerrilla hit and run tactics. These leaders, by edict, changed roles every day. Hannibal, who preferred full scale frontal assault knew which day he would find that particular response. So he lured the legion into a battle and in one 6 hour day they killed 70,000 Romans. Shortly thereafter, the Carthaginian government recalled Hannibal and the trouble for Rome on their own home land ended.
Minor disagreement between the two nations continued for a decade or so. When the Roman senate sent Scipio Africanus to follow a new strategy. His orders were succinct and precise. Destroy Carthage. Leave no two stones on top of each other. Kill everything that breathes. And sew the ground with salt for 50 stadia in every direction. 2200 years later and we still don't know exactly where Carthage was.
Now that's strategy! Tactics don't win wars. Undefeated general don't win wars either. Strategy wins wars, and politicians make strategies. We are currently 9 months into this congress's term and we still don't have a strategy for the war in Afghanistan or Iraq. This is not President Obama's decision or dilemma. No matter what the News says. The President is only the strategy maker during times of declared war. And this pack of spineless, namby pamby, skillet licking, lilly livered, Casper Milquetoast, pontificators in your congress are shirking their duty. And every day Americans are dying and being crippled, because these Godless malingerers refuse to do what they are taking your money as pay for doing. They don't have to strip mine a country down to the basalt, or bomb them back to the stone age. But they've got to do something. If you don't have an end game, Don't play chess. If you don't know how to end a war, don't start one of those either.
Thanks, I'm now off the soapbox. For today!


Edie said...

It's okay, you can be on your soapbox. I have lots of thoughts concerning this congress and the man that claims to be our president. The best thing We The People can do is get them all out of there and start from scratch. With prayer of course.

Andrea said...

I think you may have a lot of people on your soap box with you.


2Thinks said...

Something like Patrick Henry, you know how to wield the power of the spoken word. Someone has to rally the masses into action. I believe you can.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I like your soapbox thoughts.