J. D. Pendry
Or maybe it is rather the seeds of our demise. As a nation, we’ve sown ours over the years.
I think our first seed was in Korea. That’s where we first decided that a cease fire is as good as total victory. We hold up South Korea as a great democratic and economic success. It is that no question about it, but everyday its Soldiers and ours peer across the world’s most fortified and defended border at an enemy still holding onto the goal of reuniting the peninsula under communist rule. That is where we demonstrated our ability to win military battles and lose political ones. The Chinese and Soviet proxy of North Korea never gained anything for its war effort, but in the end it never lost anything either.
Then followed the Vietnam seed. Following our credo to help people who seek liberty over tyranny, we again sent our Soldiers into a divided country. Yet again, we faced a Chinese and Soviet proxy by whose own admission we defeated militarily. Political bumbling, the anti-war elites led by the likes of Fonda and Kerry, and the leftward tilting media led by Walter Cronkite caused the war to drag on. As the last of our Soldiers left a South Vietnam capable of defending itself with our promised support, Congress withdrew financial and logistical aid. The Soviet and Chinese supported communists rolled into Saigon as we evacuated it. We abandoned our ally to reeducation camps and killing fields. Atrocities now discounted with a nonchalant wave of the hand by the same politicians whose actions caused them. Those lessons were not lost to our future enemies nor to our allies.
In 1973, the surrounding Arab nations started the Yom Kippur War with Israel. We provided support to Israel. For our efforts to support the region’s only democracy the OPEC cartel, who if not for the help of Western technology and engineers would still be trying to get their oil out of the ground with siphon hoses, decided to impose an oil embargo on the United States. We made feeble attempts to improve our domestic energy production and OPEC countered by turning back on the cheap Arab oil spigot. We responded like crack addicts. Instead of improving our domestic energy production, we grew more dependent on foreign energy. We provided the money that further separated the ruling classes in those countries from the masses that were getting their indoctrinations from the Mullahs teaching them to lay all of their problems at the door of the Great Satan. Our response to energy blackmail was to build no new nuclear power plants, no new oil refineries, conduct no new oil exploration, make no efforts at improving the technology to extract any of the 2 trillion barrels of oil reserves we have in shale, and no efforts toward improving coal to liquid fuel technology… The Arabs knew then and know now that the Great Satan is also the great cash cow that insists on financing its own end. Political ineptitude is another of our seeds.
In 1979 as we did in Vietnam, we abandoned another ally. We abandoned the Shah of Iran to the Islamic Fascists. Led by the Ayatollah Khomeini, described by some of our politicians as a holy man who would improve the lives of Iranians, the fascists invaded our sovereign territory. They invaded the grounds of the United States Embassy in Tehran and took American hostages. We attempted a rescue. What we achieved was leaving dead Americans in the desert for the mullahs to later display on television. On top of solidifying the idea of abandoning allies in the minds of our enemies, we now planted in their minds the seeds that we were not able of or willing to fight either.
In 1983, our forces were attacked in Lebanon leaving more than 300 dead. Instead of responding to the Iranian sponsors of that attack, we left again. The seed of not able or willing to fight was added to the seed of if you hurt them, they will quit.
In February 1993, the Islamic Fascists made their first attempt to destroy the World Trade Center. We viewed it as a criminal act and not an act of war and responded accordingly deepening the roots of political ineptitude.
In October of 1993, our Somali humanitarian aid mission morphed into a nation building one and our Soldiers were sent into Mogadishu to capture leaders of the war lord hierarchy. They went in denied the armor support they’d requested. When the battle ended, two Blackhawk helicopters were destroyed and 18 Americans were dead, some of them drug through the streets. We responded not by laying waste to those militias, but by leaving. Osama bin Laden indicated that this was further proof that America was just a paper tiger – strong in appearance and bluster, but not willing to sustain the tough fight.
In 1998 embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by the Islamic Fascists. In October 2000, the USS Cole was bombed killing 17 Sailors. The seeds we planted of not being able or willing to fight were continuing to bear fruit for our enemies up until the attacks of September 11, 2001.
We took out the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan then entered into Iraq. We are still in both places and Al Qaeda is still dying there, as the President reported in his speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, at the tune of about 1500 a month. Since American Forces have been engaged with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq, there have been no attacks on United States interests or on the United States.
We are sowing another important seed. One that shows we are now willing to pursue and fight those who want to harm us for as long as it takes. Still, as the political winds blow across Washington there is a fervor to prematurely uproot all that’s been gained.
The rule of the harvest is an unchanging principle.
© J. D. Pendry