Drums of War…Again

Dear Veteran,  Many of you are as troubled as I am over the call to arms we’re now hearing from our leaders.  We are planning to attack Syria, in spite of the fact that the Russians tell us they’ll defend their ally.

I’ve heard this bugle many times, and sometimes for good reasons.  But too often we’ve sent our military into places where our national security was not at stake and where the fate of the nation or tribes (as in Afghanistan) or factions (as in Syria) should have been left in the hands of the indigenous people.

One of the quotes I’ve used many times is that of General David Shoup, Twenty-Second Commandant of the Marine Corps.  He won the Medal of Honor for his heroism at Tarawa in the South Pacific, and he became an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War twenty years later.  In 1966, he wrote:

“I believe that if we had kept and would keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-soaked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own, and if unfortunately their revolution must be of the violent type because the ‘haves’ refuse to share with the ‘have-nots’ by any peaceful method, at least what they get will be their own, and not the American style, which they don’t want crammed down their throats by Americans.”


  1. Can one who is free sit back and relax as others are knowingly gassed, tortured, and or mutilated. At what cost does ones conscience wonder? A reign of terror can strengthen due to the recruitment of those with no hope or purpose in their lives. Everyone wants to be a part of something, even if they do not even know what it is. Everyone wants to be accepted, even at the cost of their conscience sometimes, sadly enough. I can not help thinking of a young Japanese officers story about the first time he was to execute a Chinese peasant with his sword. To do so, he would have to die a little to himself, but not to do so would bring great shame. I feel this as an American often. Was there something we could have, should have done, and did not? We probably waited too long to get into WW I and WW II. As an American, I can sit back and relax easily, as a Christian I feel the need to care for the helpless.

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