Bunker Hill, Trenton, Antietam (Sharpsburg for you southerners), Cold Harbor, Gettysburg, Argonne , Iwo Jima, Midway, Utah Beach, Inchon, Hamburger Hill, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan should mostly be familiar to you as sites where America found glory while many of its sons and daughters gave their last full measure.
These famous battles could not have been won without dedicated military leaders. You know the guys who would lead the charge up that hill, up the beach, or across that field. It always intrigued me about how soldiers follow their leaders even though many know that death awaits. Medals are often given to those that die or are wounded, but not enough is given to those who simply follow and fight.
Whether you want to call it a “war on terror” as George W. Bush would or an “overseas contingency operation” as our current president prefers, we are at war. At least those who are waging battle against us are at war. I am not sure that politicians in Washington are at war or that the general public quite feels the war. This war almost came home to us again on Christmas Day with a Nigerian terrorist.
As I was hit by recent headlines detailing yet more deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan while our president seems to dither about how to proceed with the war. I recalled how Obama stressed that Afganistan was the right war and the war that we should fight. He actually made this statement during his campaign;
“As President, I would deploy at least two additional brigades to Afghanistan to re-enforce our counter-terrorism operations and support NATO’s efforts against the Taliban. As we step up our commitment, our European friends must do the same, and without the burdensome restrictions that have hampered NATO’s efforts. We must also put more of an Afghan face on security by improving the training and equipping of the Afghan Army and Police, and including Afghan soldiers in U.S. and NATO operations.”
Lest You Forget!
The title of this piece is sort of a quote from a speech that President Obama gave to the Turkish legislature in April 2009. His actual words were; “The United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam.” Many of his and his administrations actions certainly bear out his words. In light of the recent events at Fort Hood and his response to that tragedy, I started to look back at his words and more importantly his actions. I should let you know that by “his actions” I do mean things that he has done and that members of his administration have done.