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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • History - a strange phenomenon

  • There is an old and noteworthy saying that those who don’t learn from history will suffer from it.  This certainly applies to what is happening before our very eyes in Obama’s mad rush to slash and reduce out military.

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  • There is an old and noteworthy saying that those who don’t learn from history will suffer from it.  This certainly applies to what is happening before our very eyes in Obama’s mad rush to slash and reduce out military.
    Go back no further than the Jimmy Carter presidency.  When Carter was playing all his marbles on being the negotiator and peace maker for the Middle East countries, his administration attempted a rescue of Americans held hostage by Iran.  Due in part to a lack of training and a lack of modern equipment our helicopters crashed in the desert and the mission was abandoned.
    Enter President Reagan who put a priority on building our military and bringing national pride.  The media and the lefties were convinced Reagan would lead us into a catastrophic war.  Instead his overt actions and supreme confidence in this country and its ability to defend itself led to the surrender and collapse of the USSR thus ending the cold war.
    After this comes another Democrat president, our boy Bill who, under pressure from Republicans was forced to reduce government expenditures and employees.  Consistent with liberal tendencies 90 percent of the reductions came from our defense force.
    When the 9/11 attack killed more than three thousand people, our Congress and eventually all our countrymen enthusiastically agreed we must retaliate.  The only problem was our military was not completely up to the task.  With equipment not ready for IEU attacks and fewer personnel available, we had to “draft” thousands of National Guard troops.  Some of our units in Arkansas served three or four stints in Iraq and Afghanistan.  With only weekend training some of these Guard units suffered casualties higher than the regular army personnel.
    With President Obama comes the age of appeasement and apologizing for our strength and military capability.  One of the first acts as president was to embark on a world tour saying American was wrong – please forgive us.  It is now revealed he had planned to apologize to Japan for the atomic bombing but wiser heads in Japan refused to allow it.
    Our President is now attempting to once again slash our military budget and put this country in a much weakened condition.  His plan to reduce our military is dangerous and shameful.  This would mean we are relying on a very small percentage of our population for national defense.  Meanwhile we have millions of civilian government workers administering thousands of regulations and hundreds of social programs.  Where is our compass?  How can we once again completely ignore history?
    Our constitution states our Federal Government will provide for the common defense.  It says nothing about food stamps, Social Security, environmentalism, OSHA and EPA, and yet with the wisdom of our liberal friends, we are morphing into a soft cuddly nation ripe to collapse from within.
    Page 2 of 2 - Of course, our President won’t admit he is planning deep cuts.  Instead he calls this deep entrenchment as a part of a new “strategic review” which will make us more mobile and more efficient.  Recent history has shown our weakness has not been one of quality but of simple quantity.
    Let’s look closer at just one part of our military – the U.S. Navy. The Navy’s fleet is already too small, and its ships too old to perform its multiple missions.  In the last 20 years the fleet has shrunk by half and currently stands at 285.  At the height of the Cold War buildup in 1987 the Navy had 568 carriers, destroyers, submarines and other ships.
    As noted in The Wall Street Journal the current administration is attempting to talk down the usefulness of a large fleet.  Navy Undersecretary Bob Work in an attempt to please his superiors commented, “The numbers don’t matter, we span the globe.”  This kind of jumbled thinking could lead us to a Navy force simply unable to respond to “hot spots” throughout the world or a sustained battle protecting such areas as The Straits of Hormuz and our Eastern Coast at the same time.  
    An independent bipartisan panel that went over the Pentagon Defense Review in 2010 said the U.S. needed a larger navy.  It recommended 346 ships including 55 attack submarines compared to only 48 in current plans.  So how does the administration respond?  Just as they usually do.  Ignore any thoughtful review and advice and proceed on the path of all butter – no guns.
    Now we find ourselves on the same historical roller coaster.  Mark it down – there will be an attack on us or a serious threat and it will be up to a new Republican president to once again build our defense.  Then the peaceniks in Congress will reverse their positions and patriotically support this nation.  This action will repeat what happened in Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan and prior wars.
    History is persistent but learning from it is lacking.
    *******************
    In 2011 eleven Arkansas lawmakers each received more than $50,000 expense reimbursements.  Eight of these were Democrats and the three Republicans on this list are from the far Northwestern corner of the state where mileage would be the greatest.
    As Pete Jackson would say, “Something to think about, folks.”
    (Jerry Jackson of Heber Springs writes his “conservative viewpoint” column each Wednesday)
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