Saturday, November 14, 2015

My Attempt to Understand the Pressure Our Military Faces on a Daily Basis

We hear a lot about Military personnel under great mental stress, many committing suicide being unable to cope. Many are homeless, drifting without purpose. This isn’t a new condition but seems, in my opinion, to be getting worse. I am going to put forward my thoughts without the benefit of first hand knowledge. I am relying on literature I have read over the years in book, magazine or other means. The downward spiral, I contend, started in Korea. General Mac Arthur had completed the goal of defeating the North Koreans and should have been able to start the re-unification of both Koreas into one nation. When the Chinese poured over the border by the hundreds of thousands our soldiers were caught unawares and were severely beaten and forced to fall back. At the time we possessed over whelming superiority in air power. The General was not allowed to use it to punish the Chinese above the Yalu River. He could have cut off their supplies, destroyed their airfields and after recovery started pushing back. He was not interested in invading China. The airfields had Russian personnel. President Truman was fearful of Russia so our pilots had to fight off MIG fighter planes which shouldn’t even have existed. As a result some of our pilots were killed. On the ground the Chinese couldn’t be stopped until they had entered far enough South for our planes to sever their supply lines. Further, the useless loss of life continued into the Presidency of Eisenhower. Do you remember Pork Chop Hill? It was taken and abandoned and retaken a number of times while the negotiations dragged on. Our boys were dying for no purpose. Wouldn’t you be demoralized if that was your lot? This was followed by Vietnam, a war which in my opinion never should have been entered into by America. Our boys faced an impossible situation, never knowing for sure who was with us and who was against us. This war was worse than Korea. Lyndon Johnson would start his day in the war room picking out places to bomb and then go about his daily routine. From this time forward including today, the military officers on the ground have not been allowed to fight a war to win. They have been kept under tight control. Soldiers sent to take ground and then give it back. War has become a game. Allowing our men to fight and die without purpose, don’t you realize how demoralizing that would be? If Russians were known to be in a place on the bombing list, that place was left alone until they were gone. The SAM missiles were known to be unloading from Russian Cargo ships. We were not allowed to bomb the ships. Once they were set up many of our brave pilots were shot down, either dying or being made prisoners. The Middle East is another situation all together. I contend we never should have initiated war against Afghanistan, IRAQ, Syria nor Libya. Just look at the chaos we unleased by our actions. We could have bombed terrorist camps and punished the perpetrators of 9/11. We have spent two trillion dollars and thousands of deaths of our soldiers and the people of those countries. President Bush thought he could convince them to become Democracies without understanding the tribal nature of the Arab people and the religious beliefs that have pitted one sector the other to fight and kill those of different beliefs for thousands of years. The interesting thing I have learned is that Christians and Jews had been inhabitants of those countries living alongside Muslims. That is no longer true. They have all left or have been killed, as a direct result of our attacking those countries. In all of these actions our troops have been handicapped in fighting by the concern for civilian deaths. I have read that at the current time as many as 70% of our airplanes return to their bases without dropping bombs for that reason. Do you think that the Russians under Putin return without dropping their bombs, I don’t think so, do you? Similarly soldiers can be court martialed if they kill civilians, which causes them to hesitate before firing putting their lives at risk. Don’t you think, if you returned from fighting like this that your mind might be a little screwed up? I contend it does. In WWII this was not the case. We fought to win. The Generals on the front line were not directed by Washington except to win. Cities were bombed without mercy. Many thousands of civilians died. They lived in cities where war making factories existed. Had we not defeated Germany and Japan as quickly as we did, there was the possibility of the AXIS powers developing the Atomic Bomb before we did. They did have jet fighters shooting down our bombers. With more time they might have stopped our bombing altogether. A great man once said,” War is Hell”. Mac Arthur on the deck of the Missouri battleship said “Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always”. How wrong he was. He never considered a government that would drain its resources on a continuing basis and send troops into harm’s way without allowing them to fight to a quick completion. As I listen to the contenders for President, I have yet to hear anyone state the simple truth as I have above in this letter. Regardless of who wins, the carnage will continue, as to do otherwise you are considered weak on defense. Anyone so accused has no opportunity to be President. So our boys and now girls will continue to be used as pawns fighting and dying without any chance of ending a conflict honorably. Jack B. Walters November 13, 2015

Veteran's Day Thoughts

November 11 is the date set aside to honor our Veterans. I decided I would like to share some thoughts. Last Sunday after church I attended a luncheon for veterans. I am one also but my three years of service (1946-1949) did not include combat. My service was with the Air Force in the occupation of Japan. The speaker shared information I had never thought about before. During WWII 11.1% of American citizens were in uniform. What that meant was that every family was impacted one way or another which I believe is why that generation is considered the greatest generation. We were all in it together. In each succeeding decade afterwards the percentage decreased. He stated that today less than 0.5% of our current population is affected. This would appear to explain why most of us don’t know anyone on active service. Both President Bush and Obama told us to do our part by going shopping and leave the fighting for the professionals. As a result we treat them like paid mercenaries rather than brothers and sisters sons and daughters as we did before. This just isn’t right. I don’t have an answer to solve it but just making the point to you I felt was important. Whenever we see one, we should go out of our way to say Hi and thank them for their service. They are the thin red line between us and disaster. I have on occasion left a 20 dollar bill with a waitress to apply to their tab. Not much but the hope was that they would appreciate the gesture. A really great way is to donate airline miles to the hero miles program. You can find it using this name or go to Fisher House Foundation. I had miles with two airlines that would be expiring soon. I knew I wouldn’t be using them so I gave 43,755 miles. It is easy to do, just enter your account and look for donate. Scroll down to Heros, enter the amount and the good deed is done. You help military personnel travel home when they must purchase tickets. I am really hoping you will participate. Jack B. Walters November 13, 2015

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Obama's gift to Warren Buffett

Yesterday Obama killed the Keystone pipeline project stating his aversion to “dirty” oil. He has kept it hanging for the seven years of his presidency. Now he is free to go to Paris to the global climate summit with his head held high. I have no doubt he will commit the United States to a reduction which will result in foreign countries directing our economy and thereby lessening our sovereignty. It will be the same as the Iran agreement. Since it is not a treaty the Republicans will not have sixty votes in the Senate to kill it and once again in spite of majorities in both houses the Democrats will stand firm in support of anything Obama wants. For your information “dirty” oil from Alberta has been coming into our country on a daily basis by rail car. I am guessing that when Warren Buffet invested $5 billion in the stock of the Northern Pacific Railroad, he was speculating that Obama would kill the pipeline. The cost to ship by rail is considerably higher than a pipe line. The possibility of spill is ever present. There are thousands of miles of pipelines crisscrossing America today. The concern about the aqueduct in Nebraska was resolved by a change in the routing. Whether Obama is paying back for Mr.Buffett’s support I don’t know but I do know the environmental activists who support Obama, Hillary and Bernie will reward the party with their votes a year from now. The Democratic President I loved was FDR. He would have approved the pipeline in a heartbeat. Jack B. Walters November 7, 2015