Monday, July 21, 2014

A Nation of War

Perhaps not because we wanted it, but because of our nature, character and historical circumstance we have been a nation that has seen a (seemingly) unending stream of wars (or military skirmishes). We have not always been wise in our decisions to participate in, rather than avoid, war. Perhaps that is also because of our national character.
by Charlie Leck
Wyclef Jean, a Haitian hip-hop recording artist who recently performed at the 2014 World Cup soccer event in Brazil, wrote the words; and somehow they play constantly in my mind…
“Listen, children…
Say peace, Lord peace
We don’t want no war no more
We don’t want no war no more
We don’t want no war no more
We don’t want no war no more
We don’t want no war no more
We don’t want no war no more
We don’t want no war no more
Ay, peace
Oh, peace…”
America has had enough of war. Yet, now, at this moment, they scream again like hawks. They want President Obama to send troops. Send them where?
“Oh, mon, you be know now don’t you?”
Send them there! And there! And everywhere!  To Syria! To Russia! To the Ukraine!
We have a brilliant war machine and a mighty war industry. Making weapons will improve the economy.
America was raised on war. We won our independence with war. We destroyed slavery through war. We kicked and licked the Indians of the plains with war. We taught Mexicans lessons with war. We fought important wars. We fought foolish wars. We fought downright useless wars.
We were weaned on war! We cut our teeth on war. We grew into manhood on war.
It is peace we don’t know about.
I shout for peace!
I sing for peace! I pray for peace. America must learn to step back from the brink of war and not off the brink into war.
Here is a summary of our history of war… some is heroic, but most is frustrating and foolish! Can we be honest historians and measure the true value and valor of our wars? Read it slowly and weep!
American Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
Northwest Indian War (1795-1793)
Whiskey Rebellion (1791-1794)
Quasi-War (1798-1800)
First Barbary Wars (1801-1805)
Tecumseh’s War (1811)
War of 1812 (1812-1815)
Creek War (1813-1814, as part of the War of 1812)
Second Barbary War (1815)
First Seminole War (1817-1818)
Arikara War (1823)
Winnebago War (1827)
First Sumatran Expedition (1832)
Black Hawk War (1832)
Second Seminole War (1838)
Second Sumatran Expedition (1838)
Patriot War (1838)
Mexican American War (1846-1848)
Cayuse War (1847-1855)
Apache Wars (1851-1900)
Puget Sound War (1855-1856)
Rogue River Wars (1855-1856)
Third Seminole War (1855-1858)
Yakima War (1855-1858)
Second Opium War (1856-1860)
Utah War (1857-1858)
Navajo Wars (1858-1866)
First and Second Cortina War (1859-1861)
Paiute War (1860)
Reform War (1860)
American Civil War (1861-1865)
Dakota War of 1862 (1862)
Colorado War (1863-1865)
Snake War (1864-1868)
Red Cloud’s War (1866-1868)
Comanche Campaign (1867-1875)
Modoc War (1872-1873)
Red River War (1874-1875)
Las Cuevas War (1875)
Great Sioux War of 1876 (1876-1877)
Nez Perce War (1877)
Bannock War (1878)
Cheyenne War (1878-1879)
Sheepeater Indian War (1879)
White River War (1879-1880)
Pine Ridge Campaign (1890-1891)
Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii (1893)
Second Samoan Civil War (1898-1899)
Spanish-American War (1898)
Philippine-American War (1899-1902)
Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901)
Border war (1910-1919)
World War One (U.S. involvement was 1917-1918)
Russian Civil War (1917-1922)
World War Two (U.S. was involved 1941-1945)
Korean War (1950-1953)
Second Indochina War (1953-1975)
First Gulf of Sidra Incident (1981)
Invasion of Grenada (1983)
Invasion of Panama (1889-1990)
Persian Gulf War (1990-1991)
Operation Restore Hope (1992-1994)
Bosnian War (1993-1995)
Operation Uphold Democracy (1994-1995)
Kosova War (1998-1999)
War in Afghanistan (2001 – present)
Iraq War (2003-2011)
2011 military intervention in Libya

History is the grand judge of nations and of peoples! History knows that we have gone to war too easily and that we have abandoned too quickly the art of diplomacy and persuasion.
I have no idea what to say, so I will be silent and cry.

“We don’t want no war no more!”


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