Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Are We Done

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Read an article yesterday. Kept me up half the night. I think all of us take a few things for granted. I can't remember a time when I questioned whether or not America might fail. All of a sudden I discovered that it's not a sure thing. It seems that most nations have a life cycle just like we all do individually. The Etruscans came and went. The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians also. More recently Great Britain had a pretty good run - but we've seen their zenith and their decline in just the last century or so. Is America following the pattern?

Maybe so. World War II got us off the farm and into the factory. When it was over and a few years went by, the Korean Police Action was a down and muddy-cold activity that began to sour the American population on the subject of war, and before it came to a inglorious end, the Viet Nam crisis was here. Viet Nam crystalized our national disgust with the horror of killing people. Students ran from the draft, rioted on school grounds, picketed the White House, and died in Viet Nam. For what?

The Viet Nam problem was in part a civil war and in part an American effort to stop the spread of Communism.  We kept hearing stuff about the "domino theory" - if one should fall to Communism so would the next. Many Americans had no taste for Viet Nam. Popular support flagged badly. Our politicians kept at it year after year, apparently afraid to quit as a loser. Tens of thousands of people were killed, including a lot of ours. Half of our leaders (MacNamara) wanted a military victory determined by body count. The other half (Kennedy & Johnson) wanted to win the hearts and minds of the population and end the war with some sort of representative government that cared for it's people and would be an example to their neighbors. None of which happened.

The end of the Viet Nam conflict may have signaled starting down from Americas zenith.

We seem to be following the British somewhat. We are bankrupting our government by spending more than we have. We have turned from our traditions, value systems, and belief in a meritocracy. Our population demands entitlements they do not deserve and can not pay for. The corruption in our government wheeling and dealing is purchasing elections. All of these events signal our approaching decline as a nation.

Or am I just gloomy?

Dixon

4 comments:

Kay Dennison said...

No. You are not. I see a nation in decline. I see a nation in yet two more "no win" wars sacrificing our young men and women in the name of greed. A nation that falls short in health care for it's citizens. A nation with a horrifying unemployment rate which bodes ill for our children's future. An educational system that doesn't educate. And a shrinking middle class. And leaders who are too busy filling their pockets with lobbyists' money to care.

Am I a cynic? Damned right I am. It makes more sense than the audacity of hope.

Greybeard said...

"A nation in two more 'no win' wars"...
Adjust to it Kay. Fundamental muslims are in this for the long, long, long term.
So unless you welcome the idea of wearing a Burkha and having some smelly, idiot male modify your errant behavior with a rod against your buttocks and legs, you had better be glad we are fighting these wars.

As a willing participant, I take a different stand on Viet Nam...
After Tet of '68 we had it won.
Folks like Rain, aided by a complicit left-leaning media, undermined support for our (admittedly inefficient) effort there, and only then did we lose.

I'm concerned about our (a little here, a little there) effort in Obama's "Good war" in Afghanistan, but I think we've made HUGE inroads in Iraq, as is indicated by Iran's concerns.
Let's not make the same mistake we made in Viet Nam by giving up after we've done the heavy lifting.

Ingineer66 said...

Well I agree that it does not look good for the future of our Republic right now. But people have been saying that this country is going to hell in a hand basket for over 100 years and we are still the greatest nation on earth. How long we can stay that way seems to be the question right now. We keep chopping the legs off the centipede and still expecting him to jump just as high. One of these days he will not be able to jump at all.

Greybeard said...

Oh.
Re-reading your post I realize I didn't respond to your question, "Are we done?"
The answer is yes, it's just a question of "When?"
I've been a collector of handguns over the years, but the only long gun I ever owned is a single-shot 16 gauge shotgun my folks gave me to hunt rabbits as a kid.
This year I've added to my inventory...
An M-1 Carbine for short-range use, a Remington 870 pump-action shotgun (mostly for the effect of chambering a round into that bad boy to persuade folks outta my house in the wee hours should they make the mistake of breaking in), and a Remington 700 VTR (with a great Leupold scope) chambered in .308 for long-range use against anyone who might show up with something in lesser caliber wanting to cause trouble.
I've had initial conversations with neighbors about forming a sort of "Super neighborhood watch", and have found most are fearful and as disgusted with what is happening to our government as I am.
When... and let me emphasize that... WHEN! the bottom falls out of our economy, this neighborhood will be readier than most to insure those showing up to steal and maim will assume ambient temperature.
I just don't see how, with the trebling of our national debt since the election of this President(?), an economy most agreed was already in huge trouble with the profligate spending of the Bush administration can survive. I see no way to avoid following the path of turn-of-the-century Argentina.
Guns, ammo, food, water, and precious metals folks...
Be prepared, or be a victim.
Your choice.