A history lesson

The mess around Iraq makes me wonder if anyone in this administration reads history.

After WWI many Europeans were at each other’s throats. They shifted borders, stole land from each other. Various factions caused havoc. They carved and re-carved countries. They created a cauldron of unrest. That unrest and instability brought us WWII.

After WWII the same could have happened in Europe. We stopped it from happening. By leaving troops there. The presence of our troops kept bad guys from destroying the peace.

There were factions. There were guerillas. There were religious fanatics. There were rabid former Nazis. But they did little damage. Because they did not want to have to mess with American troops. We have gradually drawn down our forces there. But to this day we have 30,000.

Without doubt our presence created safety and stability in Europe. Those conditions allowed prosperity and constructive governments.

After WWII we occupied Japan with troops. We pretty much wrote their constitution. (Japanese are totally bound by tradition, critics cried. They will never accept democracy. Right.)



Japan had many idiots who wanted more war. And factions that yearned to destroy democracy. But they did little damage. Because they did not want to have to mess with American troops. We still have 50,000 troops there. Our Pacific Fleet is based there. A Marine force is based there. Our Air Force stations 130 fighter jets there.

There is no doubt our presence helped the Japanese prosper. It certainly helped them create stable government.

After the Korean War, we kept troops in South Korea. Because we knew the North Koreans were unstable idiots. We still have 30,000 there. Now, the North Koreans threaten and rant. But they have not tried to invade South Korea again. Because they do not want to have to mess with American troops.

Without question, South Korea would not be the economic power it is today. Not without this protection from America over 63 years.

Fast forward. We not only pulled troops out of Iraq. We announced we would. We gave terrorists a pullout date for troops in Afghanistan.

These and surrounding areas are plagued with idiot terrorists. With religious nuts. With brawling tribes and sects that have hated each other for centuries. They fight to carve and re-carve boundaries.

Sounds a lot like Europe after its world wars.

The decent people of these areas need stability. They need protection. They need to learn how to live and work under and with representative government.

Sounds a lot like Japan and South Korea after their wars.

The mess we are dealing with in and around Iraq? Here is a guess. The bad guys would behave differently if 50,000 American troops had remained in Iraq. My further guess is that Afghanistan will become a greater mess. After we withdraw. Afghanis would benefit enormously if we left 40,000 troops there.

Bottom line is that bad guys behave differently when American troops are within striking distance. History tells us that.

President Harry Truman loved history. Our policies for Japan and Europe were shaped by his working knowledge of it.

A few of his comments on the subject: “Victory in a great war is something that must be won and kept won. It can be lost after you have won it – if you are careless or negligent or indifferent.”

Also “We must be prepared to pay the price for peace, or assuredly we shall pay the price of war.” (This, in insisting on a strong military in peacetime. The opposite policy of this administration.)

Regarding aid and troops for Europe: “Unless we do what we can to help, we may lose next winter what we won at such terrible cost last spring.”

And finally: “There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”

I sense that there is a lot of history this administration does not know. And we, the Iraqis and Afghanis are paying the price for this ignorance.

From Tom...as in Morgan.

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