Monday, May 29, 2017

Why Memorial Day?

Saigon evacuation
Officially, Memorial Day is the day we remember all those members of the active armed services that died in a war. That would be many...
World War One-17 million
World War Two-416,800
Korean War-36,914
Vietnam War-58,220
World War One was billed as the war to end all wars. It didn't. It seems more like it set the mold for future generations to build from. Folks, this was when they fought face to face in the trenches and often, the method of killing the enemy was with a bayonet. Now that is up close. My father was in that war and he brought home a German rifle, bayonet, and two German helmets, one an enlisted man, the other an officer. He never told me exactly how he acquired them. This war started from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, then spread around the world.

World War Two was started by a dictator, Adolph Hitler, lasted for six years, and ended with the U.S. dropping an atomic bomb on the Japanese. As Wikipedia put it, "It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries in a state of 'total war.'" Japan surrendered and today is one of our closest allies. Before Hitler there was Benito Mussolini, then there was Stalin. Dictators have ruled from the beginning of time and will continue to as long as power is concentrated and there are people who succumb to deceptive promises.

Korea was ruled by Japan from 1910 until the end of WWII, when it split into two regions, each with separate governments and claiming to be the legitimate government of all of Korea. The war had its ups and downs for both sides until an armistice was signed July 27,1953, creating the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea. There were several leaders in North Korea following the war but in 1994, Kim Jong-il took control and ruled until his psych son, Kim Jong-un took over. Here's how he runs his regime...
“Kim Jong-Un has picked up where his father and grandfather left off, by overseeing a system of public executions, extensive political prison camps, and brutal forced labor,” according to Human Rights Watch.

Unfortunately, there is no Memorial Day for these deaths and others like them...

The Vietnam War was fought against America as the aggressor, and produced, perhaps, some of the worst horror stories of any before it. No one will forget that picture (above) of people trying to get on one of the last helicopter evacuating Saigon, which transported more than 1,000 Americans and more than 5,000 Vietnamese out of the city. I had a close friend, until his death, who related to me his chilling experience. He and other American soldiers were attacked by hooded Vietnamese with knives; he shot and killed two. When he removed the hoods, one was a young girl.

As they say, war is hell but currently we are stuck with a "potential" situation that won't go away. No. Korea's present leader, Kim Jong-Un, persists in rattling his swords of war and dares the United States to call his bluff. President Obama seemed close to some meaningful negotiations in March of 2016, but it all tanked when the U.S. demanded No. Korea's nuclear weapons be a part of the talks. And Kim Jong Un just tested a missile capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead. But now Donald Trump has decided to shoot down a simulated North Korean ICBM intercontinental-range missile.

I am using Memorial Day here to point out the unneeded wars that have been fought and to illustrate the fact that we just might be headed back into another one with a dictator on one side, and our very
own oligarch on the other. Will it ever end? I will leave you with a list of fatalities from all U.S. Wars and Conflicts...

American Revolution (1775-1783)                4,435
War of 1812 (1812-1815)                              2,260
Mexican War (1846-1848)                          13,283
Civil War (1861-1865)                               620,000
Spanish-American War (1898-1902)               385
World War I (1917-1918)                           116,516
World War II (1941-1945)                         405,399
Korean War (1950-1953)                            36,574
Vietnam War (1964-1975)                          58,220
Gulf War (1990-1991)                                      383
Afghanistan War (2001-present)                   2,381
Iraq War (2003-2012)                                   4,500
Happy Memorial Day!

MR. PRESIDENT: If you look frail, if you talk frail, and if you walk frail, you must be frail...

      ...too frail to lead this country for another four years. I know, we all know, what you are afraid of; the lunatic who could win the ...