Friday, March 14, 2008

Gulf of Tonkin IX: Coverup or conspiracy, part 3

It is the duty of soldiers to follow orders, not to question the mission they’re sent on by their government. However, in a self-governing republic such as ours, it is the duty of citizens to inspect, question and, if need be, challenge the missions on which government sends soldiers into action. Patriotism requires close citizen scrutiny of government policy and practice, especially where the commitment of American lives is involved. Moreover, being a serving soldier does not mean being apolitical. As George Washington put it, When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen. We the people are the owners of the country and the masters of the government including, through the right to vote, those in uniform and if you have to take some heat for asserting that against scoundrels who wrap themselves in the flag to justify their illegal, immoral actions, so be it. As Americans have learned the hard way, the U.S. government sometimes sacrifices American GIs for worthless causes such as nation-building in Haiti and Serbia, and pacification in Mogadishu and Kosovo, where there is no threat to our national security but a lot of power and wealth to be gained by what President Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex.

Our nation must never start a war. We should have a strong military to defend America “that can include preemptive strikes if a threat is clear and imminent” but war must never be an instrument of foreign policy or commercial interests. Offensive war is rightly condemned by a soldier's conscience.

The only sensible and honorable foreign policy for America is strict neutrality. That means nonalliance, nonintervention, and no meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. It means free trade with all who want it, friendly relations with all who want it, and a strong national defense against those who do not want friendly relations.

Our nation also should withdraw from all military treaties so that we are not drawn into war by proxy. George Washington warned us in his Farewell Address to avoid all entangling alliances. His advice is still sound, especially since NATO is being turned into the standing army of the United Nations.

John White

to be continued...

2 comments:

Fenrisar said...
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Anonymous said...

John-
You are a very eloquent writer and I have enjoyed your recollection of this era along with the intertwined references to earlier history. Thank you.