As for American Imperialism, a favorite term for some of the dumbest detractors, just tally up all the lands in the world captured and now governed by the USA as the result of its victories for the last 100 or so years, during which it has been the difference between freedom and slavery for entire populations. I'm a lot more interested in the history of those 100 years than in what any foreign newspaper has to say about anything, or any other rag for that matter, like the New York Times or the Washington Post. Obviously, the key to security is having the strongest military establishment in the world – an establishment comprised of those who are prepared to give their all. Those who die in the process are honored each year at this time, and stood between this country and the tyrants who stop at nothing in their quest to undermine U.S. liberty and that of the rest of the world.
Europe realized freedom as early as 1917-18 (after four years of bloodletting) ONLY because of the USA (117,000 dead Americans); ditto for Europe and Asia 1941-45 (405,000 dead Americans); South Korea 1950-53 (37,000 dead Americans). How much of any of the countries involved in these conflicts does the USA own/govern today? How much of Vietnam from the fighting in the 1960s-70s (58,000 dead Americans), which would not have been communist today but for the incompetence in Washington?
After freeing it in 1991, how much of Kuwait and all of its oil belongs to the USA, or has ever belonged to the USA, this terrible imperialistic power so named by people like talking-head Pat Buchanan or perhaps the (gasp) foreign, sophisticated press? The USA did the dirty work regarding Serbia-Kosovo in the 90s, so how much of those countries does the USA own/govern today? All of eastern Europe was freed in 1989-90 from the Soviet Union ONLY because of the USA, and how much of that huge expanse does the USA own/govern today?
The USA also freed Cuba and the Philippines from Spain just over 100 years ago and maintained a presence in the latter, helping against Japan in WWII, and removing itself militarily, as requested, just a few years ago. Now, Muslim thugs are taking over that country. The USA could have made Cuba into a state, but it didn't, and now look at the mess there. To even mention imperialism in connection with anything this country has done militarily is to not only be patently wrongheaded, but also to be scurrilous to the point of malice.
Here is a tribute in this Memorial Day season to those who are the sentries and combatants in the never-ending struggle for freedom:
The muffled sound of drum and fife
And musketry in mortal strife
And voices raised in anger, pain,
Or mourning those among the slain
Are sensed when contemplating still
The carnage of a Bunker Hill,
When only battles - bloody, fierce -
The wall of tyranny could pierce.
Then comes to mind the gory scenes
From Queenston Heights to New Orleans
When tyranny again was banned
Upon the sea, upon the land;
And one can sense again the sound
When roaring cannons shook the ground
And mortal men...to make men free...
Would enter immortality.
On Shiloh’s bloody ground that day
They died with valor in full sway,
Where brothers each might brother kill;
One hears the massive, tragic groan
As tens of thousands would atone
- With blood - for hated slavery...
The vilest form of tyranny.
When jaded beasts oppress the poor
And close to them sweet freedom’s door,
It falls upon the free...the strong
Throughout the world to right this wrong;
At Santiago, brave men fell,
And San Juan Hill became a hell,
But men who found eternity
Gained entry scourging tyranny.
Chateau-Thierry, Belleau Wood,
Where thousands died, but others stood
Their ground with blood and sweat and fears,
And buried comrades through their tears;
And one can sense the frightful sounds
Of tanks and planes emitting rounds
From lethal, modern weaponry
To end the threat of tyranny.
To end the threat of tyranny? -
Or Iwo Jima, Anzio,
Where once again the blood must flow;
And one may close the eyes and see
And hear the mighty guns at sea
And wonder why it all must be...
But knows deep down...end tyranny.
So listen!...hear the muffled roar
Of new jet planes now bound for war,
Of new invasions from the sea,
The dying fighting tyranny;
And names like Inchon, Pork Chop Hill,
And Bloody Ridge - remembered still -
Assault the mind, yet augur peace,
In hope that tyranny will cease.
But hope, though strong, has little worth
As long as despots roam the earth,
As long as beasts whose prime resource
Is tyranny...forge brutal force;
So listen...as the jungle screams,
And those who die are shorn of dreams
At Pleiku, Khe Sanh, and Da Nang,
Where flags from coffins daily hang.
No…evil tyranny survives,
Each generation robbed of lives
Attempting to wipe out its curse,
Each war the next one to rehearse;
Recall the battle in the sand -
Exploding missiles as they land
On Persian Gulf, Kuwait, Iraq,
Mad tyranny again to block.
As in most centuries before,
The twenty-first began with war
When evil men in Allah’s name
Torched innocents in bomb and flame;
The terrorists will find they pay
In Afghan mountains day by day
Or in Iraq on blood-black sand
An awesome price when good men stand.
In tranquil fields throughout the world,
Our dead are marked by flags unfurled,
Or marked by nature’s restless waves,
Beneath the seas in timeless graves;
Yes, thus it is, and thus will be...
Until God’s final, terse decree...
But until then, now strong and free,
The decent must kill tyranny.
Note: Reprinted from May 2008.