The year was 1953; America was officially out of Korea. Not a war, it was called a “police action.”
Yet, today, 60 years later, we still have soldiers stationed in South Korea, standing by in the event the North Koreans decide to invade the South again. How many lives did we lose during the conflict? How many billions of dollars have we spent? Was it worth it?
I happened to meet a student from South Korea at FIU the other day. She said she was happy Americans came to their defense in the 1940s, but thought that it was about time to return the defense of the peninsula to the South Koreans. “Thanks, but go home?” Did we win that one? I don’t think so. I still remember a few high school friends of mine who lost their lives in the cold winters of Korea. Were we helping South Korea or trying to halt the advance of communism?
Vietnam was another losing conflict. Again, were we trying to help the people of Vietnam or were we attempting to halt the advancement of communism? How many lives did we lose? How many disabled veterans still live in the U.S. as a result of that conflict? How much money did we, as a nation, spend only to end in an embarrassing forced evacuation with communist China breathing down our necks? I still remember the pictures of Americans franticly climbing onto U.S. helicopters on rooftops praying to escape with their lives.
Today, after losing everything, including our national pride, and later investing millions in foreign aid we are once again in Vietnam, this time on trade and business development missions.
Iraq, another war, excuse me, a conflict, where we allegedly were after the destruction of weapons of mass destruction and the end of the rule of a leader who hated America. How many lives lost? How many veterans again returning home missing limbs, eyesight, etc. How many carry the scars of a mental breakdown — some will live with it till the day they die? How much money did we spend, waste on this action that did nothing but bring scorn to America. We, as a nation, were disliked before we invaded their country. Today, we are hated and a target for their destruction.
Afghanistan, a nation last conquered by Genghis Khan, holds no love, no appreciation for our attempt to rid their country of warlords intending on returning their Afghanistan to the days when women were assets of men, where women were not permitted to read or write, a return to a feudal state that existed hundreds of years ago in the uncivilized corners of the world.
Do they appreciate our lives lost, our spending of billions on weapons of war? What about spending millions building schools in their nation while the schools in America are falling apart because money was needed more in Afghanistan than in our country? Absolutely not — they hate us and are hell bent on destroying America even more than before we invaded their country. Another winner for America. Now, Syria. I fully understand the administration in wanting to end the immoral use of gas by the Syrian government on its own people. And it might have worked if we had moved quickly.
Now after weeks of seeking Congressional approval the Syrians have had all the time in the world to move their secret stash of chemical weapons to undisclosed locations that we will not find if we put boots on the ground and went house to house across the entire country looking for “their” weapons of mass destruction.
An even bigger problem. We are vehemently against the government of Assad and we are equally against a large segment of Assad’s opposition — the same fighters that we faced in Afghanistan. No matter which side wins we will not have a friendly government in Syria.
Lastly, two quotes. President Benjamin Harrison is quoted as saying: “Where does it say that God made America the police force of the world?” The other quote? Someone wrote into the Herald: “Well, we won the battles when we invaded the Republic of Panama and in Granada, didn’t we?” Enough said.
We appreciate your opinions on this column whether in agreement or disagreement. Please send your comments to (fax number) 305-662- 6980 or email to email@example.com. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.