Friday, January 06, 2006

Old Men and War

Sensible people hate war. Those of us with children who are participating in this, and any war, must surely hate it more than most. Warriors know that there is no glamour in war. But there are wars, whether we like it or not. We have to choose whether to acknowledge and deal with our enemies or keep our heads in the sand and hope for the best. My father fought in World War II and I know very little of his war experiences. My husband is a Vietnam vet and I know a little more about his war experiences, but not as much as I think I should. Men who have been in battle seldom seem to discuss their experiences. My son is currently serving and I am fearful of what he will have to experience before this is over. He has become a man. None of us want our loved ones to have to deal with the results of battle, but it is a reality of life in a very dangerous world during this extraordinarily dangerous time. Over the years I have noticed a phenomenon of former warriors who, in their older age, seem to have forgotten the ugly necessity of protecting ourselves from our enemies. The lessons of the ages have taught us that we must be ever vigilant. Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania has become something of a spokesperson for the Democratic Party in his anti-war rhetoric. He advocates pulling out of Iraq as soon as possible. We are not supposed to say anything critical of Mr. Murtha because he was a war hero, which is, undoubtedly, why he's been the chosen the spokesperson of the moment. Another man with similar views is former President Jimmy Carter. Mr. Carter is a graduate of the United States Navel Academy. Mr. Carter served as an officer in the nuclear submarine corp. Both men are now openly critical of the United States' efforts to defend ourselves against the very real, openly stated threat of the Islamic Jihadists throughout the world. They have both been openly critical of our President (rather unseemly of a former President to be critical of a current President, it's considered bad form). Jimmy Carter and Murtha's defeatest attitudes are hardly unique to them. It's a phenomenon we have all seen in other men of similar circumstances. I've tried to understand it. How can someone be so courageous during one part of their life and advocate cutting and running later in life. The only answer I have been able to come up with is best expresed by T.S. Elliot:

And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, And in short, I was afraid.

Read more: Pardon My English Blogs for Bush Rhymes With Right 4 The Little Guy Conservative Outpost