The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Solicited Letter to the Editor

Dear editor,
June 9, 2008
This is an election year. America can elect a new president, Congress, and state offices. Of course, every two and four years the people have this opportunity. The United States Constitution provides this means of exercising the people’s right to choose their leaders on such regular basis, and the Constitution and the laws formed under it make it expressly clear that all public government structures must be based on the republican model (not “Republican” party) of representatives chosen by a democratic process (not “Democratic” party).
How many of your readers understand the distinction between a “republic” form of government and a “democratic” process, as opposed to the Republican and Democratic parties?
And that is not all. Our country was not–in any measure–settled in the 17th and 18th century, nor established in the latter part of the 18th, as a Christian country. However, that is the propaganda of those who would strip individuals of the freedom of conscience to practice a religion of their choice, or choose to not so practice any. Any conservative who would dispute this fact will only show their ignorance of history, or their lack of formal education. Neither, on the other hand, was the United States established in 1776 as an independent and sovereign nation only to surrender family prosperity to anyone (citizens or otherwise, or foreign peoples) who hasn’t earned or paid for it through tax theft on personal real or other property. Any liberal who asserts the contrary this is lost in the sub-real of their own arrogance.
How many people know these facts? Or even have sufficient wisdom and knowledge to dispute them?
America was founded as an “empire of liberty,” according to Thomas Jefferson. Liberty is the right to live and let live. It’s underlying mantra is “don’t spend my tax money foolishly and stay out of my house.” We always had plenty of time, land, resources, and willing immigrants to develop and grow into a nation under the true principles, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” written into our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as amended. Here is an interesting question for you: How many people who rarely exercise the franchise to vote even know that the Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the Constitution? Instead of an empire of liberty, where people have the right to refuse to choose any lawful option, time, political corruption, and the quickened life of our citizens surrendered the sovereignty, the rule, of We the People to “legal” immoralities of ignorance and apathy. People don’t want to know and they don’t care.
In an election, it is easy to pick up on the flashy words, the sound and image bytes, to play the willing role of a dumbed-down democracy and an empire for the extreme upper class “nobility” controlling the money and the best education “money can buy,” (and dodging wars when young, but waging it when in office). Benjamin Franklin warned us for all time that we have a free country under the rule of law applied equally to all, if we can keep it.
Are we willing to keep our liberty, our freedom, any justice at all, and our spirit by informing ourselves at our own initiative, realizing how smart we really can be to see the trend toward a empire without liberty under the will of the FEW people?
The stakes demand tougher questions to authority, learning beyond our present short-term comfort, and then, most important of all, acting in our community in any peaceful means to overthrow the tyranny over our minds in the name of saving the republic and our democracy.
Tim Krenz

Review of: Halberstam, David. The Coldest Winter,America and the Korean War. New York: Hyperion, 2007.

A skilled writer, David Halberstam died in a car accident in 2007. As good a writer of people’s history as there has been for 40 plus-years, Halberstam’s loss to the world of free-speech and skeptical reason is great. For his last published book, Halberstam choose the Korean War as a subject, and he compels the reader in the beginning the worthwhile reason he wrote it, and why the subject should not be forgotten.
Halberstam wrote for the single most important reason of a group of men (and women, but not many) between America’s “greatest generation” and their unconditional victory in World War II, and the “wasted generation” whose innocence and moral clarity were sacrificed to no good end in Vietnam. The generation of Americans who served, fought, were wounded or who died in Korea has received most of the time “asterisk” mention in the annals of Cold War history. The mere belittling in historical memory the size of the first “hot” conflict of the war between liberalism and communism disgraces the honored dead the dutiful sacrifice of the “Middle Generation.”As history has relegated it to a limited-war for minimal objectives, it nonetheless took the lives of a million-plus soldiers and civilians in the villages and towns, the slopes and the valleys of the Korean peninsula, including almost 40,000 American dead in 3 years.
It was a war fought badly from the perspective of national policy. The first goal, to stop a communist invasion of South Korea, and to keep South Korea in the “free world,” but governed by a dictatorship, perhaps from the start disconnected the resulting reality from the first cause. Once the counter-offensive at Inchon in September 1950 lead to the retreat of the North Korean People’s Army (NKPA), the goal was achieved within weeks. From that point, arrogance of command, the vanity of one man more than any other–General Douglas MacArthur–lead to the disaster of over-reaching what should have been a short war. Despite warnings from the recently-established People’s Republic of China not to threaten their security by marching across North Korea to the Yalu River’s border with Manchuria, and despite the Chinese test-battle against the US First Cavalry Division (Dismounted) in mid-October of 1950, a month later President Truman got an entirely “new” war from the one in which he intervened.
MacArthur high in his office in Tokyo, Japan, refused to see what did not willfully believe. In November, once several Chinese army groups attacked front, flank and rear of the entire United Nations army command under MacArthur, the “dumb s. . .o. . . b. . .” (as Eisenhower once referred to him) lost his nerve, blamed others, and was about to the retreat to Japan. Then, in the form of a new, excellent, field commander on the ground, Lt. General Matthew Ridgeway, the loss was redeemed, the war “stabilized,” and it became a muddy, cold, miserable and senseless slugging, a murderous attrition of trench warfare and artillery like World War I.
Not to be outdone by a better, smarter and more well-esteemed subordinate, MacArthur called for the beginning of “World War III” with nuclear weapons to prove he was not wrong. In spring 1951, he ended up sabotaging (on purpose?) delicate back-channel chances for a cease-fire. Overstepping his boundary from “pure” military strategy (strategy IS logistics), he crossed into the realm of setting political policy for the civilian Administration whose president he disdained. Truman is no less at fault for the creeping policy, and for the narrow choices forced on him by MacArthur. Waiting far too long until no redeeming success politically or militarily in the Korean War remained, America’s “coldest winter,” Truman fired MacArthur in April 1951.
Having played in Marshal Stalin’s game of diplomatic twister, both China’s Mao and President Truman remained without clear ability to end the war with a creative initiative. Without clear compromise, and long-abandoning the moral principle behind the policies, the war continued. Having victory consumed by vanity and jealousy–for partisan political reasons–the communists and the liberal democracies (and “friendly” dictatorships), continued the slaughter, physical and emotional, for another 26 months of pounding slog, exploding mud and ice, and maimed and dead all around.
In the armistice of July 1953, what each side got ended pretty much at the stalemate achieved in the politics of war and peace and the front lines themselves gained by summer 1951. But heroic and tragic men (and women) served America in a “tie.” The status quo became good enough. At least Truman set one important precedent: nuclear combat has not happened as a result of his doctrine after Korea. Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been good enough reminders since then. However, as Bismarck said, woe to policy makers who end in a war far removed from the moral clarity with which they began it.
In the very flow of story, narrative, biographical sketches, and readable political and military history, Halberstam creates a vivid picture of this mini-titanic struggle of a Middle Generation. Diverse reading its is, of allies and communists alike. From the level of the chief executives and chairman, to the commanders in the field, to the humble privates fighting a war they did not choose, nor one they well understood beyond a foxhole, Halberstam does a good deal of justice to the time and the place.
As a news paper reporter in South Vietnam in the early 1960s, under fire before US escalation, Halberstam’s definitive book on the policy failure of that conflict stand him in good stead for a popular history of a policy failure for the war before. Perhaps in an untimely death, he has left us a final warning for wars of the future: No matter what enemy chooses us, or which ones America chooses itself, war’s only predictable pattern is the constant that it destroys, humanity and humanity’s conscience in the end. Choose the battles carefully, America, and hold all leaders, cowards and heros alike, accountable for the overt sin of waging war if waged for greed of more or fear of losing what they have.