Sons are treasured. Moms and Dads heap love, affection, money, devotion, property, the perfect girl for them, new cars, education and any conceivable advantage they can provide their sons with. Mom and Dad do not want their sons at war. Most American Moms and Dads however understand the world is not a nice place, that real peace is not attainable and that men must be prepared to defend their loved ones and country. Many Moms have a special mother – son relationship, time honored and very special. I know tough Soldiers – real men that proudly proclaim “Yeah, I’m a moma’s boy, I love my moma!”
America is increasingly using its Daughters to fight wars. Know any “Daddy’s little girl(s)? Dad did not have a daughter to send her off to war. Liberals and feminists aside (Dad does not care one wit what liberals and feminists shriek, he cares about his daughter) Mom and Dad do not want their daughters on battlefields. Dad showers his little girl with affection. Nothing is too good for her. The word no does not enter into the vocabulary of many dads as concerns their daughters. No man will ever be good enough for her. She is showered with love and affection. The father – daughter relationship is very special. (Mom and daughter have their own special relationship. Smart dads – when it comes to Mom and baby girl – mind their own business!) Mom and Dad know the world is not a nice place and America has to be defended. They do not want to send their daughters off to battle. (Preceding sentence is not – I say again – not controversial. It is fact and has nothing to do with feminism, liberalism or any ism. It is simply a fact about people.) Times change. Americas Daughters are now fighting Americas wars.**
Moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and friends, football, basketball, baseball, trips to the lake, skiing, picnics, graduations, careers, births, joy all the wonder of family life. How many wars going on around the world? Pick a number between 15 and 25 (and up) from different sources. My explanation is “lot of em”. All kinds of wars going on all over the world. Fun, travel and adventure is available to anyone who wants it! Warfare destroys the wonder of family life.
War is expensive. Costs lots of money – but – there is a high quality silver lining! Corporations make lots of money off of war. Think of the guys that manufacture fuses for mortar shells. War is great for these guys. I personally know men that have fired 81mm mortars until they were cherry red half way up the tube. More than 300 rounds pumped out in one fire mission from two tubes. Owners of the fuse factories really like this stuff. Keeps funds liquid and does a lot for cash flow. Of course the folks that manufacture bullets, shells, tanks, machine guns, meals ready to eat (MRE’s) like war too. Lots of money folks and business is good.
Americans involved in the current wars? Less than 2% of Americans are serving in the military (chacha.com). Since the founding of our country more than 500,000 Americans have been killed in action. (fathersmanisfesto.net) Hundreds of thousands more have been wounded to some degree. Others are missing in action and will never be found. Calls for action in Libya are resounding from many in the media and a few in Congress.
War, war, war! O.K. if it is to be war, lets take a look at what the world wants done?
Lets look at what going on around the world. **
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has voted on a resolution authorising (sic) a no-fly zone over Libya and “all necessary measures” – code for military action – to protect civilians. (Aljazeera March 17, 2011)
Words to the effect: “France is chopping at the bit to get at the Libyan Air Force. England will enforce a no-fly zone too. The Arab League supports a no-fly zone over Libya.” (Fox News, March 17, 2011)
Word to the effect: “Libyan foreign minister says his country will obey UN orders. Libya has announced a cease fire.” (Fox New, March 18, 2011)
The United Nations has passed a no-fly zone over Libya.
Pro-democracy supporters were jubilant at the news of the draft resolution being passed by the Security Council.
In the opposition-held stronghold of Benghazi, huge crowds were seen waving flags and cheering as fireworks filled the air.
(Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan reports. March 18, 2011)
Security Council authorizes ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians in Libya.17 March 2011 – The Security Council today effectively authorized the use of force in Libya to protect civilians from attack, specifically in the eastern city of Benghazi, which Colonel Muammar Al-Qadhafi has reportedly said he will storm tonight to end a revolt against his regime.
Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which provides for the use of force if needed, the Council adopted a resolution by 10 votes to zero, with five abstentions, authorizing Member States “to take all necessary measures… to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamhariya, including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation force.” (UN News Centre, March 18, 2011)
“I don’t know if this is going to involve combat aircraft….” (Fox News March 18, 2011)
President Obama says, words to the effect: “Let me tell you what we are not going to do. We are not going to land ground troops in Libya.” The President went on to add the United States will support United Nations mandates on the Libyan situation. (MSNBC March 18, 2011)
(I do not often use long quotes. President Obama’s position on Libya is important. I have included the full context of his speech.)
President Obama on Libya – March 18, 2011
This afternoon, President Obama addressed the nation from the East Room of the White House, to outline America’s response to the situation in Libya. You can read his remarks below:
Good afternoon, everybody. I want to take this opportunity to update the American people about the situation in Libya. Over the last several weeks, the world has watched events unfold in Libya with hope and alarm. Last month, protesters took to the streets across the country to demand their universal rights and a government that is accountable to them and responsive to their aspirations. But they were met with an iron fist.
Within days, whole parts of the country declared their independence from a brutal regime, and members of the government serving in Libya and abroad chose to align themselves with the forces of change. Moammar Qaddafi clearly lost the confidence of his own people and the legitimacy to lead.
Instead of respecting the rights of his own people, Qaddafi chose the path of brutal suppression. Innocent civilians were beaten, imprisoned, and in some cases killed. Peaceful protests were forcefully put down. Hospitals were attacked and patients disappeared. A campaign of intimidation and repression began.
In the face of this injustice, the United States and the international community moved swiftly. Sanctions were put in place by the United States and our allies and partners. The U.N. Security Council imposed further sanctions, an arms embargo, and the specter of international accountability for Qaddafi and those around him. Humanitarian assistance was positioned on Libya’s borders, and those displaced by the violence received our help. Ample warning was given that Qaddafi needed to stop his campaign of repression, or be held accountable. The Arab League and the European Union joined us in calling for an end to violence.
Once again, Qaddafi chose to ignore the will of his people and the international community. Instead, he launched a military campaign against his own people. And there should be no doubt about his intentions, because he himself has made them clear.
For decades, he has demonstrated a willingness to use brute force through his sponsorship of terrorism against the American people as well as others, and through the killings that he has carried out within his own borders. And just yesterday, speaking of the city of Benghazi — a city of roughly 700,000 people — he threatened, and I quote: “We will have no mercy and no pity” — no mercy on his own citizens.
Now, here is why this matters to us. Left unchecked, we have every reason to believe that Qaddafi would commit atrocities against his people. Many thousands could die. A humanitarian crisis would ensue. The entire region could be destabilized, endangering many of our allies and partners. The calls of the Libyan people for help would go unanswered. The democratic values that we stand for would be overrun. Moreover, the words of the international community would be rendered hollow.
And that’s why the United States has worked with our allies and partners to shape a strong international response at the United Nations. Our focus has been clear: protecting innocent civilians within Libya, and holding the Qaddafi regime accountable.
Yesterday, in response to a call for action by the Libyan people and the Arab League, the U.N. Security Council passed a strong resolution that demands an end to the violence against citizens. It authorizes the use of force with an explicit commitment to pursue all necessary measures to stop the killing, to include the enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya. It also strengthens our sanctions and the enforcement of an arms embargo against the Qaddafi regime.
Now, once more, Moammar Qaddafi has a choice. The resolution that passed lays out very clear conditions that must be met. The United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Arab states agree that a cease-fire must be implemented immediately. That means all attacks against civilians must stop. Qaddafi must stop his troops from advancing on Benghazi, pull them back from Ajdabiya, Misrata, and Zawiya, and establish water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas. Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of Libya.
Let me be clear, these terms are not negotiable. These terms are not subject to negotiation. If Qaddafi does not comply with the resolution, the international community will impose consequences, and the resolution will be enforced through military action.
In this effort, the United States is prepared to act as part of an international coalition. American leadership is essential, but that does not mean acting alone -– it means shaping the conditions for the international community to act together.
That’s why I have directed Secretary Gates and our military to coordinate their planning, and tomorrow Secretary Clinton will travel to Paris for a meeting with our European allies and Arab partners about the enforcement of Resolution 1973. We will provide the unique capabilities that we can bring to bear to stop the violence against civilians, including enabling our European allies and Arab partners to effectively enforce a no fly zone. I have no doubt that the men and women of our military are capable of carrying out this mission. Once more, they have the thanks of a grateful nation and the admiration of the world.
I also want to be clear about what we will not be doing. The United States is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya. And we are not going to use force to go beyond a well-defined goal specifically, the protection of civilians in Libya. In the coming weeks, we will continue to help the Libyan people with humanitarian and economic assistance so that they can fulfill their aspirations peacefully.
Now, the United States did not seek this outcome. Our decisions have been driven by Qaddafi’s refusal to respect the rights of his people, and the potential for mass murder of innocent civilians. It is not an action that we will pursue alone. Indeed, our British and French allies, and members of the Arab League, have already committed to take a leadership role in the enforcement of this resolution, just as they were instrumental in pursuing it. We are coordinating closely with them. And this is precisely how the international community should work, as more nations bear both the responsibility and the cost of enforcing international law.
This is just one more chapter in the change that is unfolding across the Middle East and North Africa. From the beginning of these protests, we have made it clear that we are opposed to violence. We have made clear our support for a set of universal values, and our support for the political and economic change that the people of the region deserve. But I want to be clear: the change in the region will not and cannot be imposed by the United States or any foreign power; ultimately, it will be driven by the people of the Arab World. It is their right and their responsibility to determine their own destiny.
Let me close by saying that there is no decision I face as your Commander in Chief that I consider as carefully as the decision to ask our men and women to use military force. Particularly at a time when our military is fighting in Afghanistan and winding down our activities in Iraq, that decision is only made more difficult. But the United States of America will not stand idly by in the face of actions that undermine global peace and security. So I have taken this decision with the confidence that action is necessary, and that we will not be acting alone. Our goal is focused, our cause is just, and our coalition is strong. Thank you very much. (Whitehouse.gov, March 18, 2011)
END PRESIDENT OBAMA ON LIBYA
Concerned about casualties. The Department of Defense website list them as they occur. Here are two of Americans Sons – lost to us and their loved ones. One of the true costs of war.
DOD Identifies Marine Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Lance Cpl. (identity withheld), died March 17 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (defense.gov)
DOD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Staff Sgt. (identity withheld), died March 16 in Logar province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained on March 15, when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade. He was assigned to the Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, La.
There will be many more young men and women added to the bill.*** Visit the DOD website folks. Keep abreast of the bill. It grows all the time.
Those who step forward to fulfill the military role are rare. Will Shakespeare wrote about them, many times. His famous St. Crispen’s Day speech explains the relationship of men and their sons, i.e. “This story shall the good man teach his son.” Yes, good men, often denigrated by the liberal left and used to their deaths by the more fascist right teach their sons to be men. Men that move forward in battle – no matter the force in front of them in defense of their home and nation. Will Shakespeare writes about the others. He writes about those “…now abed in England…” Those with every conceivable excuse for not stepping forward. The cowards! Those that send others to their deaths make lots of money off our sons and daughters and would never step onto a battlefield. Washington D.C. and corporate boardrooms are full of these cowards. Exceptions, sure. Senator Webb is an outstanding example.
Enter the KING
WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!
KING. What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
(Shakespeare, William. St. Crispen’s Day Speech. C. 1599)
O.K. folks we got a no-fly zone going on over Libya. France and England are going to provide the tactical aircraft [as of today’s rules]. (Fox News, March 18, 2011) We are at war on two fronts with many humanitarian missions around the world and a no fly zone to help implement. America’s best, brightest and bravest are again tasked to comply with the Commander in Chief’s directives. In obedience to the Commander in Chief our Military is obeying their role in our free land. Our wars and commitments will go on. Our brand of brothers now includes very brave and dedicated sisters. They have joined our very exclusive fraternity. God blesses them all. Will would have a challenge to update his Crispen’s day speech.
Americans have begun to debate the wisdom of our country’s courses of action – while our military deploys and obeys. That is the way of a free people. Word for the peacemakers. Please get busy folks. There are many bad people in the world. I’d like to avoid wars for a few years. I have no idea how horrible the true situation is going to get. Any ideas?
Dale R. Suiter
March 18, 2011
*Visit The Army Medical Center, Walter Reed in Washington D.C. Pretty young women missing pieces of their bodies sit side by side with young men, missing pieces of their bodies. PTSD, TBI, is there in abundance too.
**Reasonable people will agree that Aljazeera and Fox News provide balance regarding views from different news sources.
***The “bill” is often referred to as the “butchers bill”. Lotta of civilians get upset with talk like “butchers bill”. Many folks want sanitized versions of wars – not the ugly stuff.
Dale R. Suiter served in the United States Marine Corps June 1966 – February – 1970. He served with Ammo Company First FSR, 2nd CAG Q-6 and Q-3, H&S 81’s 3/9 and 1/3. His service “On the Rock” was with Ordanance Schools, Camp Hansen. Following the Marine Corp, he completed a career in public service – prison and jail operations. In addition, he completed a career as a reserve officer with the Michigan Army National Guard. His two sons and two sons-in-law are veterans of the war on terror. The family continues in service to the United States of America.