< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: Sound the Call

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Sound the Call

"The only sin greater than waging war,
is waging it ineffectively.
" Or so my Grandfather, a veteran of two world wars, used to say. Pragmatism. For his generation, the one in between the Gilded and the Greatest, for them pragmatism was all the rage. This in between generation, the ones fighting in WWI and leading in WWII, they weren't idealistic, anything but.

The lessons they learned at the knees of their grandparents, if they had them, were strong and stern. And they would yet learn them again, first-hand. Waging war is horrible, and it comes to no good. The only thing more horrible, is waging war for a long time, with poor equipment, for no reason. If you're forced to go. Go and win. If you can't win, leave. This is the wisdom of those that carried the flag in the Great War and the Last. It is the wisdom, transformed, of those who fought our Civil War. It is wisdom bought and paid for with the blood of brothers and patriots alike.

These simple lessons, hard and bitter to learn, but infused into the fabric of our country by experience, are now more important than ever to recall.

Because we have pride, and because pride remembers, we remember the past in terms of slights, wrongs, and feelings of ill-will. Those days where our pride was offended, they stand out forever. They leave a scar that itches and burns, smoldering, waiting for any reason, any mere breeze, to ignite. No matter if he's holding his first born, for the first time, a man whose pride has been challenged still has a fire burning deep within his soul.

But that fire, that feeling of rashness, that burning for retribution, does not and cannot ever change the simple lessons our forebears taught. War is universally a horror. Don't fight. If you're forced, then fight and win. If you can't win, leave.

Now my grandfather's grandchildern themselves have wandered upon a crossroads in this nation's history. We face a decision, a test. A test our countrymen take for us. Will we force them to yet again learn those hard and bitter lessons? Will we ask them to wage a war they are ill-equipped to win? Will we ask their families to suffer for our pride? Will we allow the inherited wisdom our forefathers left us to be traded away? Will we?

Or shall we have the courage to use reason, God's greatest gift? Shall we use reason to recall why our ancestors said what they said? Shall we remind our brothers to choose, instead of pride, the acumen of our shared experience? Shall we?

War is horrible. If you're forced, go and win. If you can't win, leave.

The time for us to call our troops back home is now.