Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"Who won?"

News Report from this morning:
The USS Intrepid is no longer stuck in the mud.This morning, one month after the first attempt failed, a team of tugboats yanked the old, gray World War II aircraft carrier from its berth in the Hudson River on the West Side of Manhattan, where it has served as a military museum for 24 years."

The reasons for moving the Intrepid were that its dock needed to be rebuilt and the ship itself needed to be drydocked to clean and paint its bottom. I remember my last visit to the Intrepid with my family some years ago. On board there was an elderly Navy man, in uniform, acting as a guide and resource for the many visitors. We struck up a conversation with him and he commented on the number of children and teenagers that visited the museum. He said they simply had no knowledge of World War II and he was sorry that history classes in the nation's schools were failing their students so badly.

One group of students had asked him who he was and why he was there. After he explained his and the ship's involvement in fighting the Japanese during World War II, one of the students asked, "Who won?"

Today is also the day that Robert Gates is being grilled by a Senate panel in preparation to becoming our new Secretary of Defense. Gates has already admitted this morning that the US went to war in Iraq without a large enough Army. That grave error by outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld results in all of us asking that same question: Because of that blunder, "Who won?"

It certainly wasn't the almost 3,000 Armed Force's casualties we have suffered in Iraq. But the defense contractor Haliburton could certainly be considered a winner. I noticed in our Web Site statistics that someone at Haliburton has been looking at www.war-books.com. I don't know why, but I find that frightening.

Education is the key. Today's kids in school need to know about World War II. Today's adults need more information about why American Presidents think the US should go to war before he commits our troops and sets up his propaganda campaign to mislead us. --Walter Haan, www.war-books.com


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