Perverted Image of Our Nation
(This article appeared one year ago. The only source of new hope for July 4th, 2016, is perhaps the emergence of Trump)
We all bring our life”s experience into this moment called “now”. We decipher, arrange, place judgement and give relevance based on how we have been served by our personal history.
Most adults have seen images of Marines storming enemy beaches from American ships. Hitting the beach using landing crafts is still used today especially in clandestine operations. For Marines, it is a common occurrence. Hitting the water from the LSD (landing ship dock; naval vessels with hollowed out bellies) is an experience you will never forget; Or, loading on to landing crafts down ship cargo nets with full back packs marks you forever. The beach scramble off the landing craft, into the ocean, struggle through the cross currents, rifle in the air, lingers in your mind for a lifetime.
My recollections are full of camaraderie, nonsense kidding, total respect and support for those sharing the moment in this slice of time. Seconds before the ramps fall are punctuated by intense silence and renewed kinship with your now best friend, the Lord. American naval personnel facilitate your launch, they become your brothers and there are no qualms in those brief moments about rival cross service identification.
For the past seven years, we have been led down a path of American military deterioration which will take years to recover. Take note; America can no longer launch a shuttle into space without using Russian rockets or Chinese technology. The United States is today negotiating long term contracts for Russian made rocket engines. We are capable but no longer supported in building our own. The Obama presidential phrase “ you didn’t build that, somebody else did”, has become the American standard.
As a nation we have become obsessed with mediocrity. Our military has been degraded, our stealth designs have been compromised, even Iran has captured stealth drones and totally examined our top secret aircraft. No boots on the ground continues to be a political imperative, not a strategic decision.
Published in USA Today, a column appeared on the front page. The title of the article read “ Foreign vessels could aid U.S. Navy”, “Marines might use ally fleets due to our shortage of ships” was the sub title. The article delved into the fact Marines no longer have the equipment and capabilities to make amphibious landings. America has to depend on other nations to carry out our military goals. No longer can the American military depend on self sufficiency. American Marines hitch hiking on foreign vessels is described as a stop gap measure by Brig. General Norman Cooling who will most likely get demoted for exposing a truth this administration would rather you not know. “ There is no substitute for U.S. amphibious vessels”, Cooling said. The Navy has 30 amphibious ships but needs 38 to meet minimum needs. If addressed, fulfilling basic needs would take until 2028. Agreements are currently being worked out with foreign nations which will likely take over a year to complete. Leasing Somalian pirate ships could be the answer.
For a nation such as the United States it becomes absurdly ridiculous to believe we cannot adhere to minimum standards. Thirty eight amphibious ships does not even sound like a start. The American economy would be better served if we built all the ships we can build. Unemployment can be a thing of the past.
As we approach the 4th of July, it would serve us well to understand who we are as a nation. In the realm of nations, you should still have to look up to see America. We have leaders who are insistent in forcing our eyes towards the ground. These leaders who we erroneously elected misrepresent who we are. Cipher in the fact Neanderthal DNA can still be found in 6% of the human population and you will understand we are still progressing out of ape-hood. For those who still retain an ounce of self thought, not tainted by false dogma or mainstream media, looking across national boundaries will reveal a free nation who still draws millions from around the world. All wanting the freedoms we offer. If we are so disgustedly bigoted, jingoistic and oblivious to humanity, why are our gates flooded to the detriment of our working population?