|Still, I do take serious that editor of Soldier of Fortune, I believe,
who said every war the US has engaged in since the Civil war has been a waste of blood and treasure. When asked about WWII, his solution was to
just have the US sit by until the USSR inevitably conquered Berlin, and then drop an A-bomb on Moscow.
Its a bit of Monday morning
quarterbacking, but it sure would have saved my Dad from getting his knees frozen in the Hürtgen forest during the Battle of the Bulge.
Still it is hard not to cheer the first Gulf war, perhaps the only decisive
victory for the US since WWII. But in retrospect I have to question what we gained. A few Mideast countries did accept the US as alpha-male
bully suitable to settle disputes among the other schoolyard bullies. That lasted about 3 years. But I can't believe the families of the dead
or any of the wounded soldiers think the first Gulf was was a good idea.
So ponder this street art, perhaps by a young man, wise beyond his years, who wondered why we were spending billions of dollars and
thousands of lives for oil, something in abundant supply all over the world. It is interesting that Germany's Panzer division running out of
fuel during WWII has made oil the preeminent strategic commodity in politicians' minds. Meanwhile, China is scooping up all the niobium and
rare-earth metals, the true strategic commodities of the 21st century. We still think it's about oil.
Politicians and strategists, like generals, always fight the last war, not the
current or next one. In a century, the US spending so much blood and treasure to secure oil reserves will be seen as stupid as our generals
sending their troops into mass charges on machine gun emplacements in WWI.