The Folly of Military Strength

Vaughan Famularo

The US President is without doubt the most powerful person on the planet. The influence they hold is without comparison. However, with all the power Presidents wield, it’s sobering to remember that they’re still human beings and, are subject to the same human emotions and weaknesses as the rest of us.

But, is it plausible to think emotions like fear of failure, envy or revenge can affect a Presidents policy?

You may think the people who rise to the position of US President are beyond the weakness of character that the rest of us experience?

Or, maybe US Presidents are so well assisted within an administrative framework, that any negative emotion can be identified and isolated before any damage can be done?

Sadly, history would refute both those propositions.

Certainly, some US Presidents have proven to be exceptional men in exceptional times but, even the best have exhibited the entire gamut of Human emotion.

It’s well known that former President Richard Nixon, suffered deeply from a fear of rejection. He especially felt this rejection from the young, Vietnam War protestors.

Nixon yearned to be understood and, even loved.

The rejection Nixon suffered, ate away at him where, he felt misunderstood and, had the incredible need to explain his position to those, who’s acceptance he so desired.

Not long after the secret invasion of Cambodia, President Nixon sneaked away from his Security Detail in the White House. As soon as the alarm was raised, they mounted a search and eventually found Nixon, with his Butler, debating War Protestors at the Lincoln Memorial.

Albeit concerning, Nixon was not alone when it came to a policy tainted by personal fear.

President Johnson was also affected by personal insecurities. An excerpt from the book, “When Presidents Lie” reveals that President Johnson was initially indecisive about committing troops to Vietnam. A conversation with one of his close friends, Texas Wheeler Dealer, A.W. Moursund reveals Johnson’s vacillation,

Moursund: “Goddamn, there’s not anything that’ll destroy you as quick as pulling up stakes and running.”

Johnson explained, “But, I don’t wanna kill these folks”

Moursund: “I don’t give a damn! I didn’t wanna kill em in Korea but, if you don’t stand up for America well…….. there’s nothin that a fellow in Johnson City won’t forgive except, being weak!”

In retirement, Johnson said in an interview,

“I was afraid that I would be seen as a coward and, my nation would be seen as an appeaser and, we would both find it impossible to accomplish anything for anybody anywhere on the entire globe.”

Whether Johnson’s fear of being branded a coward was founded or not is debatable but, his fear of appearing weak was very real. By his own admission, appearing weak was a compelling driver of Johnson’s Vietnam policy and, the direct outworking of that policy, cost the lives of sixty thousand US servicemen and, several hundred thousand Vietnamese.

It’s 43 years since America’s withdrawal from Vietnam and, it’s apparent that very few lessons have been learned from that humiliating defeat.

The American folly continues.

Appearing weak is still political suicide in America but, appearing weak has become and, is now identified by any conciliatory thought or, a common sense remark referring to a prescribed and, targeted foreign nation.

Todays ‘enemy in season’ is Nth Korea, Syria, Russia and, China.

Recently, Republican Presidential Nominee, Donald Trump was attacked unmercifully through the media by, desk thumping ex Generals, spewing accusations of Trump being a Putin stooge, all because Trump questioned the funding of NATO.

This is the danger America has returned to.

Just like the McCarthy era where, anyone who questioned the prescribed national thought was quickly branded a Communist, today, anyone who questions America’s aggressive tactics throughout the world is branded weak, unpatriotic, and unfit for Office.

This shows the cultural immaturity of the USA. When compared to other cultures and civilisations, America is still a baby. The US may be strong militarily but, her culture is weak.

The western media is no longer an independent voice and now, only acts as stenographers for, the many changing voices at the State Department.

The media continually rushes to condemn, and stifle debate.

Once again, we’re seeing aggressive US actions throughout the world that ignores sovereignty of foreign nations and the respect of International Law.

Although the faces at the top may change, the aggressive policies remain the same.

There’s also a pattern of human emotions that have been on show under the Presidency of Obama.

They are, grandiose self worth, (America is the Exceptional Nation) a failure to learn from mistakes, (Repeated attacks and destruction of Nations) a lack of remorse or guilt, (They take no blame for anything) a lack of empathy, (There has been no empathy shown to Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc etc) pathological lying and, a failure to accept responsibility of their own actions.

The last two are obvious without any need for examples.

These are traits of sociopaths and, they clearly have taken over the US Government. Their psychopathic traits are there for all to see.

But these are not just the traits of President Obama. These traits belong to many, in positions of power, within the State Department, the CIA, the Pentagon and the Military.

The obvious lesson that should’ve been learned from the US’s defeat in Vietnam is, that strength is not calculated by the number of bombs, guns, missiles and warships that a country possesses.

No, the strength of a nation is calculated by the will of her people and, the belief in the righteousness of their fight.

That lesson is still true today and, it’s a lesson the US needs to learn quickly because, the folly of her actions and, the aggressive rhetoric of many of her Politicians, declares their intent is once again, war.

President Johnson, in the years following his Presidency, began to identify his insecurity and, how his policies were affected.  He stated in an interview,

“We often say how impressive power is. But I do not find it impressive at all.

The guns, the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure.

They are necessary symbols. They protect what we cherish. But they are witness to human folly.”

Let’s hope America can quickly learn the lessons of her folly.

And, let’s hope and pray, that she can produce the Politicians she so urgently needs who, can lead her into the cultural maturity that, she so desperately requires and, the rest of the world, so desperately hopes for.

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