It's one thing to declare war; it's another to be the leader who fights it.
Anybody can start a war, and in truth it's something politicians are particularly adept at, often through missteps and ignorance.
And yet, some of our greatest heroes have been military men who took up the gauntlet that some politician threw down: Washington, Grant, Lee, Pershing, Patton, Eisenhower—the list of duty-bound Americans is long and their victories are legend
Now, according to the guy in the White House, we are engaged in another was begun by politicians' missteps and ignorance. But this time we have been declared the warriors charged with fighting it. Yes, we—you and I—just regular folks have been chosen to guide our country to glorious victory. Unfortunately what we don't have is a general. Or a strategy. Or anyone with any wartime experience.
And it's probably just as well, because the person to whom that general would report—the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces—has lost interest in the war. He is busy with other things, like running to remain Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
And to be honest, his assistance would probably not have helped. Unable to serve in the military himself because of his crippling bone spurs, he would not be able to lead a fighting force into battle. So he has fled the theater of operations and left the conflict in the hands of us—and fifty governors, many of whom are much smarter and more skillful than he is, but who have no master plan from which to work.
So we're all at war, but in actuality Oregon is fighting one war, Georgia another. New York has the most casualties; Wyoming the least. Fifty separate armies with fifty separate missions—with different equipment and different rules of engagement. It's as if during World War II the states who weren't interested in fighting the Nazis or Japan could simply beg off. Why should Nebraska send soldiers—don't you realize how far Nebraska is from both oceans? And the Dakotas—no one even knows where they are! They're safe. Let the Carolinas take care of Europe and the West Coast handle Japan.
Of course in World War II we did show a united front and a singular purpose. We had generals...and a president to rally the people. Historians can argue over the causes and results of all our wars, but we never before had a president who just lost interest, or who declared victory when we were losing 3,000 "soldiers" a day.
America's entry into World War II was not unforeseen, but was sudden. We had no stockpile of anything, but our transformation to a wartime footing was dramatic. President Roosevelt did not lament the fact that we were unprepared—he prepared us. It's interesting that our current president inherited $7 billion worth of medical equipment earmarked for a possible pandemic, then, sadly, blamed his predecessor for a lack of preparation.
Soldiers who fought in wars seldom discuss their experiences afterward, but they never forget them. And as far away as Trump goes to separate himself from this current war, as much distance as he tries to put between himself and the casualty reports, and as much as he praises his own leadership while his subjects die in horrifying numbers, we're not going to forget who is responsible for the misery, heartache, and death.
Some say World War II didn't end until the Nuremberg Trials had been completed. History, as usual, may repeat itself.