Okay, call it a Maui honeymoon hangover, but I’m not really back to the blogging yet. I’ll try to put up a few things, but I doubt I’ll get too serious until I’ve finished moving in with my new bride and setting up my new Fortress of Solitude in the upstairs office. Oh yeah, some time in the near future I hope to have some pictures for y’all of the joyous nuptials of Mr. and Mrs. Gunner.
Still, I don’t want to leave you empty-handed tonight, so heres a few links worth your time.
Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease.”
So said Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address, describing a war that put 11 percent of our citizens in uniform and had by that point killed nearly one of out every seven soldiers. That his words are relevant again now is a troubling indicator of our national endurance.
We are at the outset of a long war, and not just in Iraq. Yet it is being led politically by the short-sighted, from both sides of the aisle. The deterioration of American support for the mission in Iraq is indicative not so much of our military conduct there, where real gains are coming slowly but steadily, but of chaotic leadership.
Somehow Operation Iraqi Freedom, not a large war by America’s historical standards, has blossomed into a crisis of expectations that threatens our ability to react to future threats with a fist instead of five fingers. Instead of rallying we are squabbling, even as the slow fuse burns.
This confusion, in turn, affects our warriors, who are frustrated by the country’s lack of cohesion and the depiction of their war. Iraq hasn’t been easy on the military, either. But the strength of our warriors is their ability to adapt.
Soldiers are sick of apologizing for a sliver of malcontents who are not at all representative of the new breed. But they are also sick of being pitied. Our warriors are the hunters, not the hunted, and we should celebrate them as we did in the past, for while our tastes have changed, warfare â€” and the need to cultivate national guardians â€” has not. As Kipling wrote, “The strength of the pack is the wolf.”
Go read the whole thing. Hat tip to Blackfive.
A flag-draped casket.
These are the images of war that many have seen since the beginning of the war.
There are many more images that haven’t been seen before.
For Marines stationed at Buckley Air Force Base and the families they touch, the images are unforgettable. According to Maj. Steve Beck, they should be.
This is a stirring presentation that shows how the American military honors its fallen and helps their families take the beginning steps down the road to healing. The Rocky Mountain News put it together for last Veterans Day, and I’ll send a hat tip to Florida Cracker for linking it on Memorial Day. Today may seem a day late to bring it to your attention, but I don’t feel that it is — our military pays such tribute and shows such care any day of the year.
Welcome to Anthony Tully’s Online Discussion log of various musings regarding history, political science, current events, and fields of expertise like Naval and Romano-Byzantine History. Be sure to visit our website for a look at some of my Pacific War articles and information on just published full study of the Battle of Midway.
If the name Anthony Tully doesn’t ring a bell, please review this post where I asked Santa for a copy of the new book Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. Santa may not have come through for me in this case, but critics and historians have voiced much love for work of co-authors Jonathan Parshall and, yes, Anthony Tully. Hat tip to Frankenstein at General Quarters. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve e-known both Mr. Tully and Frank for several years on my favorite discussion forum and have long valued their thoughts on history, religion, military and political matters.