As we approach another quagmire in Syria, I have to reflect on the past 80 years of our wartime history. As a child and adolescent in World War II, entering military service for the Korean War, a combat tour in Vietnam and a witness to our martial adventures since that time, I probably have a different perspective than some of the younger and more innocent generations.
To put the results of those events in baseball terms: World War II was a triple-header shutout against Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and Mussolini’s Italy; Korea, even after 60 years, remains tied in the top of the 9th with their lead pitcher still threatening; Vietnam was a butt-kicking for our team. We had great players, but sorry managers who let us down; Iraq-Afghanistan is apparently tied at the bottom of the 9th and with great players but again with lousy managers; and now our president wants to start another “game” with Syria when we’re still hog-tied in three other games.
An old friend and veteran of WWII once commented that wars are like bar room brawls, “There ain’t no such thing as a tie – you either win or get your butt kicked. And you sure don’t tell the other guy when, where and how you’re gonna punch his lights out!”
I would sincerely and deeply hope that the White House and Congress would tread very carefully before they toss this nation into another swamp in Syria. For as a great philosopher once observed, “Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”