In 1926 our teacher persuaded my uncle to dress in his old uniform and come to our one room country school and tell about World War I. He came carrying his rifle. My grandparents had close relatives in Germany and I wondered if my uncle had shot any of them.
As a sailor in the Pacific during WWII, I was far away from Germany and my German ancestors were never on my mind. The end of that war didn't bring peace. Our insistence that Korea had to be divided caused war with Korea and a shaky peace to this day.
The "cold war" was caused by Russia claiming the territories it had captured from Hitlers Germany.
Our own military claiming the right to defend their military bases in Vietnam caused a very costly war.
Some say America lost its humility in the 20th Century. We didn't lose it; we threw it away when we became a super power. We didn't thank the Russians for withdrawing from the territories they had laid claim to. Instead, we bragged that we won the cold war.
Our "peace through strength" motto was a factor in our record eight wars in 100 years (including Iraq, Afghanistan, and the war on terror). This foreign policy has been dubbed "cowboy diplomacy." Why insult the cowboys?
I listened to Governor Pawlenty explaining what the Republicans position will be in planning future policy. He promised diplomacy instead of war but it would be a position of strength. That kind of diplomacy works only after war. It's called dictating the peace. Our fixation with war as a tool for peace has gained us a reputation as an aggressive and war-like society that cannot be trusted. Our war debts and its corruption has thrown our country into a recession. Now we're fighting over who should share the burden and sacrifice in its recovery.
For unity in dealing with the problems we now face, I favor an effort to slow the deterioration of the earth, our home that God toiled six days to create.
Warren R. Crackel