Prestige, Pride, Purpose

Charlie Daniels
By Charlie Daniels | July 26, 2013 | 3:59 PM EDT

There was a time when the term "Don't tread on me" was taken seriously by the powers that be in the rest of the world when it comes to the United States of America.

Even a veiled threat from an American president had profound and lasting effects because our leaders were men who didn't issue idle warnings and diplomatic double-speak; they were ready to back up whatever they said with whatever means it took to accomplish it.

There was a time when the United States went to war with one objective, to win and bring the troops home - no politically correct rules of engagement, no uncrossable lines in enemy territory, no cease fires while the enemy slips out the back door to safety, no quarter asked for, no quarter given, defeat or surrender of the enemy was the only acceptable solution.

And the world knew and accepted the fact that, if you attacked the U.S. or one of its allies, you were going to face the full and awesome wrath of the most capable and well-armed military on the planet.

In my opinion, the Korean War was where it all started to go wrong, the first time we initiated a "police action," which was just a way of saying that the troops on the ground would be thrown into the water wearing a pair of handcuffs and told to sink or swim. Politicians called the shots from the safety of their ivory towers in Washington, mandating rules of engagement that made it impossible to achieve a clear-cut victory.

The Korean War cost 54,246 American casualties, over 100,000 wounded and a scar that would begin to grow on the U.S. military, a frustration that, for the first time, not being in full charge of the fluid situation on the battle fronts where the enemy and the friendlies looked exactly alike.

America grew weary of the war in Korea because it seemed that we were just marking time, not really accomplishing anything, just sending soldiers thousands of miles away from home to fight and die in a war that nobody really understood. There were no clear cuts lines of victory, no definitive description of what winning would mean, we didn't really understand what we were doing in Korea and public trust and support, for the first time in almost two hundred years began to erode.

If the Korean War eroded public trust the Vietnam War did so on steroids as Nixon spoke of "peace with honor" out of one side of his mouth and gave orders to bomb Cambodia out of the other side.

Over 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam and the long black wall in Washington gives chapter and verse to the painful American heartbreak that literally tore this nation apart.

Stoned out hippies not worthy to kiss the boots of the soldiers who fought the war literally spit on our returning troops, to the everlasting shame of "the love generation."

The war in Vietnam was a debacle from start to finish with the politicos in Washington playing an international game of chess with the cream of American youth.

The coming of the mullahs and the capture of our embassy in Tehran signaled the level of disrespect and contempt the Middle East had developed for America, but at the same time it revitalized the spirit of patriotism and Americans elected Ronald Reagan who rebuilt our military, scared the heck out of Gaddafi and forced the Russians to tear down the Berlin Wall.

We have fought two more wars since the heady days of the Reagan presidency when America once again enjoyed prestige and international respect - wars that we, once again, entered with no clear-cut definition of what victory would be.

The nation now has the most divisive administration in its history, and whether it's intentional or unintentional it is causing a seismic rip in race relations and misunderstanding and envy among financial various strata.

Again our prestige and international respect is in decline. How can you respect or fear a nation whose president goes around the world apologizing for its greatness?

Obama is systematically gutting the command level of our military by relieving experienced and battle-hardened officers of their commands and cutting the budgets to the point of absurdity.

And you can bet our enemies are watching and licking their chops.

Where do we go from here?

Only God knows.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels