BEFORE proceeding, here’s our warmest greetings to all the birthday “boys” and “girls” out there this month of June, with the special mention going to our ‘Alexa,’ aka, ‘Buknay’ who’ll be turning 2 years old today, while you are reading this article, dear readers. The other special mention goes to… myself, hehehe!
And of course, here is giving praise and thanks to the Almighty, especially, my guiding light, Our Lady of Manaoag, for all the blessings that She continuously “showers” on yours truly, despite my inadequacies as a person but her faithful follower and believer. Amen!
When they took office in 1969, Henry Kissinger, national security adviser and later on, Secretary of State, under Pres. Richard Nixon, commenting on the Vietnam War they inherited from three previous US presidents— Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson— famously remarked:
“We are not going to make the same mistakes, we will make our own.”
And indeed, American administrations since then, seem to be in a “contest” to make their own group of mistakes when it comes to the use of American military might and power.
In the Reagan years, it would be Central America and the Caribbean; in the Bush, Clinton and Obama years it would be the Middle East, the Balkans and Asia, respectively— then back to the Middle East, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.
In the middle of the Obama years, the echo of Kissinger’s statement is calling back again.
For not only does Obama want the military boots of America to remain in the Middle East and nearby regions, he also wants another “flash point” whose mistakes he would want to be credited for— conflict in Asia (translation: War with China).
Remember that in 2012, near the end of his first term, Obama announced his so-called “Pivot to East Asia” policy, which simply means that aside from the US’ ongoing military intervention in the Middle East, he wants to return to Asia, as if the blood of American servicemen shed from its military fiascos in Korea and Vietnam are not yet enough.
Heck, even the great Augustus, Rome’s first emperor, could have commented, “aggressive people simply never learn,” if we are to remember that on his death bed, Augustus told his successor, Tiberius, to “stop” the expansion of Roman territory especially to the East (Germany).
Augustus, of course, knows the wisdom of his advise because it was in Germany that an entire Roman legion was wiped out during his reign by the “barbaric tribes” when they tried to further expand Roman territory in the East.
Especially for a great nation with a great martial tradition, the “urge” to resort to expansionism is the leader’s “need” for “military glory.”
Well, Lyndon Johnson tried actually to be remembered not as the president who expanded the war in Vietnam but rather, as the president who pushed for welfare...
and the rights of the American people thru his “Great Society” slogan. He failed. Dismally.
Today, we are seeing that US Pres. Donald Trump is just as ready to make mistakes he can truly call his “own”— by adding America’s economic might thru a “trade war” with China in Obama’s Asian pivot doctrine.
Trump also appears eager to create his own imprint in the Middle East by going the way of his predecessor, George Bush Jr., by “faking” evidence of Iran’s aggression in the Persian Gulf.
In the long history of empires, mistakes piling on mistakes always lead to a dead end and disaster for the aggressor.
This is fair warning to Uncle Sam but then, who is listening?