The Wasatch Behind: the way to end wars
"Why didn't I think of that?" Uncle Spud said as he put down his newspaper.
"Think of what?" I asked.
"The way to end wars," he said. "It's so obvious."
"What are you talking about?"
"The Democrat's solution to war," he said. "Set a deadline, stop the money, and bring the troops home. What a novel idea."
"You can't be serious."
"Oh yes," he said. "This is brilliant. It's just too bad we didn't think of it sooner. Can you even imagine the lives we could have saved, the trouble and inconvenience we could have avoided, and the money we could have kept had congress refused to fund World War II? It would have been so simple. All we had to do was withhold the money for ships, tanks, boots, and bullets, and we could have avoided the whole thing. After Pearl Harbor we should have just told old Tojo to go fight someone else because we weren't gong to participate."
"You're beginning to sound like Nancy Pelosi," I said.
"Who else would set a deadline on war?" he said. "What an original concept. Congress gives our troops 18 months to fight and then we quit, no matter the outcome. Brilliant. Like a baseball game. Play a few innings and then go home. Does it really matter who wins? During World War II, a deadline would have saved us a whole lot of trouble. We should have given General Eisenhower 18 months to win the war. By June 1943 we could have brought our troops home and had a parade. Just think, we could have avoided D-day, Iwo Jima, and the battle of the bulge."
"But the Japanese attacked us, and the Germans were bent on world conquest," I said. "They would have occupied our country and enslaved the whole world if we hadn't put forth the effort, treasure, and sacrifices necessary to fight them and defeat them."
"So what?" he said. "Islamic terrorists killed 3000 Americans in downtown New York and they are bent on world conquest too. But somehow it doesn't seem to be such a big deal this time. Some of our politicians are more concerned about winning elections than winning wars."
"But attacking Iraq was illegal and unjustified," I said. "Iraq only supported the terrorists. They didn't attack us directly."
"Just like Germany," he said. "Some might argue that declaring war on Germany was pre-emptive, illegal, and unjustified too. The Germans hadn't done anything to us in 1941."
"But the Germans were allied with the Japanese," I said. "We had to defeat both to win the war."
"Exactly," he smiled. "And you'll remember that after Hitler was defeated, Germany became our ally and a forward base for winning the cold war against the Soviet Union. Iraq fills that same role in this war. Iraq is an ally and a forward base in the Middle East; a moral and military advantage. And conveniently, terrorists go there to be martyred by our soldiers. It keeps them off the streets of New York. Even Rocky Anderson should be able to understand that. To abandon Iraq now would be like giving Hawaii to the Japanese back in 1941."
"So what do you suggest?" I asked.
"Fight to win," he said. "And if not, I think this same cut and run strategy should apply to all wars. Take the war on poverty for example. Congress should set a deadline and get us out of there. We've been fighting the war on poverty since 1964. It's cost us trillions of dollars and we're still loosing. Why not declare the war over, cut all funding for social welfare programs, and give up? If poor people can't take care of themselves by now, like the Iraqis, it's not our fault. We've given them plenty of time.
"And how about the war on AIDS? We should cut all funding for medical research, treatment, and education. We'll just declare the war over and let the chips fall where they may. Think of the time, money, and effort we'll save. And what about the war on illegal drugs, cancer, world hunger, and illiteracy? Think of the possibilities. With this strategy we'll have no wars, at anytime, at any cost, for any reason. Total peace through deadlines and tight purse strings. What a novel idea. We should all expect a big tax cut if we're not going to fight anymore wars."