Monday, June 04, 2007
The sin here, if any, is in the too-speedy journey through the 19th century and the omission of our many small wars, from the Barbary Pirates to the Indian Wars to the Spanish-American War. Of course, many people view those wars as a bug, not a feature, and therefore probably not worthy of an otherwise patriotic video.
These little wars and other conflicts are more interesting, and more telling about this country's inner growth/turmoil and outer projection of itself, indeed from the Quasi War with France and the Barbary Pirates, to the current Iraq. The Army and Marines don't like to talk about two of the conflicts that truly made both branches the machines they today: for the Army it was the campaign to subjugate the Indians, basically from the Army's true inception following the Revolution, to 1890. For the Marines, it was the actions in Caribbean, including Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Phillipines in 1901, and the Boxer Rebellion in China around that time. I'm not saying something like Bull Run or Iwo Jima isn't important, but it's like asking what's the meaning of Christmas or pondering what's on the menu at McDonald's...
I lost interest after seeing the image of Saddam pointing his finger from behind a lectern.
In fifteen years, the 50th Reunion Class of 1972 may carry signs reading "Our War, Not as Dumb as 2007's War" or something like that. Funny that that during yesterday's Baccalaureate address at Princeton, the Class of 2007 learned they were the "class of destiny". I wish them luck, I don't think history will look kindly on the years surrounding 2007.