The August of Our Folly, by Davin Michael Stedman

Do you think our military might be dangerously overextended if we can’t ‘invade’ Puerto Rico and help what is inevitably going to be our 51st State?

The National Guard should not be in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is a sign of Imperial stupidity. Folly in every sense.

Sun Tzu would have some interesting things today to say about the weakness of American power. This is not a matter of outspending our rivals. We are easily outspending our rivals and our allies combined.

If we are not an Empire, there is no such thing as Empires. If the weakness of our armed forces is exposed by storms back home in the American heartland of New Orleans and Puerto Rico, there is no way we can conquer North Korea. We couldn’t handle North Korea in 1950. I would say we lost the Korean War, but we have refused to end the Korean War because we are still behind on the scoreboard.

This is a post in defense of our Armed Forces. Because as our Military has been stretched to the limit, the men and women of our Armed Forces have done the best they can under the circumstances of an all volunteer force.

What about the money?

If it was all about the money, the Vietcong would have surrendered. We bombed away the future wealth of a generation into those jungles.

We traded schools, hospitals, health care for carpet bombing and bouncing betties; dixie cutters and napalm struck our inner cities in decay. The Bronx Burned. Detroit buckled.

They say War is profitable. But not when you lose, and if we win, then for whom?

Yet we wonder why our electorate in 2016 was as jumpy and dumb as a quarry full of snack and crack rocks.

As a nearly 20 year Navy Veteran buddy confided in me at our 20th Anniversary when I asked him how our ships keep colliding with foreign vessels,

“All the holes in the Swiss cheese are lining up.”

A jazzman 50 years ago might whisper,

“Hey sister, your slip is showing.”

This is no attack on GI Joe, I am talking about the brass and politicians playing with those toy Soldiers. But I am also talking about failed policies, foreign and domestic that feed into this feedback loop, a nuclear failure pile.

Hurricane Katrina and the humanitarian disaster in Puerto Rico are simply proof we are spread too thin. Where do we even begin?

Future historians will marvel at how the Richest empire of all time let its infrastructure crumble and citizens waste away on opiates and a third rate education.

The greatest defense bill in American history would include investing in the best health care system and schools for all, because a healthier country equals a better pool of soldiers for the evolving demands of future war and a modern peace. It’s pragmatic.

But how do we pay for it? Well we can’t now because we burned that money chasing Ho Chi Ming into a trap, when we could have been more clever and just used our post WWII wealth to turn him against Vietnam’s traditional oppressor China. Of course we backed the wrong horse.

See those Ivy League f_cks running the show didn’t take classes on the history of Chinese & Vietnamese relations. They couldn’t speak the language. Thousands of miles from home, our future was damaged.

You start to wonder if we could have saved a Trillion dollars in tax payer waste on limited War in the 1960’s, with a library card and the index number for Art of War. The possibilities of even just 10% more books and 10% less bombs.

All the money in America doesn’t add up to a hill of wisdom. It never has.

Our enemies today have duly noted that we are hamstrung saving a 100 mile wide island that is in fact quite nearby. Cyber attack scenarios abound.

America has been virtually invincible up until now because no other Empire has the supply lines to invade. But Cyber warfare has been the greatest and most troubling break through in Game of War since Hiroshima & Nagasaki were erased by run away neutrons.

If we get hit by Cyber Attacks we need the National Guard and first responders ready to react, whether it’s No Where, Minnesota or Puerto Rico, USA.

*This post was ultimately inspired by Barbara W. Tuchman’s The March of Folly and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Library cards are good.

– Musician and writer Davin Michael Stedman has many musical ventures and is one of the driving forces behind the Staxx Brothers. He is planning a tour of Nigeria for 2018.

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