COLONEL DONALD J. MYERS USMC (Ret)
At the start of football season, the “Peanuts” cartoon by Charles Shultz always had a strip where Lucy held a football for Charlie Brown to kick. Charlie would run to the ball and at the last minute, Lucy would pull the ball away and Charlie would fall. That particular series went on for years with the same outcome each year. As a country, we are the Charlie Brown and our adversaries today and in the past are Lucy. We continue to believe that we can trust those who have consistently shown that they can not be trusted. Unfortunately it is not a football that is pulled away from us at the last minute, but something more important and menacing. it is our security and freedom that is at stake.
We made countless agreements and pacts with the Soviet Union throughout the years following World War II, and they cheated with each one. We hoped each time that perhaps they had changed and would finally live up to the latest agreement signed. That never happened. We continued to hope and believe that if we treated them “nice’’ they would respond in kind. that also never happened because they viewed our actions as weakness to be taken advantage of.
Since the end of the Korean War in 1953, we had numerous agreements with North Korea in the hope that it would become more peaceful. South Korea has flourished and become quite prosperous while North Korea continues to languish in poverty in all areas except the military. We have provided North Korea with food, oil, and peaceful nuclear aid in return for their not building a nuclear bomb. That has really worked out well for us hasn’t it? North Korea has not changed its behavior and continues to desire a reunification of Korea under its control. One need only observe their actions and ignore their talk to determine their trustworthiness. While they build nuclear weapons, their people starve and we feel sorry for them. I suspect that once again we will provide food in the hope that they will change their attitude.
During the Vietnam War when we started to have talks with the North Vietnamese, we consistently changed our tactics in the hope that the North Vietnamese would obey agreed protocols. The cease fire during the Tet holidays in 1968 is the best example of what happened when we stood down. The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese attacked throughout the entire south and caused significant casualties. Sadly our media portrayed that as a huge victory for our enemy. The truth was that the Viet Cong were effectively destroyed and ceased to be an effective force for the remainder of the war because they suffered so many casualties.
In August of 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and occupied it. We demanded that Saddam Hussein leave Kuwait and began building up forces in the area. On 22 February 1991 President Bush gave an ultimatum to Hussein and on 24 February allied forces attacked and drove the Iraqi army out of Kuwait. In 28 February an agreement was signed by all forces and placed specific requirements on the Iraqis. For the next several years, Hussein continued to ignore many of the requirements and finally in March of 2003 allied forces led by the United States attacked Iraq.
We now come to Iran and its move to attain a nuclear weapon. Sanctions have been applied and they had a damaging impact on Iran’s economy. As usual, we are now in the act of reducing the pressure on Iran and its leadership. We have reduced many of the sanctions as have most other countries. negotiations go back and forth while Iran’s economy improves and it drags its feet. Iran has been the leading country exporting terrorism and has been on our terrorist list for years. It provided weapons to our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan that caused many American casualties. Iran has consistently stated that its goal is to destroy Israel and it supports Hezbollah as it fights against Israel.
This week James Clapper the Director of National Intelligence issued the latest report of terrorist organizations that are a threat to the United States. Iran and Hezbollah were both removed from the list after being on it for years. The explanation was that they are a danger to the middle east and not the United States. HUH!!! This appears to be merely a ploy so that the agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons will not seem as dangerous. Will we never learn that untrustworthy leaders can not be trusted.
Donald Myers is a retired Marine Colonel and can be reached at email@example.com