By Gregory G. Paspatis, Alexandria
To the editor:
I am writing to challenge Dino Drudi’s assertions in his most recent letter to the editor (“What has military intervention done for us lately,” May 8). I found his historical analysis of America’s wars to be distorted and misguided. The War of 1812 resulted primarily from British imprisonment of American seamen, not our attempt to invade Quebec. But there was a hatred of Canada as a source of British support for the American Indians on the Northwestern frontier. The British blockade had produced a depression in the South and West, the center of anti-British feeling.
As for World War I, how can one claim that our entry was unprovoked? The Germans were engaging in unrestricted submarine warfare. There was the infamous Zimmerman telegram, which exposed a German plot to lure Mexico into becoming their ally. Had our fresh ground troops not turned the tide in 1918, France likely would have fallen. President Woodrow Wilson idealistically wanted to make the world safe for democracy. Drudi says WWI’s outcome resulted in the draconian reparations that led to WWII.
What was the alternative?
As for World War II, the fascism of the Axis powers (Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan) had to be destroyed. Drudi says it empowered Soviet and Chinese communism. Well, sometimes you have to set priorities. The United States didn’t start the two world wars. We were over here minding our own business.
The Korean conflict and the Vietnam War must be viewed in the context of the Cold War and the desire to stop the spread of communism. Our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq must be seen in the context of the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The War on Terrorism has eroded the capabilities of the al-Qaeda network. Isn’t Libya better off without the evil dictator Moammar Gadhafi?
But where would the world be without American intervention? American military might has always been a force for good, not evil. This is why we must always maintain a strong military to deter aggression.
The study of history is very important. We do not emphasize history enough in our declining education system. The study of military history in particular and the profession of arms are often scorned by our educational establishment.
Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed.