If history doesn’t interest you, many Americans of this generation express the same view. This is one of the reasons we are where we are today. But since you’ve read this far, this article is going to bore you with a little more of your history, because if Americans continue to disregard it, they do their country and its fallen heroes a great disservice.
The Israeli people complain about the weak leadership of their impotent elected officials and disorganized military. The pseudo-democratic government of Lebanon cannot govern its own country because its weak leaders exist at the discretion of Iran’s militant proxy, Hezbollah. Iraq’s weak democratically elected officials are helplessly drowning in the blood of an internal religious war that is anything but democratic. In defining the war in Iraq, an unconvincing American Administration, its diplomats and generals, continue to dance (weakly) around the same two words, civil and war. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of civil war is: “A war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country.” Shall we dance?
Gone is the heroic, gutsy military leadership of George Patton, Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur-BTW all great dancers. Gone are the brilliant statesmen and their backseat advisors like Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins. I think I’ve been around too long to interest a generation that has never heard of Marshall Georgy Zhukov, the brutal but talented military commander of the Red Army that liberated the Soviet Union from the Nazi onslaught and captured Berlin; too long to expect anyone reading this commentary to know the name of Averell Harriman, former Governor of New York and close personal friend of Prescott Bush, grandfather of President George W. Bush. Between his many covert and overt affairs, the glamorous Ambassador Harriman managed to serve as advisor to American presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson.
The aforementioned people were larger than life icons of their times. These are times when Americans are not well liked abroad. History shows us this too will change. Listed below are the names of some American diplomats you never heard of, but who are no less the courageous peacemakers, trailblazers and humanitarians you should know and be proud of.
Hiram Bingham IV
Charles E. Bohlen
Philip C. Habib
Robert D. Murphy
Clifton R. Wharton, Sr.
Frances E. Willis
One of the above was the nation’s first black Foreign Service Officer, another the first female ambassador and another risked his life to save thousands of innocents from death. A little Google will tell you a lot about them. They are all career Foreign Service Officers, patriots not appointed by any Administration. You will find their faces on six newly commemorated U.S. postage stamps. Be proud of them and your American heritage.
My website is under reconstruction until 2010. Meanwhile, you can find me at http://newagejournal.com/2007/spirituality/the-eternal-search-for-who-am-i
You can also read two chapters of my novel, The Sword and the Chrysanthemum, Journey of the Heart at http://www.samurai-archives.com/guestart.html
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