Sunday, October 24, 2010

Are we more united than two years ago?

The topic of this blog is modern warfare. I generally try to avoid politics, particularly internal politics. This is quite impossible in that armed conflict concerning the United States will have a large political element. Even then, I do attempt to minimize political influence in my views. This is in itself a distortion, but one that I want to live with, in that I believe that politics and warfare do not mix very well.

The war is apparently becoming quieter. I say this because of a declining amount of overt combat involving U.S. troops has been taking place over the past 3 or 4 years. In the past 2 years, the disengagement of U.S. forces in Iraq and the complete withdrawal of combat units from Iraq. Even though forces are up in Afghanistan, overall combat is down. The rules of engagement limit offensive action to a fraction of what is required. The knowledge that the eventual draw down of forces in Afghanistan will take place next year will lead many people to the illusion that the war is either over, or that it is fading away and will disappear. What is scary is that the war is going to explode again, maybe even more significantly than 9/11. But what also concerns me is that the United States is politically more divided today than we were 2 years ago, before the administration of President Obama.

I believe that the Republican Party is much stronger and more united than 2 years ago. All the things that have occurred have actually united many Americans against President Obama’s agenda. The overruling of the American Public’s view against Health Care and passing it anyway is a signature event. However, at the same time, I believe that the United States is actually much more divided than we were two years ago. This is just my take on things, but I have noticed a much higher level of intensity concerning the news. I watch CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and FOX news. I read the Chicago Tribune, and other publications along with getting news from the Internet. More people seem to be yelling at each other. Listening to the other side seems to have become more of a problem. Political views appear to have hardened. Not so much that people are changing their position as much as they are not even interested in hearing what the other has to say. Maybe the election has something to do with this. In any case, it does seem like this election is continuing a pattern of increasingly hostile ads and hostile discourse. It can only reach a certain level before all communication is accusations and no listening to the other side other than how to turn it against the other. A point is reachable where the opposite party becomes more of an enemy threat than outside influences or organizations. Civil War becomes a distinct possibility. Or if the external threat is overt, military reverses can actually help one side and not the other.

Once again, this is my take. I believe that the leadership of the United States has not been listening to our people about important issues. The fact that Congress and the President ignored the U.S. public outcry about Health Care and passed it over their objections is one of the most visible. It certainly pissed me off. I have been angry about politics before, but I have never seen our government so unresponsive to the public’s views. It makes sense that this ignoring of others is now being seen within our population’s view of politics. America has freedom of speech. If this trend of ignoring the public continues, this freedom along with many others may very well be in jeopardy. After all, if no one is listening, why bother? Not to mention that it is only the next step to openly discourage or penalize opposing views.

I had thought that President Obama was elected because he will be able to unite the United States. He will bring others together including our foreign enemies and allies. However, President Obama is not a moderate. His actions point to an extreme view on many issues. I find it interesting that he defines the enemy as ‘extreme fundamentalist’. To me, this is exactly what he appears to be. This leads me to believe that he divides much more effectively than he unites. In fact, it looks more like he is better at uniting his enemies rather than his allies. This concerns me even more when I look at the international situation and the war.

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