25 February 2014

In The Rickshaw

We see it in movies. (My wife and I watch a BUNCH of old black-and-white movies, so this image may be more vivid for us than you)...
Coolies or slaves slogging across the sand in some desert, carrying a potentate or otherwise VERY Important Person in the curtain-shrouded chair.
Or sometimes the chair is on wheels, pulled uphill and down by some extraordinarily fit Asian, taxiing some foreigner to an important meeting across town.
The person being transported is taking advantage of work being done by others.

I can't help being philosophical here.
Those of us living comfortable lives today are "In that chair".
And, depending on your age, that chair was pulled by your parents, grandparents, or great-grands.

They watched as their world grew unsettled.
It's easy to just deny evil is in your neighborhood, and that's just what they did...
Starting in 1933 they watched and hoped...
Ignored the fact that rules laid down to prevent another conflagration were being ignored.
Ignored the fact that other neighbors were suffering as essential energy sources were being gobbled up by belligerent forces.
What did it matter? The light was at the end of the tunnel...
Beer was back.
The worst of the depression seemed behind us.
Chamberlain had the right idea. "Smart diplomacy" had saved the day and avoided war.
Until it didn't.

And then our parents+ got their noses bloodied. It was no longer possible to ignore what was truly going on in our back yard. And correcting the problem was going to be UGLY...
Uglier that it would have been had we just seen the problem and corrected it earlier.
But they shouldered the ugly task and suffered greatly.
And corrected the problem.

We've been riding in the Rickshaw they provided for years, enjoying relative peace, prosperity, and freedom.
We've all heard over and over the old saw, "Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it".
I think most everyone believes the saying to be true, but the lessons I glean from my historical studies may not be the same lessons you learn.
And there's the rub isn't it?

I'm scared to death of what I see on the news these days.
I'm even more scared by the feeling I'm surrounded by a bunch of Neville Chamberlains.
I hear drumbeats.
I see folks that bear a striking political resemblance to evil people our parents ignored.
As we now reduce the size of our military, I remember the U.S. in the 1930's and remember how our population and resources came alive after about 1940, at great cost, until we could fight without one hand behind our back.

I fear the Rickshaw ride may soon come to an end.
I fear the tools our enemies have at hand will make this conflagration worse than anything our parents could imagine.
I HOPE our citizens learn from history before it's too late.

God be with us.


The Old Man said...

I hope that we can emulate our forefathers and thrive and survive. But the death count will be high and the mental cost even higher.
We are living in interesting times...

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Agree whole heartedly. Fear this time around it will be a biological war.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Let's see, we're reducing the military to pre-war levels.
I wonder what followed those pre-war levels?

Scotty said...

If it's any consolation Brother, I've been hearing those same drum beats!

Old NFO said...

Interesting viewpoint, and one worth SERIOUSLY thinking about. Thanks!

Dixon Webb said...

Greybeard. . . . . It's easy to be worried and not so easy to see the other side. Our present government is hell bent on destroying our traditional 250 year old successful system. We can know that and still smile. Yes, it's going to be very hard to erase the influence of the miserable ego driven ultra left, but surely we have the ability to do so. Our democratic republic has a few weaknesses yet it also has the strength to overcome. Our problems need to be addressed and fixed - not thrown in the trash.

Rita said...

Dana Perino said it right the other day.

The farther we get from 9/11, the closer we get to 9/10.

Naïveté is dangerous.