Because men do not change, history repeats itself. Just as the American Revolution once split this nation into Loyalists and Patriots, the conflict in Iraq has split Congress (see here) and the American people (here). Whereas the Democratic Party believes Iraq is a lost cause, the Republican Party stands for victory. In pursuit of victory, the Bush administration is giving Gen. David Petraeus what he asks (here).
So it is that once again we are engaged in conflict, and once again we owe a small group of dedicated men a debt of thanks. Thanks to the resolve of our soldiers, we still retain a chance for victory (see here and here).
Early in American history a group of men resolutely stood their ground. Even when many around them had given up, they carried on. During this period, Thomas Paine became famous for writing tracts that encouraged the fortitude and the resolve of these men throughout a war that lasted many long years, between 1775 and 1783. Paine’s writings included a series of pamphlets, The American Crisis. Here is a famous quote from the first of those pamphlets.
These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it Now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph.
Like as not, our children’s children will battle terrorists (see here). While the winning the conflict in Iraq may be difficult, victory could ease a terrible burden for future generations.
We have a choice. We can support the men who defend our freedom, or we stand back and take the chance they may fail. Depending upon our choice, future generations will remember as brave patriots as summer soldiers.
Chuck Asay’s work can be found at this link.