Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Name:
Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Pittsford’s William Whitaker


William Whitaker of Pittsford wrote: “My children (ages 10 and 12) came home from school and asked, ‘Dad, is there going to be a war?’  I realized the bellicose words and nature of our president had led them to ask this question.
“I am a retired naval officer, was at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during the 1962 missile crisis (Note, General Curtis LeMay recommended that the U.S. strike first with our bomber force) and was in Vietnam during the 1968 Tet offensive (note General Westmoreland: ‘Give me 50,000 more men and I will win’).  The former caused a rethink about nuclear weapons; the latter a rethink about entering a conflict.
“Sadly, by 2003, the lessons were forgotten, and we have been at war ever since with little to show for it (unless you are a munitions manufacturer). We now have a president who believes we can throw our weight around, tell other nations what to do and make military threats.  My advice to the president is, first, do not listen to the generals; they will tell you they can do it, whatever it, is.
“Second there are seven billion people on this planet who need to be considered.  Third, we happen to live in a country that, in aggregate, has more natural resources, more space, has not had a foreign force on our soil since 1812, and has received immigrants from around the world who have contributed mightily to our prosperity.  These are the circumstances that have led to our good fortune, not any type of national superiority.”

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