The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be -Yogi Berra
General Norman H. Schwarzkopf stated at the Victory Celebration of Operation Desert Storm, quoting Yogi Berra, that “the future ain’t what it used to be.” In the Gulf War, the United States liberated Kuwait from Iraqi occupation. The war was brief, lasting a little over a month. The parade held June 8, 1991, to commemorate the victory was the largest military parade held in Washington, DC since World War II.
It was the last military parade held in the nation’s capital.
President George H.W. Bush was criticized for not extending operation Desert Storm to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. His response to his critics was that any such effort to overthrow the Hussein government could be a protracted effort without a guaranteed outcome. Military decisions by world powers have consequences not clearly evident at the time of the decision. President Bush was aware of this axiom.
Bush was not prepared to commit U.S. troops to a foreign war that was likely to last longer than five years. Right or wrong, he understood the underlying premise of his decision. President Joe Biden should have taken a leaf out of President Bush’s playbook, to see the mission through to its designed end purpose.
Biden’s decision has changed the future in many contexts yet to be fully realized. President Xi of China has sent a message to the President of Taiwan: beware of relying upon U.S. support. The implication is simple. Taiwan will be reunified with China, either by force or treaty. Now is the time to peacefully surrender for reunification, or face the exercise in futility of resistance.
The list of perilous trouble spots in the world is extensive. Rogue nations determined to impose their agenda on weaker neighbors may intensify. Russia’s designs on Ukraine may be emboldened. The Middle East is now more unstable. Sectarian internal interests in Lebanon and Syria may resume conflict rather than pursue peaceful settlement negotiations. Pakistan may increase its influence in Afghanistan, civil war in the interim is likely. Communist interests in South America may be reenergized if for no other reason than there is little fear of reprisals.
Often, what appears to merit compromise in the long-term is not worth the short-term gain. History is replete with examples of short-sighted decisions.
In the late 4th century, German uprisings began to threaten the outer defenses of the Roman Empire. In 410 AD, the Visigoth King Alaric was defeated in a costly battle. Rome, already in poisonous decline, made the decision to compromise with German tribes through appeasement. By 476, King Odoacer defeated the Roman army, sacked Rome, and removed Romulus Augustulus from the throne. He was the last Caesar to sit in authority. The order that Rome brought to the western world for 1,000 years was ended.
With great authority comes great responsibility. The United States is not only the greatest military power in the world, it enjoys the largest economy regulating the world’s currency. Yet, the House of Representatives today passed a budget of $3.5 trillion with the express purpose of appeasement to progressives without consideration for how flagrant spending impacts inflation in other countries with weak currencies. By next summer, many developing countries will possibly be in dire economic financial straits. Nancy Pelosi’s quote today in the Washington Post was, “A national budget should be a statement of our national values. And this will be the case.” Such a decision is selfish, myopic, and politically self-centered.
History will judge which national decision wreaked more havoc on the world order in the care of the United States, reckless government spending or failure to protect innocent residents of Afghanistan.
Domestically, as a society, America will become more divided as our leaders double down on selfish agendas. Crime is on the rise in inner cities. California, the sixth largest economy in the world, is now listed in national surveys as the 50th worst state in which to do business. Democratic incumbents in battleground districts are beginning to distance themselves from their own party. State and local governments are struggling to balance current costs with current revenue. COVID financial relief rescue packages only delay the inevitable. The public is beginning to ask of our leaders, what values, defined by what morality, are Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden advocating? Do they understand the long-term consequences of their decisions?
Often, the results of decisions made in the seminal moment are not apparent in long-term consequence unless eternal principles of courage and righteousness are respected. Weakness and indecision often generate compromise in the fearful face of the “road less traveled.”
Capitulation encourages war, whether economic or military. Winston Churchill prophetically responded to Neville Chamberlain when he signed the Munich Accords with Nazi Germany, “You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war.”
A great reset is coming next year in the world geopolitically and economically. The United States still has a major role to play in the restructuring of world stability. America must recognize the lesson learned in Afghanistan. The lack of commitment to eternal principles must never be repeated.
Now the future ain’t what it used to be. And history tends to repeat itself. The United States wears a mantle of moral imperative to protect freedom in the world order. No other nation but America can bear the obligation.
The United States must accept the destiny of its responsibility.
Lest history repeat itself.
My name is Marc Nuttle and this is what I believe.
What do you believe?