America and the Free World’s enemies have most always been megalomaniacal tyrannical dictatorships whom we have defeated thanks in large part to free market capitalism-produced prosperity that made the building of a military force second to none possible, the wisdom of our leaders to build and maintain such a force and the courage of leaders and Americans to fight against tyranny. Witness the defeats of the Kaiser, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and the Soviet Union, respectively.
This past week Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) echoed the alarms of many against the mindless sequestration budget deal of the past four years that has required equal budget increases (there are no actual cuts in either from year to year despite persistent Beltway speak by politicians and news media alike) in domestic and military outlays, respectively. This after the draconian actual military cuts made by President Barack Obama and the Democrats when they held Congress and the White House in 2009-10. Despite the takeover of the Senate by Republicans after last November’s election, it will still require that the GOP leadership garner the courage to play government shutdown-chicken with a Commander in Chief intent upon further weakening America’s defenses, in order to rebuild a U.S. Navy smaller than before WWII.
It was essential to the defeat of fascist enemies in that war that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt join hands, despite past labor dispute differences, with GM’s William Knudsen to mobilize the building of the Arsenal of Democracy. Sadly, the U.S. doesn’t have a Chief Executive today intent upon identifying the existential threat of Islamist fascism, much less with the determination FDR had of insisting upon the unconditional surrender of our enemies.
DeVine History in Real Time this week explores events 100 and 210 years ago, respectively, that prevented the tyrannical takeover of Europe before an FDR, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan or even a Woodrow Wilson had the chance to stave off another Dark Age.
Last year we praised the French troops who fought off the Germans on the Marne River at the direction of General Joseph Joffre with saving Europe from tyranny during the 100th anniversary of the Guns of August beginning of the Great War in 1914 that would later be re-named WWI after Pearl Harbor in 1941 made Hitler and Tojo’s war global. Never mind that the French and Indian or Seven Year’s War of the mid-18th Century was arguably the first global conflict.
This month marks 100 years since a young First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill directed the Royal Navy to chase the German Kaiser’s upstart navy back to their ports after the late January 1915 Battle of Dogger Bank, the North Sea-equivalent of the Battle of the Marne, in preventing an early German victory over the forces against their attempted hegemony.
On New Years Day 1915 a German submarine had sent shock waves throughout Britain and France when its torpedo sunk the British battleship HMS Formidable, sending 546 sailors to their deaths. Later that month German battle cruisers shelled three towns on England’s east coast, killing a number of civilians. Churchill’s response at Dogger Bank, while inconclusive, did drive German warships back to their ports, thus enabling an effective blockade that made Allied victory possible four years later.
Of course, for Britain to be able to thwart Germany at sea they had to have a formidable navy. That they did control the seas of an empire in 1915 upon which the sun never set, was made possible by their navy’s seminal victory over a tyrannical Napoleon’s French navy and Spain’s Armada in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
The French Revolution, commenced with the storming of the Bastille in 1789, was inspired by some who idolized George Washington’s American version against Britain. It quickly degenerated into a godless, mob-propelled blood bath that only a Napoleon could tamp down. Sadly, he converted the revolution into a military state of conquest, albeit with a Napoleonic Code that years decades later would deliver some good fruits of the throwing off of an absolute monarchy. But in 1805, France was just just beginning its domination of Europe, with only a British navy standing in its way.
Enter Lord Horatio Nelson and a Royal Navy seriously outgunned by the combination of the Spanish and French. Lord Nelson lost his life off the coast of Trafalgar, Spain, on October 21, 1805, but without his navy’s victory that day 210 years ago, there would never have been a Waterloo 10 years later.
Today, America is in retreat under the leadership of a re-elected president who promised retreat. Obama gave away the Bush Surge gains in Iraq as too many in the Democratic Party denounce patriots like American Sniper Chris Kyle. Congress can’t compel any Commander in Chief to fire one bullet against an enemy. But they can, if they have the will and the courage, prevent the gutting of military forces necessary to defend America and the Free World when voters next elect a President determined to so defend us.
This means that House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have to love America more than their jobs and fear Russia, China, Iran and Radical Islam more than MSNBC.
“What our forefathers with so much difficulty secured, do not basely relinquish.” – William Bradford