Monday, September 13, 2010

Thinking Ahead

The Colonel, as the five of you who regularly waste valuable rod and cone time perusing posts hereon can attest, is not exactly the most regular of writers. Some weeks, when the mood strikes, he'll punish his meager readership with a veritable blitzkrieg of blog posts. Then there are weeks when he is blessedly silent, allowing respite to those whose lives are so rudely afflicted by his curmudgeonry.

Often the Colonel opines on topics of interest or disgust gleaned from mass media. At other times certain dates awaken a memory of a history lesson learned or a personal lesson earned. Last week was a week that had a plethora of both--a target-rich environment of idiots and scoundrels, and a treasure trove of historical highlights and personal memories. The air waves and data streams abounded with opportunities for the Colonel's opinionated comment.

And, yet...it just seemed too easy to wade into the fray.

Don't misunderstand the Colonel. Ain't much he likes better than a good scrap--the bigger the melee the better. And this time of year seems to provide more melees per metered mile than any other season.

But, for some reason this past week it just felt too much like piling on to chime in with the Colonel's two cents worth. Could it be that the Colonel is developing a nascent sensibility--a sensitivity to other's opinion--a hesitancy to strike out in his customary hyper-criticality?

Nah.

The truth is the Colonel recognized a fight well-joined and saved his ammo for the next engagement.

While he waits on that next firefight, the Colonel will leave you with this thought:

Nine years ago, after a long night of watching skyscrapers collapse over and over, the Colonel woke the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda as he left for the office and told her to get ready. The Colonel was convinced that a major war was in the offing and that his bride needed to be ready to send both her husband and her sons off to fight.

When the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda asked "do you really think so?", the Colonel responded with "There's not a doubt in my military mind."

There still isn't.

For those who think that the minor campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, once concluded, will mark the end of America's latest war, the Colonel must regrettably inform you that harboring that thought is fool-hardy at best.

The real war hasn't even gotten started yet.

And, when it comes (and it will come most likely sooner rather than later), Americans will look back wistfully on the last decade. The real war will be more than the entertaining distraction that the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns were for the majority of Americans. The real war will require real sacrifice. The real war will require a massive draft. The real war will challenge most Americans personally in ways only our grandparents and great-grandparents were.

The Colonel hopes he's wrong--but knows he isn't. And, you know he isn't either.
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