The Colonel is a student of history.
The word, "student," is used here in the strictest definition: one who studies something.
The Colonel makes no claim on mastery of history, or any subject for that matter. But, it takes no more than just a casual glance at the current world situation to see clearly that if history doesn't repeat itself, it certainly rhymes well.
The current United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, announced to the world the other day -- during his sneeze-in-a-whirlwind visit to Kiev -- that Vladimir Putin's thinly disguised occupation of the Crimean Peninsula was "not 21st-century, G-8, major-nation behavior."
The problem with Mr. Kerry's worldview is that it is hopeful at best, woefully naive at worst.
The Colonel is always hopeful. But, he always plans for the worst case.
He can't help but. The Colonel was trained by some of the world's foremost skeptics -- Marine NCOs.
Mr. Kerry, himself, was presumably exposed to similar instruction prior to and during his self-aborted tour in Vietnam.
It didn't take.
The John Kerry's of the world -- including his boss -- view the world as they wished it was.
A world in which no one acts in self-interest -- that is, self-interest as the John Kerry's determine it.
A world in which nations play by the rules -- that is, the rules the John Kerry's decide are appropriate.
A world in which appeals to common sense and propriety (as the John Kerry's define those concepts) are met with immediate repentance and reparation by transgressors.
A world in which, in order to lead, the United States need only stand in the background and nod sagely at appropriate behavior and give stern looks at misbehavior.
A world in which bluster and drawing of "red lines" is sufficient.
Surely the John Kerry's of the world know better.
Surely the John Kerry's of the world know that for millenia, statesmen and politicians have hailed new centuries in which men and nations were far more "civilized" or "progressive" or whatever than the men and nations of the preceding century.
Surely the John Kerry's of the world know that history shows each century's statesmen have been wrong in that assessment.
As long as a gracious God delays the end of man, little men will seek to make themselves and their nations bigger than they see themselves.
Vladamir Putin is such a "little" man.
The oligarchy in the People's Republic of China are such "little" men.
Turning the calendar page to a new century does not change the nature of man any more than setting the clocks forward adds more daylight to the day.
Our national leaders will serve and protect us best to see the world as it is -- and forever will be -- rather than risking our security and prosperity through inane naivete.
By the way, John Kerry, the Colonel sees you for what you are -- a little man who abandonned his comrades in arms and threw them under the bus to further his political ambition.