Sunday, May 29, 2005


I am addicted to a WWII computer game called “Axis and Allies.” I play it, against the computer, 2 or 3 hours a day. It’s a timewaster that challenges my mind and relaxes me.

The AI (artificial intelligence or computer response) is so dismally poor that I have to give myself severe handicaps to make the game interesting. Every time I play the game it comes out differently due to some variations in the computer strategy and the luck of the battles. That’s
what keeps it interesting.

Today, after playing it over a thousand times, I found a better strategy in the middle game. I was dumbfounded at the implication. This is a game I have completely mastered. No general in the field could possibly be more adept at his profession than I am at my timewaster. And yet I found a better way after over a thousand campaigns. The general only gets one chance. Think of that. Think of that.

Recall the criticisms of the Afghanistan campaign before the fact. Weather was wrong at that time of the year. We’d be bogged down in winter. The Russians were bogged down there for years in all kinds of weather. Supply and manpower problems were insurmountable.

Afghanistan fell in weeks. It was a total triumph.

And so it went. Diplomatic and military victories piling up one after another.

Pakistan first had to be won over from supporting the Taliban to cooperating with the US.

Afghanistan fell.

Iraq fell.

Libya declared themselves reformed.

Syria withdrew from Lebanon.

Pakistan and India withdrew from the brink of war.

There are other claimed victories but with no real proof.

All of this came about with the sacrifice of less than 2,000 Americans. What a debt the world owes to those brave Americans. Millions of people now live in freedom because of the sacrifice of those 2,000.

When you witness momentous happenings you can do no better than to borrow from Churchill. Never in the course of human events has the freedom of so many been owed to the sacrifice of so few.

Credit the brilliant leadership that achieved so much militarily and diplomatically at so little cost.
It wasn’t all done perfectly, but they only had one chance. It’s hard to think that they could do much better with a second or third chance.

History will look back on our Middle East campaign as a magnificent achievement.

On this Memorial Day it makes me proud to be an American.


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