Written on Sunday, June 10, 2012 by Nathaniel Davidson
If you can read this in English, thank a soldier—Patriot bumper sticker
We recently celebrated Memorial Day to honor our soldiers. One day really is not enough, considering all they went through to defend our freedoms. Yet kids in government schools will learn precious little of this, because many of their “history” books present America as a sexist, racist, imperialist country founded by slave-owners.
(Compare Do You Know What Your Children Are Learning in Public School? Why some Patriots entrust their children to teachers from fanatically pro-Democrat teachers’ unions is one of the mysteries of modern American life.)
And on Memorial Day itself, the Marxist-in-Chief shut down the Vietnam Memorial from veterans and their families for seven hours, just so he could give yet another self-congratulatory speech to his selected fans. The Vietnam vets have been the most unjustly reviled of all our vets, including being literally spat on, and Obama figuratively spat on them again.
In reality, American soldiers have been one of the best forces for good and against tyranny ever since the country’s founding. That is, if Democrats and RINOs don’t force them to fight with their arms and legs tied. So it’s important that the next generation learn some of the vital deeds performed by our military.
In previous Patriot columns, I’ve shown how:
War of Independence
Of course, one of the first victories for freedom was the War of Independence (1775–1783). Whether the new nation could stand largely depended on its soldiers. This was not an easy war by any means. They were facing the most powerful nation in the world at the time, and under an effective commander, William Howe. General Washington suffered a number of defeats in New York and New Jersey, and his army was down to only 5,000 cold and hungry men. The cause of independence seemed over.
But on a cold Christmas night in 1776, Washington’s army crossed the frozen Delaware River. They took a British garrison (and their Hessian mercenaries) by total surprise, and captured almost 900 prisoners in the Battle of Trenton. This brave and ingenious maneuver was the turning point of the war. And in this ragged but victorious army were future great leaders, including the future President, Lt. James Monroe, who was wounded so badly that he almost bled to death; future Chief Justice John Marshall, and future Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.
We should say, “the rest is history”, but since this history is largely distorted, it’s important to present the truth about a few more of our wars.
These wars of the 19th century have come under widespread liberal attack, supposedly proof of America’s imperialist intent. Naturally, the truth is different.
In 1835, Mexican dictator Antonio López de Santa Anna abolished its constitution of 1824. Naturally this was unpopular with the Mexican people, and there were widespread calls for secession in Mexican states. This included Texas, which by then had thousands of American settlers as well as those of Mexican ancestry.
The Texans declared independence, but Santa Anna’s armies invaded. The Texans held out in the famous former mission called the Alamo in 1836. Outnumbered 10 to 1, they held out for 13 days. But eventually the fortress was breached at great cost to the Mexican armies, who then massacred the Texans, leaving only two survivors.
However, the Alamo defenders bought precious time for General Sam Houston to organize the army. Only six weeks later, although still quite outnumbered, he caught the Mexican army completely by surprise at the Battle of San Jacinto. In only 18 minutes, the battle was over, with 630 Mexican soldiers killed and 730 captured, compared to a loss of only nine Texans. Santa Anna himself was later captured, but then released the following year.
Most Texans wanted their state to join the USA. But this didn’t please Santa Anna, and after more years, the Mexican–American war (1846–48) broke out. Rather like the War of Independence, it didn’t seem like America had much chance. The liberal history textbook The Enduring Vision by Paul Boyer admits, “Most European observers expected Mexico to win the war. Its army was four times the size of the American forces, and it was fighting on home ground” (5th ed, 2006, p. 266).
However, after many battles costly for both sides, American troops took Mexico City, winning the war. But far from being “imperialist”, the troops withdrew, although they couldn’t have been forced out. And Mexico received very generous terms, including 15 million (worth $357 million today) for California and New Mexico, plus forgiving debts that Mexico owed to US citizens of over $3 million (now $77 million).
Half a century later, citizens of Cuba and the Philippines wanted independence from the mighty Spanish Empire, which ruled much of South America. The American people were angry at reports of Spanish atrocities, and were also concerned about the loss of trade if a peaceful country erupted into war.
The battleship USS Maine was sent to safeguard American citizens. Then this was somehow blown up and sunk in Havana Harbor with the loss of 266 sailors. President McKinley still didn’t want war. Yet the Spanish made some unbelievable diplomatic blunders. Other European nations urged Spain to back down and make peace, but it declared war on April 23, 1898.
Once again, the Spanish were expected to win. Meanwhile, Congress had overwhelmingly passed the Teller Amendment that required the U.S. to hand over sovereignty of Cuba to the Cubans after the war had ended. How many “imperialists” would give back the country—again, hardly the actions of an imperialist power!
America’s land troops, including the Rough Riders led by future President Theodore Roosevelt, captured the Spanish strongholds in Cuba. And Commodore George Dewey thoroughly whipped the Spanish fleet in the Battle of Manila Bay in a brilliant feat, not losing a single man to enemy fire.
Both Philippines and Cuba were given independence. And when the Philippines government wanted the US Navy bases gone in the 1990s, we acceded to their wishes. And what sort of “imperialist” country voluntarily rebuilds “conquered” countries like German and Japan so they can rule themselves peacefully?
Ronald Reagan’s decision to send over 7,600 troops into the Caribbean island of Grenada was widely condemned by the UN, so this is another war which needs defending. In fact, Grenada had been racked by a military coup with heavy involvement from Communist Cuba, and American medical students were in great danger. The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), plus Barbados and Jamaica, urged America to intervene.
The invasion, which began early on October 25, 1983, had a relatively low death toll of only about 100, but over 600 Cubans were captured. And once again, far from being “imperialist”, stable local government was restored, and the next year, the first democratic elections were held since 1976. And now, Grenada celebrates October 25 as a national holiday they call “Thanksgiving Day”.
Larry Schweikart, a professor of history at the University of Dayton, in his fine book 48 Liberal Lies About American History: (That You Probably Learned in School), points out:
“Other areas occupied and held by American forces (often as the only source of order and, yes, civilization) were likewise returned to their native owners. All of this was done while the United States was in a position of strength, which was unprecedented in world history. Britain left India and her African colonies when she could no longer hold them. The Soviet Union released Latvia, Lithuania, the Ukraine and other captive nations when communism imploded. There is a genuine story to celebrate when it comes to America’s wars abroad, but the historians are too obsessed with ‘imperialism’ to tell it.”