Our armed forces are in an uproar. As commander-in-chief, President Obama is crippling our military abilities.
He is doing this as energetically and purposefully as though he were dedicated to weakening our defenses. Before many more Obama days, our armed forces may be relatively what they were before World War II when, if we had not been granted arms-production time by the Atlantic Ocean, we possibly could not have withstood a German invasion.
I had never heard of Bataan until I heard of the Bataan Death March. The conquering Japanese forced some 76,000 American and Filipino prisoners to march some 25 miles a day to their imprisonment. Many prisoners who could not keep up the pace were shot dead on the spot by their Japanese captors. Welcome to war, the march seemed to say. I know firsthand that we Americans were given explicit orders not to mistreat prisoners we took. However, in every group of men who have in their hands the power to mistreat captives, are a certain number who have a sadistic streak that comes out in their unbridled hatred of the enemy.
President Obama has committed an unconstitutional usurpation of power by bypassing Congress’ approval of his new appointments. Obama has begun to make the rules himself and grabs power — legally or not. (I can recall several leaders who have done similar things: i.e. Hitler, Mussolini, etc.)
Chicagoan Sol Alinsky was the political mentor of Obama (as well as of Hillary Clinton) and Alinsky’s talk has often seemed to denigrate the U.S. Obama’s first presidential words to the American public made it clear that he was going to “change” things, as do many newly elected officials.
But “change” the Constitution?
In France, I sang the part of Aeneas in the most monumental of French operas, “The Trojans” of Hector Berlioz. A Trojan woman, Cassandra, runs up from the beach and into the city of Troy, yelling, “Get ready to fight! The Greeks are coming.” At that time Troy was knee deep in revelry, and wine was flowing like water. The Trojans completely ignored Cassandra’s warning. The Greeks came. Troy fell. At this time I feel that I am once again playing Aeneas, and that I am witnessing a country that pays no heed to the most urgent warnings. History is famous for repeating itself — thus we had World War I followed by World War II, and the future looks none too peaceful. The weapons change, but the evil destruction goes on. The American who thinks, “I’ve got mine, anyhow,” lulls himself into a state of soporific satisfaction. He smiles condescendingly when he confronts the scariest of warnings. He forgets his days as a Boy Scout when the sign, “be prepared” hung on the Scout hut wall. Too many Americans are watching soap operas and sports contests, and dial past the ominous news being dribbled out in small, unalarming doses. When Hitler was ranting like a madman, we looked at him as an exaggerated and corny thespian. When Hitler had taken Poland and France, and England was fighting alone for its existence, we thought that we were safe when we shipped arms to Britain. Then Hitler made the suicidal mistake of declaring war on the United States. With Obama’s suicidal cuts in our military might, are we to become as vulnerable as Troy?
Harvard’42—Distinguished Prof, Em.—UCF
2004 Fla. Alliance for the Arts award
(Assisted by beautiful wife Joy Roney)