Big Red Car here. Weather in the ATX has been a bit dicey. Oh, well, it’s winter, I guess.
So the situation in the Ukraine is getting a bit murky but it is all based on a few very simple concepts.
In the last election debates, President Obama hectored Mitt Romney about the currency of the cavalry and the bayonet. His chiding suggested that they were both outmoded military weapons.
Of course, if you had ever been in the Infantry you know otherwise. The US Army and the United States Marine Corps not only consider them to be relevant weapons but essential weapons.
What is more important is the “spirit” of the bayonet.
The spirit of the bayonet
The spirit of the bayonet is to KILL! Every recruit has learned that lesson and some Drill Sergeant has literally drilled it into the recruit’s brain by yelling it at him.
After all, a recruit is learning how to kill and not be killed. There is no equivocation, you are learning to kill. This is not like deciding which wine to drink with seafood, it is raw and fundamental. Kill or be killed.
Even military cadets routinely are exposed to the spirit of the bayonet. It is an essential transformational element in making a platoon leader. He must learn to lead his men to victory and that means killing our enemies.
The Boss is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute where the cadets sleep with rifles and bayonets in their room. If a cadet unsheathes his bayonet to attack another cadet, he is subject to summary discharge. It is serious business.
These same cadets learn to box, wrestle and engage in hand to hand combat. They also learn how to kill a man with a bayonet.
When the VMI cadets march, they march with bayonets attached to the end of their rifles. On parade, the cadets live the spirit of the bayonet. Swords for the Cadet officers and bayonets for everyone.
These same cadets will go into the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and learn how to operate more efficient killing machines but they will always carry with them the spirit of the bayonet — to kill. The Army guys, like The Boss, will go to Airborne School, Ranger School and serve in combat units. They will learn to kill our enemies through their leadership. They will live the spirit of the bayonet.
The Battle of New Market
The VMI Corps of Cadets honors the legacy of their victory at New Market in the Civil War when they took a Union battery by means of a bayonet charge across a muddy field.
Observers watched as the cadets sprinted into fire with nothing but bayonets and swept those gunners from the field and captured those guns. They lost lives and those names are forever enshrined in the story of VMI.
The VMI Cadets who lived had forever earned the right to ask — What is the spirit of the bayonet? To Kill!
The power of aggression
Aggression has always played trump against those who are unwilling to condemn and defeat aggression. World War II was really started when Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich having signed the Munich Agreement which ceded the Czech Sudetenland to Hitler.
“Peace in our times” became the invasion of Poland, the invasion of France and ultimately the invasion of Russia. Millions died because Hitler was not snuffed out at the first act of aggression.
Tyrants will not be satiated by a bit of land, they want it all. If aggression is not opposed, then it will continue unchecked.
Putin is such an aggressor. Giving him two provinces in Georgia and the Crimea will not satisfy his blood lust to rebuild the former USSR. A hungry bear is not satisfied with just a bit of meat, he will eventually want more. He will want it all.
The next little country to be gobbled up may be a NATO country and this will require war in accordance with Article 5 of the Washington Treaty which requires NATO countries to rise to the defense of any member country when attacked.
So what does this mean, Big Red Car?
You cannot stop aggression by placating the aggressor. At some time, you must invoke the spirit of the bayonet — the willingness to engage in combat to kill our enemies.
More importantly, our leaders have to invoke the spirit of the bayonet in the way they respond to naked aggression. The aggressor will not be assuaged by being kicked out of clubs or other light and intransigent actions. They understand cold steel.
When the US cancelled the ABM system to be forward deployed in Eastern Europe just because Putin growled, we lost any credible sense of containing aggression. Putin backed President Obama down like a school yard bully.
It is a terrible thing to say and I apologize before I even utter the words: Putin has taken President Obama’s measure and thinks he is a pussy. Not a man who embraces diplomacy, but a man who in his personal character is not capable of standing up to a bully. Make no mistake, Putin is a bully and is cast in the mold of Hitler. Give him something easily and he will mark you a coward and come for more. The world did nothing in Georgia and thus Putin expects more of the same in the Crimea — which Russia now controls and is not giving back under any circumstances — and ultimately the Ukraine. Putin thinks Obama is a pussy and there is no evidence to contradict that assertion.
Putin will not be persuaded by speeches, consequences, costs or mean faces.
Foodstamps v bayonets
A nation makes it decisions as to its values by the way it spends its money. The budget introduced by the President this week clearly shows his priorities — more spending, more debt, more welfare state, more dependencies and less military capabilities.
We now have a President who has forced a shotgun marriage between a dwindling military capability and a compromised international credibility just when they are both desperately needed. He suggests we should contract our military capabilities just when the Russians and other enemies are emboldened to be on the march.
This is the prelude to more aggression. This is exactly how World War II started.