It was excruciating for George Washington and the others to break from their beloved King and country. It took their great minds years to initiate, then to implement, the steps necessary to create their own nation, a nation of free men.
When George Washington first rode north to collect his army, having just been given his commission as General of the Continental Forces by Congress, it was realized that he alone in the fledgling country would have been culpable of treason against the English crown. He was, until he joined his army, the only one so far to have taken up arms against his King.
George Washington quickly realized that he could not leave the field of battle for the entire 8 and a half years of the Revolutionary War, and he was right. Especially in the first year of the Revolutionary War, 1776, there were almost insurmountable difficulties. Congress possessed no central power over the little nation, and could only call upon the individual states to provide men and materiel. In most of these states these enlistments lasted only a year, and General Washington found that men would literally walk off a battlefield when that year was up. There were, from the beginning, practically no uniforms for the troops, very little ammunition, no training to speak of and food was hard to come by as the American Revolutionary soldiers were being chased about the countryside by the British regulars. George Washington was constantly forced to fight on two fronts during the entirety of these 8 ½ years: the first one, on the battlefield, and the second one in the political arena, where he was reduced to begging Congress, too often in vain, to staff and supply his army.
This effort would have fallen apart almost from the beginning but for the courage and determination, and the ability to inspire, of one man, the father of our country.
It has been said that George Washington had a sense of destiny about himself, and this could be observed often during the Revolutionary War. He always rode in front of his men, (in a day when many generals would stay in the rear guard), and his many feats of incredible courage were evident to his soldiers. There was one event in particular, early in the war, on a field blanketed by heavy fog, when the General saw that his soldiers were unknowingly engaged in a ‘friendly fire’ battle. So, without hesitation, to keep his “boys,” as he often called his soldiers, from killing each other, alone he galloped through the middle of the engagement, using his saber to knock up his soldiers’ muskets so the bullets would go astray. That was just one of many engagements that General Washington should not have survived.
During all these great trials, General Washington was forced to fend off many European aristocrats, all of whom had arrived in the new United States to join the war effort. Most of them were talentless, untrained and looking for either gold or glory. Yet again, Washington’s brilliance in choosing people came to the fore, and he chose the best of these, among them the Baron Von Stueben, a Prussian who became responsible for the training of a ragtag group of farmers and merchants into fighting soldiers, and the Marquis de La Fayette, who was instrumental in the war effort not only because he was a superb soldier and leader of men (despite of his very young age of 20), but he was also instrumental in securing funds, uniforms, muskets, ammunition, etc. — and eventually significant army and naval participation – from King Louis 16th of France.
Bearing all this in mind, George Washington and his men boldly attempted to achieve victory over the strongest fighting force in the world at that time, and England was so determined to hold on to her colonies, that she sent an unprecedented number of troops and the majority of their vaunted Navy to defeat – no, in fact – to crush, the rebels.
Now to the 21st century…
The United States of America has in 2009 what is often called the greatest military in the history of the world. Whether scholars, comparing a fighting force and its time, find the Romans, or the forces of the English Empire, or Hannibal and his elephants, to have been superior, it is certain that we have a superbly trained, committed and courageous military that utilizes the most sophisticated technology in existence today in helping them provide for the security of this nation. And, remarkably, it is a 100% volunteer force.
This is the military handed over to President Barack Hussein Obama ten months ago as we fight in two theaters in the continuing war against terrorism. And what does he do with it? He refuses to see General McChrystal of the Afghanistan theater until after the General’s concerns became public knowledge. Then, when General McChrystal advised Obama that we could win the war in a year and explained how to do it, this so-called Commander in Chief took three months of that vital year to mull things over. This was despite his protestations during the campaign that Afghanistan was the ‘good’ war to which he would immediately turn his attention once he was elected. Now, at long last, he has revealed his ‘strategy’ in a weak, uninspired and painful speech (that’ll sure strike terror in the hearts of those who want to kill us, won’t it?), in which Obama chooses withdrawal rather than victory. Whether the killing fields in Afghanistan will begin while are our soldiers are still actively engaged in fighting in that country, or after we leave depends on the will of our enemies, who are much emboldened today.
What is most tragic is that every single decision involving American soldiers has been and is being made by Obama Administration officials and their cohorts in Congress for purely political reasons; e.g., the craven presidential photo-op at the Delaware military base of a returning warrior who did not survive his last battle; and the ‘courageous’ Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid attaching the idiotic and unpopular ‘hate crimes’ bill to the legislation necessary for the funding of our troops. One can watch the Democrats in charge in Washington trying their best to figure out how to lose this war, just like they did for Vietnam, whether it is in actions taken or not taken. You will notice that neither Obama nor Congressional leaders have been able to bring themselves to mention the concept, nor the word, ‘victory’ when it comes to American military actions. They have proven themselves to be very good at making things happen that would harm America and her warriors; after all, it’s where all their efforts are focused vis a vis our military.
It boggles the mind to think of the indefatigable spirit of the Revolutionary War soldier, all too often fighting battles in bleeding bare feet with a single bullet left for his musket, but because of his individual, and uniquely American, determination to be free, soldiered on. Now, our warriors defending 21st Century America, who entered the military because they want to fight for American ideals created over 220 years ago, and who are being prevented from doing so, remain leaderless and are disallowed from protecting themselves even from terrorist acts on their own military bases. It is time that we, the American people, stand up for our warriors, and fight to protect them, as George Washington did so bravely for the 8 and ½ years of the Revolutionary War.