No sooner had I written the below post than I was reminded of the aptness of certain sayings (and how much this wisdom is ignored).
I read a quote by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, speaking at West Point (my brother and great grandfather are graduates). He said: “Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.” I believe that I recall General MacArthur saying something very similar after the Korean War.
Unfortunately, it seems that US presidents have not heard of or read the saying: There is no new knowledge to be gained from the second kick of the mule.
Americans seemed to have ignored the knowledge gained (if in fact any was gained) from having their butts kicked in Korea. A worse debacle in Vietnam proved no more enlightening. Or people forgot, were arrogant, or just plain stupid enough to become entrenched in Iraq. And, the mule is still kicking in Afghanistan.
I have no doubt that future presidents will not heed the words of MacArthur or Mr Gates, will not learn or hear about the lesson of various mules, and will succumb to the siren song of the military-industrial complex. The mule always win to kick another day.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.