War is an act of attrition-the grinding down and erosion of an opposing force, the will to resist, and the manpower and resources to do so.
It is singularly about inflicting as much damage as possible and sorting things out in the aftermath.
All wars reach a point when one side begins looking at the dead and broken bodies of women and children and calculating the horrific associated cost.
It is then that treaties are negotiated and entered into, the strength or lack of negotiating parties invariably determine the conditions, seldom if ever are they equitable.
No nation among us in observing what was lost, ceded, or the prevailing conditions of poverty and disenfranchisement can claim victory, as nothing exists that can attest to that.
There is no victory in alcohol or drugs- none in poverty and desperate need- nor in the associated health and societal issues that ensue.
Nor can a victory be claimed in soaring crime rates, gangs, rape, the abuse of children, or our home grown version of carpetbaggers.
I’ve heard some say better if we should have fought until we no longer existed, chosen to go the way of the Jewish defenders at Masada.
They will castigate the signators of the treaties and then in turn speak of prophecies that say we may be down but we will get back up and assume our rightful place.
Apparently forgetting that if we had fought our way into extinction there would be no revival.
What is done is done, we can’t travel back in time and chose an alternate course.
The bottom line is we were grossly outnumbered, outgunned, and ill prepared to face a technically advanced adversary- especially one whose numbers seemed to be infinite.
Some say we must make the best of things as they are, but I say that in itself is another surrender. For the goal, the obligation, is not to make the best of poverty and it’s circumstance but to make the “best” of whatever is better.
I believe the way to go about this begins on the communal level, to clean up and secure where we live and raise families. To remove that and those which thwart such an effort and negatively impact our communities.
In failing to do so we perpetuate a life of surrender despite all talk of warriors and tradition.
Like they say-it takes something more than talking the talking, we must walk the walk as well.