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Bert at the Han


A Social, Political and Historical Blog

The Face of Experience

Leadership and Intelligence failures, haphazard disarmament, powerful single-issue groups ... all had bitter consequences for our fighting forces in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Under the smokescreen of Nixon's disgrace, a pusillanimous congress literally sacrificed South Vietnam by permitting the North to ignore the Treaties we forced from them in the field.

As we withdraw our forces from the Middle East while under fire at home from still more political opportunists and hate-groups, this Blog tries to help minimize the damage by using history's lessons to explore today's issues.


The United States has surrendered the greatness we won during the last century, and upon which the world relied for peace and prosperity. That's plain to anyone who sees the world around us objectively, but most of the world hasn't realized this. As yet.

We have surrendered our borders. Anyone can cross them who really wants to. Returning them permanently to their own country is a political and social morass. Should they ever leave for good it will be because we have too little left of our former greatness to make it worthwhile to stay.

We have surrendered our scientific greatness, on the large scale as well as the small.

We won the Exploration of Space, with its countless scientific off-shoots over forty years ago, encouraged by JFK's brilliant insight. In closing our major Space Programs, we have surrendered the future of Space Exploration without a whimper.

Scientists around the world flocked to our great National Accelerators to explore the fundamental building blocks of matter itself. We discovered new elements, and new building blocks. Today, those great accelerators are closed, or mainly do research at a Graduate Student level.

We have surrendered our great manufacturing resources, by outsourcing and international subsidies. During WWII we were the armory and shipyards for the entire free world. Then those magnificent companies modified themselves to create useful products, from virtually un-usable basic materials. Developing new standards of living for everyone, we simultaneously maintained a military shield against ideologues and tyrants who saw the world as a platform for their personal gain, glory and power.

We have surrendered our great intellectual resources. After WWII, as just one example, MIT produced a series of Text Books which were standard for the entire world in applied science. We led the way in computer, semiconductor and micro technology development. We led the world in medical research. The goals of education in our Universities were to further research and knowledge, and their uses for the good of all mankind. Today, the goals of educators evolve around subjective political programs, and protecting their pensions.

We've even surrendered our great Constitution, the far-sighted document that protected us against our worse instincts for almost two centuries. We have politicized our Supreme Court, and they no longer "Defend" our Constitution, they "Interpret" it. With all the confidence of hubris and party politics. Well, maybe we no longer deserve its protection, anyway.

We've done a lot of good things, too. We are much less tolerant of social injustice on many fronts, to mention the advance I most appreciate.

But the world has lost the shield they once lived behind in freedom. We, as well as they. And if the loss has gained anything at all for humanity in general, I haven't found it. Bottom line, we have surrendered our greatness.

A toast to the USA that was. I love you.

Bert Kortegaard

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