Lodge Act soldiers: ire mural and the portrait.

Author:Puterbaugh, Dolores T.
Position::Wartime America

"The Lodge Act soldiers have had counterparts throughout history but, in the U.S. wars from the mid 20th century through the current day, what sometimes is mislabeled (or libeled?) as 'irregular' warfare includes the imperative to involve the local population."

SOMETIMES, the enemy of my enemy is not my friend. There are many times when, at best, the enemy of my enemy is a useful but dangerous tool: geopolitics on a razor's edge, perhaps. This often is the case at the macro level. At other times, perhaps more often on a micro level, the enemy of my enemy indeed is a loyal friend.

In 1945, when World War II ended, it was expected that peace would prevail. In the U.S., the "boys" came home. In Europe, the prison camps were flung open, British children were sent home to London (if homes and parents were still there), and the Marshall Plan was implemented to show mercy and bring the vanquished back from the medieval stage to which they had been bombed. There was not, however, then as in the oh-so-recent past, to be "peace in our time." The Soviet Union had succeeded in encroaching far into Europe and was in no hurry to surrender those advances. Far from peace, there instead was a very apparent intention to pick up where Germany's Adolf Hitler had faded, spreading a mantle of totalitarian slavery wherever feasible.

In March 1946, former (and future) British Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke unapologetically about the dire threat to peace and liberty that was the Soviet Union, unsheathing a previously rarely-used phrase--the Iron Curtain--to summarize its implacable, impenetrable seal against freedom. Nations that ostensibly had freedom were punished for daring to reject communism. A striking example of this, just two years after Churchill's Iron Curtain speech, was the punishment of West Berlin by the Soviets known as the Berlin Blockade. In this case, the U.S. and Great Britain responded in force, first via small efforts--Operation Plainfare and Operation Little Vittals--and then with a months-long show of strength and generosity via an airlift that was, as Gen. William H. Tunner had intended, "... on a beat as constant as a jungle drum." The relentless rhythm came at a price of military and civilian lives, but ended in a rare and predictably graceless Soviet backtracking--for the time being. Communist states accept rejection with all the irrational fury of a woman scorned, and with a sociopath's capacity to wait, endlessly, for the opportunity for revenge.

It was clear to anyone paying attention that the worldwide vision of communism held by the Soviets was as malignant as the state-based socialism of Nazi Germany, and the urgency to fight the toxic tentacles on one hand drew up in sharp contrast to war-weariness and distrust of anything associated with the enemy on the other. Something needed to be done, despite the desperate drive to maintain a buoyant mood at home and the desire to put war...

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