Vietnam

FOR ME, the 1967 War could just as easily refer to the war in Vietnam or The war in the Middle East. I spent most of that year in the former while I followed the latter in the pages of the Stars and Stripes, the U.S. military's news source. 
Picture
Ironically, the men I served with seemed more interested in the war in the Middle East even though we were engaged in the one in Vietnam. Everyone I spoke with agreed that we would rather help the Israeli's since they appeared more willing to fight for themselves while the Vietnamese seemed servile, willing to accept almost any tyrant. Also, we fell victim to the typical American predilection to side with the underdog. I remember that the Stars and Stripes published a map of the Middle East listing the sizes of the armed forces of the participants, clearly demonstrating that the Israeli's were vastly outnumbered and outgunned. 

I was among the few who predicted that Israel would win, although I was loathe to put my money where my mouth was. My confidence wasn't that high and my pay grade didn't support a gambling lifestyle. I can only dream about the odds I would have been offered had I been so rash as to predict an Israeli victory in less than a week.

Again, I watch developments in the Middle East from afar and wonder at the changes, not in the Middle East, but rather in the attitudes in my country. Why do we now revile the underdog? Why does our President call for a return to the borders existing before The 1967 Six-Day War? Doesn't he know that there were no recognized borders prior to 1967? There were lines of battle where the Israeli's stopped after driving away the Arabs who had come to annihilate them, but no recognized borders. Doesn't he know that the Arabs have never recognized the state of Israel, let alone any borders? Changing "borders" will only encourage the Arab nations to dream once again of driving the Jews into the sea.

We must excuse our President for his ignorance in these matters. Although he is, by all accounts, an extremely intelligent and well-educated man, he was just a six-year old child when the Six-Day War was fought in 1967, and it is just another dusty page in history, one of the most poorly taught subjects in our schools.

Hopefully, an America that respects its allies (it has damn few of them these days) will re-emerge before Israel is again the target of another attempt to wipe it from the face of the earth. We will need more people like Winston Churchill who understood that peace comes through strength rather than a Harold Wilson-like leader who attempts to appease his enemies. Indeed, it would be nice if our leaders could even recognize an enemy.