• From ‘Fortress America’ to … Where Did America Go?

    Surge Summary: America has come a long way from the days when she was known as “Fortress America” because she produced what was needed by the Allies during WW 2 and the current situation in which the nation doesn’t even produce everything she needs for her own security.

    by Larry Usoff

    There was a foreshadowing, if you will, of the greatness that America possesses, way back in the time of the Barbary Pirates.  The various potentates in that area called the Barbary Coast, were in the habit of taking US sailors prisoner and selling them as slaves.  An offer, for a bribe from the United States was turned down by then-President Thomas Jefferson.   If America refused, as they did, the Barbary States would declare war on the United States. Jefferson ordered a naval expedition to the Mediterranean, resulting in the First Barbary War (1801-1805). … As a result, Tripoli agreed to a treaty ending the war in 1805.  There was a second war, a short one, in 1815 when that President, James Madison, sent a naval force.  He “convinced” the pirates to cease and desist.  Remember that.

    From 1907 to 1909, America’s Navy was engaged in what’s termed “showing the flag”.  At the time the United States was a new-to-the-world country, slated to become the greatest country on the face of the earth…but I digress.  The fleet’s world cruise would be to show that America was on the rise…and that she was headed to the top.

    Fast forward to World War 1, and America sends an “expeditionary force” to France to aid in battling the Germans.  Of course, as I understand it, our entrance into the war changed the perception of our country, and we Americans began to understand and believe that our destiny was to be, not just a great country, but the greatest country on the planet.  America came out of that war as one of the world’s great powers, sort of an omen of things to come.

    Between the world wars, and unknown to most of the world, the Germans had been rebuilding their armed forces, in direct contradiction to the Armistice that had been signed on November 11th.  Germany, through its National Socialist Party, had begun a reign of terror, mostly to eradicate the Jewish people, the Gypsies, any person they thought to be “inferior” to The Master Race.  Their blitzkrieg type of warfare hadn’t been seen before and very quickly almost all of Europe was under their rule.  Somehow they enticed the Japanese and Italian governments to become their cohorts.

    When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the United States was forced to enter the war.  I won’t discuss the various theories about Pearl Harbor, but suffice it to say that America geared up, and quickly.  When D-Day came around in 1944, the American production machine was producing EVERYTHING that was needed in the war…and we not only produced it for our folks, we sent it to just about every ally we had.  I lived through the war so I can say with certainty, when the war ended, the United States was THE superpower…there was no one close to us.  We had, during the war, earned the nickname “Fortress America” because we out-produced every other country and aided our allies and they stayed free largely due to us.

    Russia and China were two of the countries that we helped.  The Flying Tigers were all volunteers and fought the Japanese air force.  We also flew “the hump”.  The Hump was the name given by Allied pilots in the Second World War to the eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains over which they flew military transport aircraft from India to China to resupply the Chinese war effort of Chiang Kai-shek and the units of the United States Army Air Forces (AAF) based in China.  Had it not been for us, almost all of Asia might have fallen to the Japanese.

    We gave to Russia one of their most prized aircraft…the P39 Aircobra, which they used very successfully as a tank-killer.  The P39 carried a 37mm cannon which fired through the nose-cone of the aircraft.  It was sort of radical because the engine was behind the pilot…but it worked.

    Following WW2, we helped to rebuild almost all the countries that we defeated…and some of them became our fiercest competitors.

    We entered the Atomic Age, fought a couple of “non-wars” and in the 1970’s split the country wide open with wildly diverse thoughts on how the country was to be run.  Out-sourcing became the thing to do, and the names we grew up with were now marked “Made in China”…or Sri Lanka, or Bangladesh…or some other place NOT the United States.

    So, America…where did you go?  Oh sure, we still make SOME things in this country, but nowhere near what we did.  We’re told that the less-expensive goods are good…and they are, but not for our country.  I’ve been told that out-sourcing was done to protect the stock holders and making sure they got good returns on their investments, and dividends at the end of the year.  That sort of argument fills me with disgust because a country that doesn’t produce what it needs is going to fall prey to the supplying country.  Example…we get a lot, maybe most, of our pharmaceuticals from China.  They also sell us components for some of our electronic equipment used by the military.

    That, to me, shows a clear lack of pre-planning.  Now, with the corona virus, our supply lines with China are in jeopardy, and people are wondering what we will do?  It’s not too late to make a change in our ways.

    My question is: Where did America go?

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge.

    Image: Adapted from: John Whitcomb – 1944 poster via copy at1944_JonWhitcomb_USNavy, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7109125

    Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired. Articulate. Opinionated. Patriotic. Conservative. Cultured enough so that I can be taken almost anywhere. Makes no excuses for what I say or do, but takes responsibility for them. Duty. Honor. Country. E-mail me at: [email protected]


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