Steve Wilson

Most historians cite the Battle of Bear Valley in 1924, a confrontation between the U.S. Army and Apache warriors, as the last battle fought on American soil. Our nation was born in The Revolutionary War and withstood wars of varying lengths: The War of 1812, The War of Secession, or Civil War, and the Indian Wars. All brought death and destruction to the land, as is the way of all wars.

We have been lucky as a nation in that we have not seen the devastation other nations often experience on a recurring basis. But given the world situation as it exists today, how much longer can we consider ourselves, our families and friends and all Americans to be safe from conflicts like those happening in such places as the Middle East, and in Ukraine?

In order for a nation to withstand the global pressures of expansionism there must be strong ties, economic and cultural, between the other nations of the world. The negotiations and associations, deals, pacts and treaties established in foreign policies by tens of thousands of government representatives are vital to keeping the balance of power intact. Such policies are not often successful and, as in the case of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, war with all of its inherent savagery is unleashed. The outcome of such wars depends upon a nation’s military and civilian populations determination to unite in defeating the enemy.

When reading about the history of America’s response to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the impetus for entering World War II, one gets the message of a populace pulling together to strengthen not only the military numbers, but to also strengthen the ability to wage a global war. I wonder if that is possible today in America?

Let us conjecture the following: Russia and China both tire of American intervention in the Ukraine and Taiwan and decide to expand their territories and invade the northwest region of the USA; at the same time Mexico gets tired of the immigration miasma and sends troops all along the border and begins arming Mexicans who seek to regain the land they lost when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed ending the Mexican War of 1846.

These upheavals stir the Aryans and other white supremacist groups to band together in a race war against those of color, Jews and Muslims. The reaction to this is Blacks and Latinos arm themselves for protection and retribution and all Muslims are forced to face off with Christians. The Left and The Right take opposing sides in the fray with hopes that when the dust finally settles, and if the nation still exits, their party will be the one in control.

Pretty bizarre, huh? But no more bizarre than the rampant gun violence in America (more innocents were killed in Uvalde and Las Vegas mass shootings than combatants in Bear Valley, our supposed last battle in America). No more bizarre than a man hunting Muslims in Albuquerque or Muslims bombing the Boston Marathon. No more bizarre than thousands of insurrectionists attacking the heart of American democracy both physically and orally because they follow a lie and the man who spread the lie. No more bizarre than American cities torn apart because the ugly head of racism cannot be separated from the body politic.

And let us not consider foreign influences but look just to the situation that now exists within our borders. The aftermath of a world-wide pandemic has economists, all with theories thought sound, giving out their interpretations of what the economy is doing and why and what the results will be. The result is we the people are left holding an ever-dwindling bag of resources to keep ourselves afloat.

The political scene is awash with individuals holding offices with immense power over a vast array of issues who are locked into one wild conspiracy theory after another, and seemingly intelligent people jump down rabbit holes of great depth. Half of the country is convinced that the party of the other half is the blame for imminent downfall of America and the accused are just as sure they are the only ones suited to save us from destruction.

Since the spewing of the Big Lie regarding the 2020 presidential election, there now exists a wariness, if not downright distrust, of our voting system without regarding that for over 240 years the system was looked upon as the bedrock of the democratic way of life and disregarding the fact that every challenge to the impropriety of that election has been found to be without merit. Now, candidates can run with the ace up their sleeve of rigged elections and are quick to tell voters that if they lose, it is because the election was falsified; a surefire way to dodge the sting of defeat.

With all of this mistrust in our society, it is no wonder that many young people today find themselves lost in a world gone conspiracy crazy and seek to find a way out of their disenchantment; some find life so unbearable they end their own lives after getting hold of a weapon and killing others first.

How long can any society continue to “promote the general welfare, provide for the common defense and secure the blessings of freedom for ourselves and our prosperity” with the rifts which now come between us? If attacked from without, will we as a nation be able to pull together as did the generations before us did or will be become easy prey because we are scattered and can be picked off one segment of society at a time?

If attacked from within, as we saw on Jan. 6, will we unite as a people and denounce treasonous actions, or unite in opposition to government? Is it possible for America to destroy itself from within, can we once again see brother against brother, family against family in deadly combat? I know we would all like to think none of this could happen; but are we sure.

Take care. Peace.

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King City and Greenfield columnist Steve Wilson may be reached at [email protected].


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