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Reply #17: Remember when we used to win wars? [View All]

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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 01:00 PM
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17. Remember when we used to win wars?
Like WWI and WWII? Well, that was before we started using "contractors," i.e., mercenaries to fight them.

Remember the Revolutionary War? Remember Washington's crossing the Delaware River in New Jersey on Christmas night? And who did he catch unawares on the other side? And who did his rag-tag bunch of volunteers defeat? The mercenary Hessian soldiers who are believed to have been drunk, by the way. That's who.

It is a big mistake to privatize our military. We should only send men and women to die when it is really important enough to the American people that our citizens sign up for their country and not because it is a meal ticket.

Here is the story of Washington's crossing the Delaware on Christmas.

As the year 1776 drew to a close, the American army looked for a way to restore its people's faith in the cause. Against what surely was hundreds of years of military advice, George Washington took a big chance.

It was Christmas, and the Hessians on the other side of the Delaware River, in New Jersey, were sure to be drunk and tired. (The Hessians, German soldiers fighting for Britain, were known for their drinking and their partying, especially on major holidays like Christmas.)

. . . .
It was cold that night, ice cold in fact. The boats carrying the American soldiers barely made it across because of ice in the river. But make it they did, their commanding officer proudly leading the way, all 2,000 of them. They made it to shore, regrouped, and marched toward Trenton, where the Hessians were camped.

Chaos followed, but it was chaos on one side only. The Colonial forces routed the Hessians, sending them running from cover. The whole affair lasted only 45 minutes, and Colonial soldiers took 900 Hessians prisoner. The tired, hungry Americans also found food, supplies, and especially ammunition.

In Afghanistan, we are fighting an army presumably of volunteers on their own soil. Who has the most heart and soul in this. Sure, we have the training, the discipline and the technology. And our soldiers are dedicated and know what they are fighting for, but for what are the contractors fighting? A paycheck? I don't want to jump to a conclusion unfairly, but this issue certainly deserves more investigation. After all, we did win difficult wars with less training and technology when we had a real army, without a bunch of paid contractors, fighting for us.
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