September 2, 1945, the United States was the most powerful nation in the world. We had defeated the Axis Powers consisting of the German, Italian and Japanese forces, all considered to be superior to ours…but that was at the beginning of World War Two. In the space between December 7th, 1941, and September 2nd, 1945 America had become “Fortress America”…out-producing every other country on earth in weapons of war. In 1940 the US Army was training with automobiles as tanks, broomsticks as rifles and, what rifles they had were World War One vintage. The Air Corps was flying biplanes that were obsolete a dozen years before and the Navy was sailing with ships that were sometimes 50 and 60 years old.
On that fateful day, December 7, 1941, we entered the war officially, although we had been supplying our allies with materiel before that. Russia, as an example, was sending troops to fight the Germans with no weapons whatsoever, and picking up firearms that they found on dead soldiers. Britain was being pounded by the Luftwaffe almost on a daily basis and, at that time, the German-invented blitzkrieg and pilotless V-1 and V-2 flying bombs were raining death and destruction on London. America enters the war, following a near-fatal attack on Pearl Harbor, sinking a major portion of the Pacific Fleet while it was in harbor.
Americans have, to their great honor, always risen to the occasion, and World War Two was not going to be any exception. Who would imagine, as an example, that in a building built by the Ford Motor Company specifically to build B-24 Liberator bombers, they would turn out a ready-to-fly aircraft in just under an hour! General Motors and Chrysler went from automobile production overnight, practically, to building tanks and armored personnel carriers. The Springfield rifle of World War One was retired and the Garand M-1 was produced in huge quantities and shipped out to the troops, putting them on a better-than-even keel with the enemy’s weapons. America was able to make so much of everything that we supplied our then-allies with almost all of their weaponry and even aircraft.
We flew bombing raids over Europe, along with the Brits, on a daily basis. We built something called “The Burma Road” to supply our friends in that area of the world. Along the way we liberated prisoners from concentration camps, prisoner-of-war camps and towns and villages both in the European and Pacific theaters. In other words, we were the best in the world. Period.
Following the war everything went into peacetime mode. Cars were being produced where bombers had been. New methods of production, for everything, some learned in the war, were being used for everything from bug bombs to housing systems.
The suburbs grew like dandelions and shopping centers sprung up all over the place. We were again out-producing everyone even while we helped our former enemies to come back from disaster. In time Japan would begin rivaling us for electronic goods, while Germany came through with great cameras and optical equipment. America was on the road to really big prosperity. Then, along came the Korean war, the Vietnam war, and the peaceniks. America began to take a turn away from prosperity and became fractured…little groups of anti-this and anti-that, all the while ingesting and using drugs.
Fast forward to 2001. We are a complacent nation, only peripherally aware of people called Al Qaeda and the Taliban. On September 11th, America was painfully jerked into the real world again. Soon we would send troops overseas again, and again we would prove to be a superior power…but only for a while. By the time 2008 rolled around America was tired of “business as usual” with politics and decided, wrongly as it turned out, to go in a different direction…this time down a path to something less-than mediocrity. A man, about which very little was known, was thrust upon the national stage, capturing the hearts and minds of people known as low-information voters. He even garnered votes from cartoon characters and dead people. He was elected to the highest office in the land…twice.
Now, in the present time, we are looked at with scorn, laughed at because of our wussified Congress, the less-than-impressive armed forces and the absolute fecklessness of our leaders who negotiate based on what it will say about their legacies instead of what it does for the security of the country they swore to protect. America has stepped down from the top of the heap and has taken a position at the bottom, or nearly at the bottom. Our armed forces are being reduced to pre-World War Two levels at the same time that some of our former friends, the ones we kept alive during that war, are making their armed forces much stronger and becoming potential enemies. The current occupant of the White House has done what he promised…he fundamentally transformed America from the king of the hill, to damn near a third-world country which would have problems fielding a global army. We have become a weak sister in the eyes of the world. Wake up, America! Your country needs you…desperately. Answer the call.
Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired, www.AirHumanityRadio.net