REFLECTION: Learn From The PAST To Confront PRESENT Threats

Written by Larry Usoff on January 3, 2017

Some people think that they can predict the future, based on the past. That may, or may not be true…I don’t know. If predictions could be accurate in the 80-90% range, it would be easy enough to know if they are correct or not. You just have to live long enough to get to that point where the predictions said we’d be…and see what is going on. For example, a dreadful prediction made some years back was that Earth is being drawn to the Sun and eventually our planet will burn up. The time frame for this was about a billion years into the future. Who, or what, will be around to record the outcome and prove or disprove the prediction…and who will care?

We can look a bit into the future right now though. As we head into the year of 2017 even the most naïve among us could see that it’s going to be a dog-eat-dog four years of political wrangling, name-calling, mud-slinging and outright lying. In the United States, that’s just considered the daily business of political action, sad to say. How refreshing it would be for a candidate, for any office high or low, to never say anything lowdown or mean about his or her opposition but instead take the high road and stick to the problems that the office presents.

Recently a movie channel presented what was someone’s idea of what might be happening in the future. There Was Things to Come, a 1936 vision of the future and some of it HAS come true. H.G. Wells, who wrote the book from which the film was made, also wrote The Time Machine and both of these movies dealt with a future that looked pretty grim. Then there was Soylent Green, from 1973 about how future generations might deal with over-population and sick people by turning them into food. Logan’s Run, another future-based film from 1976, where people voluntarily (or not) turned themselves in for extermination at the age of 30. So, you see, not everyone had a good outlook for the future.

We have to look to the past sometimes to see how to react to the present, and the future. A good example is the current situation with Islam. Somewhere around the end of the 600s in time, Islam began to spread out, with the end goal being the conquest of Europe. The year 711 brought the further conquest of Egypt, Spain and North Africa, Islam included all of the Persian empire and most of the old Roman world under Islamic rule. Muslims began the conquest of Sindh in Afghanistan. They were definitely on the road to conquer Europe. In 710 Charles Martel, known as Charles the Hammer, who was the grandfather of Charlemagne, defeats the Islamic armies at Tours.

Not to dwell too much on the past, just consider that what is going on now in Europe and in North Africa and the Middle East has been done before. Actually, if truth be known, the conquest of the world, by Islam, has never stopped.

Around 759, Arabs lose the city of Narbonne, France, their furthest and last conquest into Frankish territory. In capturing this city, it ends the Muslim incursions in France. The recent terrorist attacks in France could most certainly be considered a continuation of that war so long ago. As George Santana wrote, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.

About a month ago, which in the overall scheme of time is just a blink of the eye, we paused to remember Pearl Harbor. As you know, that was a “sneak attack” and it almost sunk our Pacific fleet. Now, fast forward to the present and our military, including the Navy, is being decimated to where, in my not-so-humble opinion, we are being set up for a takeover by…well, there you’ll just have to take your pick. Will it be the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians or some other country that isn’t even on the horizon right now? Knowing what we know about those countries and having the technology that we have, can we prevent another “sneak attack”? Let’s not brush aside the possibility that these countries may have the same technological capabilities as we do…maybe even better.

I don’t have a crystal ball in which the future is foretold, but I’m expecting that the new administration, under Trump, will do the things on which he campaigned. My fingers are crossed.

photo credit: Zoriah zoriah_gaza_tunnel_tunnels_egypt_rocket_jihad_hamas_rafah__2008081308FD9T0285_1 via photopin (license)

Share if you agree wisdom from the past can help us face our present and future.

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Larry Usoff
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: