Tuesday, April 12, 2011


There will be a slight detour today.

First, if I haven’t said hi to the folks who follow my sometimes confused attempts at making sense of the world, my bad. Hello and welcome.

Second, feel free to comment. Feel free not to agree with me. Honest, I won’t mind. Any flames will be used to toast marshmallows.

And finally, to the newest follower. I read your entry on the bombings in Beloruss. I don’t have an answer. Americans are probably the last people to tell others how to deal with terrorism. Too many of us forget or prefer to ignore that the clichĂ© location, location, location is everything. Canada is friendly and Mexico is semi friendly. We’re safe from the north and south. And you can’t beat at least three thousand miles of open water as a buffer.

The last time, that I know of, that the continental US was invaded was the Brits during the War of 1812. Everything else? We’ve pretty much done to ourselves. The domestic terrorism in Kansas and the border states, especially Missouri was bloody by our standards. Sherman took his troops south from Atlanta and went to Georgia, South Carolina and parts of North Carolina like a dose of salts. They weren’t joking when it was said that a crow needed to carry its own rations after Sheridan’s troops marched out of the Shenandoah Valley.

And once the Civil War was over, just about all the violence our troops have been involved with has taken place someplace else. In spite of the hyperbole from extreme ends of the political spectrum in this country, we’ve been spared the horrors of invasion, occupation, massacre and reprisal.

Oregon was actually one of the few places in the continental US to come under fire during WWII. Fort Stevens at the mouth of the Columbia was fired on by a Japanese submarine, damaged the backstop on the baseball field. In 1942 a small seaplane based from a Japanese sub dropped incendiary bombs in near Mt. Emily near Brookings on the Oregon coast. Then in May, 1945 six people were killed near Bly in southern Oregon when they found a so called balloon bomb which exploded when one of the party got too close. And that boys and girls is the extent of the war on the west coast. Yes, there were black outs and rationing. Yes, families lost loved ones who were killed overseas. But, we came out of the war with out cities and industry intact.

It’s easy to shout to the world how courageous we are when we have two relatively friendly neighbors and two oceans on out borders. Yes, September 11 was a bloody wake up call, but it’s not like we have to wonder if the subway is going to blow up the next time we need to use it. It wouldn’t hurt us to remember that “there but for the grace of God……and location,location, location.”

No comments: