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Category: History / Topics: Crisis Government History

Close Calls

by Dan Seagren

Posted: September 16, 2018

Don't take democracy for granted…

The Berlin Airlift

My father was drafted in WW1, I was drafted in WW2 but my son escaped due to no draft. There were numerous close calls in that Century of wars including current times. Lets go back to WW2. Adolf Hitler was no cinch to defeat. Nor was the Soviet Union after the war. The wars, Japan and Germany inspired, ended. The Soviet Union (Russia) did help the Allies but then attempted to extend their borders by blockading the American, British-controlled sectors of Germany. In its attempt in 1948 to control Europe, the Same Allies were slow to act while communist puppet regimes spread its efforts with no signs of stopping it. Millions starved to death while eyes were dimmed until they slowly opened.

The Soviet military far outnumbered the Allies until an airlift was suggested and a makeshift humanitarian operation emerged. A few flights into Soviet occupied Germany delivering food and supplies to the Berliners. The sight of former enemies, American pilots, dropping food and supplies including candy for the little ones at the peak 24 hours a day thrilled the Berliners. This ended the expansion of Communism into Europe.

True, Germany could have won the battle, likewise Japan, but because the Allied nations including the powerful Americans rallied their support including two atom bombs dropped on Japan forced a premature surrender to an enemy determined not to surrender. Close calls are are too often insensitive to discovery even when dangerously visible.

From 1948 to 2018 there are countless dangerous, invisible to dim eyes, close calls in our own country and civilizations that need attention. The tension, and at times animosity, between Allied nations and within a nation must be analyzed, especially when both hidden and apparent.

It took quite awhile before the Allies worked together to end the two major wars and even lesser disputes and resistance. Certain nations are like the Soviets after WW2 that seize an opportunity that must be contested. It may take a hydrogen bomb or a humanitarian operation. Nations with excessive military resources may have to be seriously boycotted (unpatronize).

Diplomacy is worthless if unused. It can be difficult to honor a culture yet rejecting its behavior. With our technical achievements at times gone amiss, our technology should also be combative. As a nation, if we should repudiate democracy (as Germany could have done), it should not be done by subtle means but by the will of its existing democracy. Close calls can and do occur, too often more subtly than obviously. 

Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: September 16, 2018

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