During the summer of 1970, I stood at the foot of Mt. Fugi, hoping to see the mountain’s peak covered with snow as I had viewed it pictured on postcards. The entire mountain was surrounded in mist as though an albino dragon had curled itself around the base, preventing anyone to view more than the thick growth of kudzu. Being close to a subject one cannot see prevents understanding to a degree. I left Japan after attending the World Fair Exposition in Osaka where the U.S. had a moon rock on display, one that I stood in line for more than an hour to see. The theme of the Exposition was “Progress and Harmony for Mankind.” Ironically, the War in Vietnam (1954-1975) was raging at the time. The world would have been a better place had warring nations laid down their arms and embraced the theme. However, a look at wars and military interventions that followed 1970 reveals the violent path taken by several nations following the World Fair. After the War in Vietnam ended, the Yom Kippur War erupted in 1976 and grinded on until 1983. In Argentina, the Dirty War broke out in 1976 as well, and it too ended in 1983. There was U.S. military action taken to free students in
Grenada in 1983, and the U.S. bombed Libya in 1986. While the Yom Kippur War was being fought, the Afghan War began in 1978 and continued till 1992. After the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the Russians continued their quest to conquer the Afghans, but Afghanistan prevailed via guerilla warfare that persuaded Russians to end their invasion on Feb. 15, 1989. The U.S. defeated Iraq in the Persian Gulf War in 1990 and 1991.
The U.S. conducted its no-fly enforcement operation inIraq from 1991 till 2003. From 1992 through 1995, the U.S. intervened in Somalia during its civil war. The U.S. invasion of Panama took place in 1989 and 1990. The Tanker War in the Persian Gulf War broke out in 1990 and lasted until 1991.
In 1992, the first U.S. intervention in Somalia took place and lasted until 1995. The Bosnian War took place from 1992-1995, and the Kosovo War began in 1998 and ended in 1999. The Iraqi Freedom War lasted from 2003 till 2011. The U.S involvement in the War in Afghanistan lasted from 2001 till 2021. The Syrian Civil War erupted in 2011. Currently, the U.S. is providing financial aid and weapons to Ukraine after Russia invaded the country in 2022 without provocation. Looking back nearly 53 years ago when I stood at the foot of Mt. Fugi trying to see the famous snowcapped mountain that was shrouded in mist, I never dreamed that I would one day have a son who would fly F-18 Hornets for the U.S. Marine Corps and fight against the
Taliban in Afghanistan. Wars begin and end, often without those involved being able to see the mountaintop, having been blinded by ambition that fosters greed while fueling the quest for power. Yes, it would have been a blessing had the countries around the world embraced the theme of “Progress and Harmony for Mankind.”