Posted by: SJS | July 12, 2018

The roots of NATO–Red Stahley was there.

It was around this time of year in 1944 that newly-minted Radioman 3rd Class Red Stahley was making his way across North Africa on a troop train with other PT sailors of the US Navy to support the operation that would begin in August of that year–the invasion of Southern France.

Seventy four years ago, from PT bases in North Africa and islands in the Mediterranean, the American PTs would collaborate with British Commandos, soldiers of the Free French Army, and Canadian Troopers to wrest control of Southern France from the Nazis.  While the Allied forces were pushing inland following the Normandy Invasion in early June, the fighting in south of France would play a major role in the overall strategy of retaking Europe–one battle at a time.The fighting was intense and often at close quarters.

From the blood and sacrifice and valor of the joint Allied Forces, exhibited so powerfully in the first campaign of which Red Stahley was a part, there would gradually emerge a new coalition.  It would be a coalition of nations that came to embrace and help rebuild postwar Germany.  This coalition would then form a bulwark against the emerging threat represented by the USSR–the Communist Block with Russia as its driving force.  The Soviets had already dropped an Iron Curtain across Europe and threatened the fragile peace that had been purchased at such a cost of life and treasure.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization –NATO–under the steadfast leadership of the United States would serve the world as the guarantor of of peace, stability, and prosperity across the Atlantic with its influence affecting the balance of power through the Cold War and beyond.  For 70 years now, NATO has fulfilled its mission and accomplished untold good for the peace and stability of the entire world.

We are now subjected to the vile, arrogant behavior of a US president who seems to be totally ignorant of twentieth century history and the precious bonds that emerged from WWII and the Cold War between America and her allies.  The disdain and contempt with which Trump treats our strongest allies is a shocking embarrassment and an utter disgrace.  Worse still, it is a foul insult to the memory of my father and the other men & women who put their lives on the line to overthrow fascism and the Nazi menace in WWII.

Trump’s behavior at the recent NATO summit was reprehensible, crude, and downright imbecilic.  His words and actions dishonor the deepest values of our American heritage.  His embrace of thugs, dictators, and international criminals brings disgrace and scorn upon our nation.  When he travels to Helsinki on Monday we must see his meeting with Putin for what it really is–the brutal former KGB agent who runs Russia giving instructions to the useful idiot he helped to become the president of the United States.  Trump is Putin’s chief stooge and asset. His behavior at the NATO summit clearly shows that Trump does everything his Moscow Master tells him to do.  There is no mystery about who is running the show.  The script Trump follows–at home and abroad–comes right from Putin.

We will survive this dark period in our history and there will be a reckoning.  There will be a reckoning.  Too many brave men and women have paid too high a price for us not to surmount this challenge we now face.

How glad I am that my father never lived to see days like these.

 


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