Get PJ Media on your Apple

Roger’s Rules

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

August 3rd, 2014 - 2:38 pm

Do you remember Rudyard Kipling’s great poem “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”? The whole thing is very much worth reading. Today’s headlines, however bring this  powerful stanza to mind:

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.

“They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.”  Sound familiar?

Meanwhile, the U.S. army, because of the Obama administration’s military cuts, is cashiering 550 majors.  Some are getting the news while on duty in Afghanistan. And that’s after 1200 captains got the news that their services were no longer required by the army.

A couple more data points from this morning’s headlines, courtesy of the Drudge Report:

And so on.

Also out today is a report from an independent panel appointed by the Pentagon and Congress warning that “President Obama’s strategy for sizing the armed services is too weak for today’s global threats.”  The shrinking US armed forces, the report cautioned, is a “serious strategic misstep on the part of the United States,” “inadequate given the future strategic and operational environment.”

It is still August 3rd in the United States as I write, but in Melbourne, Australia, where I am at the moment, it is the morning of August 4, the centenary of Britain’s entry in WWI. There are many events planned to commemorate that awesome moment. At first, the war was greeted by many heedless people on both sides with jubilation. “We’ll be home by Christmas,” etc., etc.

Then came the slaughter of the first battle of the Marne in September. Altogether, that little outing cost more than 500,000 casualties in about a week. Four years later, much of Europe lay in ruins, tens of millions were dead, three empires had vanished from the face of the earth, and European civilization as it had been known lay devastated, never to recover.

“The story of the human race,” Winston Churchill wrote at the end of his 3-volume history of the Great War, “is war. Except for brief and precarious interludes there has never been peace in the world.” Wise men acknowledge that truth and behave accordingly.  We do not have wise men leading us in Washington.  The preposterous folly that is the Obama administration — its arrant lawlessness, its race baiting, its spectacular maladministration — looks more and more like a dangerous prelude to disaster.  There are plenty of voices speaking up to call attention to this malignant burlesque.  Mostly, they fall on deaf ears.  Let’s hope that people awaken from their dogmatic slumbers before the rest of Kipling’s poem has a chance to come true.

 

Top Rated Comments   
What kind of guidance did Maya Angelous give for these kinds of situations? I suspect that's the gameplan the WH is following, rather than Kipling's.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unfortunately the entire work describes our modern times.

Civilization just seems so wonderful and stable... until we forget it isn't, laud barbarians, uphold pirates as noble... and then we find ourselves in a Dark Age with Iron Times as an added bonus.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our leadership class holds Churchill and Kipling in contempt as dead white males who couldn't possibly offer wisdom on anything except possibly "19th century behavior".

Bill Ayers and his cohort did their work well. They tunneled under our institutions as effectively as Hamas tunneled under the Gaza border.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
There are two areas to watch, one which this column addresses is conventional forces. I believe it's Obama's intent to reduce US military strength until it can't effectively fight overseas. That will include not just army, but a navy no longer strong enough to protect shipping to support troops overseas, much less project power. So, in addition to the reductions described above, watch for the less interesting reductions in forces in the areas of logistics and supply.

The other area to watch is nuclear forces. As an example, Russia's army is so weak that its only protection from large-scale attack is its nuclear forces. No nation, not the US or China can attempt to force Russia to do anything without risking nuclear retaliation if the Russian government feels pushed too far. It is Obama's stated goal to make the world a "nuclear free goal" and failing to make the world nuclear free, I expect he will try to make the US a "nuclear free" nation. That could be done indirectly not just by reducing the nuclear stockpile, but more importantly by closing down the support facilities that would enable the US to rapidly rebuild our nuclear arsenal if any other country began their own building program. The US would have to acquiesce to another country's (or countries') demands to stop rebuilding if they threatened a first strike if we simply did not have enough weapons to survive such a strike and retaliate.

Nuclear deterrence was based on mutual assured destruction. Mutual assured destruction required nuclear parity. Old cold war bromides, but, unfortunately, still true today.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
One way to look at the general military downsizing is this: Obama is pushing out the door a large group of people experienced in using weapons and tactical command. Some of those pushed out might be helpful in case Bad Luck overtakes the country.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
"..if we gave them our weapons.." Wow. We've got boojillion coming across the southern border, most of them uncounted. We've got Ebola being flown in so we can learn what the experts in the disease in Africa could not paying with their lives. Islam is conquering Europe in not so slow motion.

And our leaders? Hiding in Washington. A Senator chained to a border fence in Texas would actually STOP that area from being assaulted due to Secret Service attendance, but....Noooooooo.

That's why I sent out 25 greeting cards to "nudge" [http://senatormark4.org/Alinsky5.htm] the pols as an Alinsky5.htm assault. It has more staying power than emails or phone calls.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
The folly is the US electorate who twice elected an open communist from a family of communists, backed by the radical US left, and almost certainly via Soros financially backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. We did not have an election in 20008; we had a coup d'état.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Elected? What a quaint notion.

We haven't had an election in this country in many years. But MAN what great theater!

Orion
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
What kind of guidance did Maya Angelous give for these kinds of situations? I suspect that's the gameplan the WH is following, rather than Kipling's.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hear, hear!

It's perceptive of you to juxtapose Kipling with Angelou. Perhaps a society defines itself by its choice of an un-official poet-laureate?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let us all pray we do not find ourselves singing Macdonough's song.
We probably won't; Kipling was an optimist; He assumed a recovery.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
You need to read "As Easy as A.B.C." to get the full context of "Macdonough's Song."
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13085/13085-h/13085-h.htm#page003
(Contains "inappropriate" language.)
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks. Had not encountered MacDonough's Song before, and I have read a lot of Kipling. We are there. I will spread it further.

Subotai Bahadur
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fools elected fools, and fools will pay the price.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unfortunately, fools tend to spread their misery to those around them.

For Americans, where else can you go to avoid them and their (voting) decisions?

For better or worse, America IS the last bastion....and we have fools in our ranks.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unfortunately the entire work describes our modern times.

Civilization just seems so wonderful and stable... until we forget it isn't, laud barbarians, uphold pirates as noble... and then we find ourselves in a Dark Age with Iron Times as an added bonus.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our leadership class holds Churchill and Kipling in contempt as dead white males who couldn't possibly offer wisdom on anything except possibly "19th century behavior".

Bill Ayers and his cohort did their work well. They tunneled under our institutions as effectively as Hamas tunneled under the Gaza border.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All