My brother, George, was a naval gunner, during World War II.
I was eager to join them and to serve my country.
I never got the chance because I was not of age to serve, still in high school in 1945 and my parents said I had to graduate and go to college. Like millions of other Americans I was eager, so eager to fight. I was young, and after all the young are immortal.
On August 6, 1945, President Harry S. Truman approved the use of a horrific weapon, atomic bombs, to be dropped on two Japanese cities – Hiroshima and Nagasaki – and in the aftermath, for all purposes the war was over.
I never got to go to war.
But I have seen first-hand what war can do…at Leningrad, Stalingrad. Kursk and many, many other cities. My young life would drastically change when I decided to live in the Soviet Union.
In the wake of the bloodletting in that second global war, and with the creation of the United Nations, I, and many like myself, believed the Atomic Age would usher in an era of peace and good-will. After all, who in his right mind would want a war when nations can drop atomic and hydrogen bombs and wipe mankind off the face of the earth?
Apparently, I – and many like me – are wrong.
The world and its leaders have not learned from the past. We were at war yesterday and we are at war today. And tomorrow, our would-be presidents are willing to shoot down Russian planes to threaten those who disagree with them.
Never-ending war. Its cells are malignant and once ingrained in the nation’s belly spread unchecked. Where will it strike next: Syria? Russia? Which of the 50-plus African nations?
After 13 years of constant fighting, and the loss of thousands of lives, it is unconscionable to even think about sending troops into the Middle East. The followers of Islam have been at each other’s throats since the Prophet Mohammed’s death in 634 on issues we in the western world could never comprehend. If, for nearly 2000 years these religious fanatics can’t settle their differences, how can anyone else in this world have the audacity to believe they can resolve the issues?
If you are Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, and you have a huge arsenal of atomic and hydrogen bombs in your nuclear stockpile, what would you do when candidates for the presidency of the United States of America publicly threaten your country by saying they, if elected, would put missiles in your backyard (Poland)? And when they threaten to shoot down any Russian pilot who violates a no-fly zone (in Syria), knowing that would be an act of war, would you, President Putin, not prepare for war?
And the beat goes on.
“We are at war,” says another candidate. “We won’t allow a Muslim to come into this country…”
A Muslim. How about an Armenian? Or a Jew? Or a Pole? Italian? Scot? Irish? German? Italian?
Are we not all immigrants?
Words… words that shatter the very foundation upon which this great democracy was built.
Oh, how we have forgotten the power of the spoken and written word. Words are alive….they are infinite….they soothe…they provoke…they can speak…they can be translated into action…
“You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” “These are the times that try men’s souls.” “Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!” “Let them eat cake.”.”I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”
Yes, Gov. Christie….shoot down that Russian plane, if it violates a space that is unknown to most Americans….but you will, in doing so, change life on earth.
Let me leave you with this thought, a thought offered by a genius who knew earth and the universe better than most of us. This incredible human being convinced President Franklin Roosevelt that he should consider research into the making of an atomic weapon because Nazi scientists were already creating a weapon and “…a single bomb of this type, carried by a boat and exploded in a port, might well destroy the whole port, together with some of the surrounding territory.” FDR was convinced. The project became known as the “Manhattan Project”. The scientist’s name is Albert Einstein.
In contrast, Einstein noted, “Peace cannot be kept by force….it can be achieved by understanding.”
Tom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess. Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!