The Winds of War


Jon Reisman

The Winds of War is a 1971 Herman Wouk novel that was adapted into a 1981 TV mini-series starring Robert Mitchum. The novel (and movie) follows naval officer Victor “Pug” Henry from March 1939 to December 1941 as World War II starts and the US enters after Pearl Harbor. WWII ended when the Allies invaded and defeated Germany and we nuked Japan. The prospect of nuclear exchanges on the plains of Europe (dwarfing Chernobyl’s fallout) coupled with a Chinese Communist invasion of Taiwan that we are unable to prevent, deter or effectively respond to makes these Winds of War more terrifying.

President Biden’s recent visit to Kiev pledging another half billion in American “Arsenal of Democracy” aid to Ukraine amidst fears and threats of a deeper Chinese-Soviet alliance and a nuclear World War III should have alarm bells ringing throughout the country, but all the Ukrainian flags and bi-partisan (as well as “independent in name only” Angus King) idiocy and hypocrisy (why are we defending Ukraine’s border but not our own?) means we are sliding towards disaster. To make matters worse, when the manure hits the fan, our woke military leadership will likely (belatedly) discover that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training and “Anti-extremist” purges coupled with gifting a half trillion in weaponry to the Taliban and the corrupt Ukrainian  government is not a recipe for military readiness.  

What does “Success” in Ukraine mean? It has already morphed beyond simply repulsing the Russian invasion. Now it includes “tanks in Moscow”, regime change, Putin’s ouster and the expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders. This is not a recipe for a negotiated peace but rather for a hostile and recalcitrant Russia, and a 21’st Century World War III. “Restoring” Democracy to a corrupt Ukraine would be laughable if it was not such a tragic betrayal of American values, blood and treasure.

My paternal Grandfather emigrated from Eastern Ukraine to the United States in 1908, fleeing Slavic anti-Semitism, pogroms, conscription and corruption. Over a century later, not much has changed. Instead of America being led by a vigorous Teddy Roosevelt who did not worry too much about constitutional constraints, we have the demented head of the corrupt Biden crime family. Biden is contemptuous of the Constitution and is pigheadedly pursuing progressive destruction of the country, supported by a supine press and a political class that sadly includes both our United States Senators. 

In the run-up to the ultimately disastrous second Gulf War, George W. Bush identified the Winds of War as hailing from the “axis of evil”- Iran, Iraq and North Korea. North Korea now has nukes and missiles. Iran has missiles, drones and is about to have nukes. Iraq is a neutered disaster, pulled apart by Iran, Syria and America. We failed to define success in Iraq and moved towards nation and democracy building, and have gotten little of either.

The new axis of evil is arguably China, Russia and the World Economic Forum elites intent on a “Great Reset”. American leadership has failed to identify and confront our adversaries and failed to define what success in defeating them would be. The Winds of War are gaining strength and rather than seek shelter and a safe port, we are heading out into the perfect storm.

Jon Reisman is an economist and policy analyst who retired from the University of Maine at Machias after 38 years. He resides on Cathance Lake in Cooper, where he is a Selectman and a Statler and Waldorf intern. Mr. Reisman’s views are his own and he welcomes comments as letters to the editor here, or to him directly via email at [email protected].

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