–“thinking about the relation between memory and narrative”
WHY DO THE BEST SOLDIERS IN THE WORLD KEEP LOSING?
BY Rudy Acuña
The most recent cover of The Atlantic made me think of this problem. It has a photo of an American soldier and posed the question “Why Do The Best Soldiers in the World Keep Losing? If taken the reader lacked a historical memory, the question would seem reasonable or even probative. However, if you had an epistemological base the question is open to discussion. I will not go into the merits of who was right because as in the case of World War II, the U.S. was more right than the Axis. However, when you talk about who was the best soldiers that is another story. After all the Germans fought on two fronts, overwhelmed by the Russians and half the world. The U.S. was surely the best equipped and had numbers. But would that make them better soldiers? The Japanese were also overwhelmed by numbers and equipment.
The U.S. cannot claim a major part in World War I, we were sojourners. However, we played a decisive role in supply in the Allies who did not want our soldiers, just our money. Not to mention to Winchester and the Gatling gun.
Go back in time, were we better soldiers than the Indians, I think not. Again, technology, numbers and germ warfare were the decisive facts. Numbers and technology also vanquished the Mexicans In the case of the Spanish American War, the U.S. did not best the Spain. The Cubans and Puerto Ricans had won the war and the U.S. stabbed them in the back by leaving them out of peace negations.
From Korea on down we have actually lost as the Atlantic alludes to. Numbers and technology and the American peace Movements proved superior. I make these observations because for me memory determines a valid narrative.