“I Wandered, Lonely, As A Cloud, That Floats On High O’er Vales And Hills”

I chose the quote from William Wordsworth’s poem ‘Daffodils’ because it is a great metaphor for ‘thought’ or the ‘wanderings of the mind’.

A hand-written manuscript of the poem ‘Daffodils’ by William Wordsworth (1802).

Have you ever wondered how thoughts come to you?  Do you ever even have thoughts?  I mean, thoughts of your own?  That may seem a little unkind, but what I mean is do you allow yourself to think of things that lay outside the common sort of things that most people think, or think they think?  Do you ever allow your mind to wander free?  See where it leads?  Do you ever sit still, alone and quiet for long enough for such things to occur?

Usually, if you do that, one thought will stick out and jab you in the ribs, and you may wonder just where it came from.  With a little practice, you can often follow the trail of thought backwards, at least part of the way, and see where it originated.  That may not be a beneficial thing to do because it is the one thought that sticks out for you, that is calling for your attention. On the other hand, it may be very beneficial to think backward, especially if you need that particular jabbing thought to be built on some logical argument, the basis of which, was laid down earlier in your flow of thoughts.

Anyway, leaving that aside, important as it is, to get to what I actually wanted to say.

A thought came to me a little earlier.  I do know where it came from, and the steps which led to it, but I am not going to reveal that because it is personal and not relevant to what follows.

This thought is an old saying, often attributed to Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the man credited with turning the tide of the Pacific War (thus saving Australia from invasion) in the 1940s.  It is actually a misquoted extract from lyrics to a song popular with British soldiers of the First World War.  It goes: “Old Soldiers Never Die; They Simply Fade Away”, misquoted by MacArthur, and popularised as “Old Soldiers Never Die; They Just Fade Away”.  I always remember it as the original version.

Photo: Troops of the Eight-Nation Alliance (Boxer Rebellion) in 1900.                                                                 Left to right: Britain, United States, Australia, India, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Japan

The main reason that I bring this to your attention is because MacArthur is generally held in high esteem as something of a hero, whereas he was really just another dumb-fuck American General.

Did you know that he was sacked from his Korean War position as Commander of US Forces by President Truman for criticising the Presidential denial of his request to allow him to nuke China?   You can read about this here: http://www.thisdayinquotes.com/…/old-soldiers-never-die-the…

Truman afterwards said: “I fired him because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the President…I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was.” and, when asked for his reaction to MacArthur’s farewell speech, he said it was “nothing but a bunch of damn bullshit!”

My point is, that this is an insight into the continuing mindset of all of the cadre of General Officers commanding today’s massive US Military Forces.  Sooner or later they are going to push to be allowed to nuke somebody else.  No question.  And since they don’t appear to have learned, in spite of their massive superiority in numbers and weaponry, just how to win a war by conventional means (they have not had a single victorious outcome in the last almost 70 years), the ‘nuke’ option appears to be their only viable choice if they ever decide they would like to win one, just once.

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