Todd Luger, LAc
In the spring of 1812, war came once again to American shores.
It had been over 25 years since the constitution had been ratified,
when the distinct entity known as the United States of America
came into existence. And the Brits were still not very happy.
They were now at war with France and had taken to stopping American
ships and forcing their sailors into the British navy. After exhausting
various trade and other diplomatic solutions, war was finally
declared in 1812. The
1812 war actually began with an invasion of Canada by the US
in an attempt to force the British from North America. While both
sides claimed victory and neither gained territory, the war is
notable as the last time a foreign power's army set foot on American
soil. America has enjoyed an unassailable military status since.
It was the immense sense of power and invulnerability that made
the terrorist attack of 9/11 take on a magnitude far out of proportion
to anything that had ever happened in any American's lifetime.
Yet since 1812, war and invasion has been the norm for most of
the rest of the world, including so-called modern industrialized
countries. Europe was the site of the Napoleonic wars, as well
as both world wars, not to mention endless smaller skirmishes
as the various modern states consolidated their border, particularly
the transformation of Prussia to Germany. The suffering and deaths
of millions of civilians and soldiers were incurred. All the while,
the USA grew more and more powerful (with the glaring exception
of five years of civil war in which we managed to slaughter as
many of each other as the American victims of all other wars combined).
As for the rest of planet since 1812, war has even been more
omnipresent. Major battles as a result of foreign invasion or
occupation were quite common throughout Eastern Asia, Africa,
South America and the middle east. The loss of life in these conflicts
cannot even be tabulated. In a number of cases, genocide was involved.
This includes Jews, Armenians, Rwandans, Bosnians, numbering from
hundreds of thousands to millions in short periods of time. American
soldiers bravely went to war several times during this period
in order to protect our interests or our shores or our allies.
But our soil remained inviolable and our sense of protected status
grew. Never before had a country that had engaged in so much military
activity over such a long period of time avoided an attack on
So when the cold war finally ended, most Americans assumed it
was a done deal. The era of peace and prosperity had finally arrived.
The economy boomed during the 90's and no true threats to American
seemed to loom in the minds of Americans. Then 9/11 changed everything.
But should it be such a surprise that American intervention around
the world has created a lot of enemies over the past century.
Now don't get me wrong, I blame the suffering of these peoples
largely on their own governments, not ours. And certainly no such
attack on any country such as 9/11 could ever be justified. No,
the point is that we put our heads in the sands when it was clear
to many that such an attack was inevitable. We allowed our national
sense of superiority and invincibility to cloud us to the realities
around us. And the guilt lies with both democrats and republicans
who have variously been complicit in this ostrich like behavior
over the past 15 years. We can only hope that our current course
of action will not be too little too late.
||Todd Luger, Licensed Acupuncturist
and Herbalist, has 14 years of clinical experience
in Chinese Medicine, focused on chronic pain and illness,
has been a professor of Herbology and Clinical Medicine at
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine since 2000, and is director
of the Chinese
Herb Academy. You can read more of his articles on PulseMed.org,
at the Chinese Herb Academy, or on his