Day by Day

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Historical Intersections

Today is a day for those with a sense of History. For one, it is Constitution Day. 222 years ago, the United States Constitution was created. It has served as a guide for not just our country, but has inspired other nations as well.

It has served over two centuries, delicately balancing power amongst three branches of government. It has shown that it can be amended (27 times), but not frivolously as hundreds of amendments tend to be proposed each session of Congress.

Our Constitution is notable in that it not only gives power to the national government, it also limits it.

It reserves powers and rights to the States and to the People (Tenth Amendment).

And often forgotten is that the Constitution is not the first form of government for the United States of America. Our nation had previously been guided by the Articles of Confederation. The failures and imperfections of the Articles helped guide the framers as they crafted the Constitution. The Constitution wasn't even the original plan as the framers had hoped to merely modify the Articles, but when they realized that more was needed, they set about redesigning the whole kit and kaboodle.

Our Constitution today seems to be a shadow of its former self, as our government has grown far beyond the enumerated boundaries our framers initially set. Has it grown such that it can never shrink back to the limits once set? Do our Citizens, on this "Citizenship & Constitution Day" know what is laid out in the Constitution?


Elsewhere in History, today marks the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union (Russia) invasion of Poland. Two weeks after Germany had swept into Poland, and as Poland was struggling to mount an effective defense, the Russians extinguished all hope when hundreds of thousands of their troops moved in. The result was a partitioning of Poland between the two, and Poland not being a truly independent nation again until over fifty years later.

The anniversary was marked notably by the US Government announcing that it was reneging on its defensive promises and canceling its intentions to place Ballistic Missile Interceptors in Poland. While it was announced that this is due to the lack of a perceived threat, it is much more reasonable to presume that it is an appeasement to Russian objections to the plan.

In contrast to a perceived lack of threat, the Associated Press is reporting that Iran has the ability to make a nuclear bomb and is working on a missile to deliver it. This is the same Iran that openly supports Hezbollah and whose weapons have been used against our troops in Iraq.

The Poles are used to being abandoned by the West. It is a shame that history is repeating itself.

1 comment:

M*A said...

"Those who forget....". I recall a lot of rhetoric about how our standing in the world was going to be restored. Seems to me the only thing that is going to happen is our good and true allies...will never trust us again.