Growing up during World War II was one of the experiences that helped to form, for good or bad, the person I have become today.
I remember Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, D-Day and that terrible day that changed the world forever, when a plane called the Enola Gay dropped the bomb that caused such devastation that it basically ended the war with Japan in one day.
Among our allies were the Russians led by a butcher named Joseph Stalin, but in the newsreels - photographed with President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill - with his broad Slavic grin and his humongous mustache, Stalin resembled a good-natured, earthy uncle with a merry heart and candy in his pockets for the kids.
To say looks are deceiving is a gross understatement.
This man was a monster of the first order who had already killed more of his fellow countrymen than his army had killed Germans, but he was presented in the media as the beloved hero of his people fighting alongside America to preserve the freedom and dignity of mankind.
Stalin ceased to be our ally the day the war was over and the occupation of Europe and Japan started being discussed.
General Douglas MacCarthur held his feet to the fire in Japan and the Pacific, but a war weary nation soon tired of the venomous back and forth with Russia and conceded Eastern Europe to Russian occupation - a mistake we lived to regret many times over and apparently failed to learn from.
The result - as we all know - was the Cold War as the Soviet Union's Iron Curtain began a long and bloody reign of terror which resulted in electrified fences and machine gun torrents that cut people down for trying to escape. The walls finally fell under Ronald Reagan's unrelenting arms race that a top-heavy police state like Russia simply couldn't sustain.
With the breakup of the Soviet Union came a supposed new era of friendship and cooperation, which was readily embraced by politicians on both sides of the aisle, some who even claimed to develop personal relationships with Russian leaders.
In my opinion, the Russian power brokers were laughing up their sleeves at American naivety. I believe what Russia wanted was a breathing spell, a respite from the relentless arms race America was obviously winning, a chance to bring their resources back home and update an aging military whose last action had suffered a sound defeat in Afghanistan.
They soft-soaped us for a while with the Gorbachevs and Yeltsins and then got back down to business by putting an ex-KGB officer named Vladimir Putin in power, who in my opinion always had the intention of reclaiming the pertinent parts of the Soviet Union.
And, now, his plans have reached fruition and the first phase of the operation is being carried out in the Crimean section of the Ukraine. By the time you read this column, it could have proceeded even farther, but the fertile and strategically located Ukraine is an important piece of Putin's puzzle.
The Western World will file protests and condemnations and the United Nations will probably pass a resolution castigating Russia for its aggression, but Putin, and the rest of the world for that matter, will know that it's only the impotent ravings of paper tigers and straw dogs and most likely, under the auspices of rescuing the Ukrainian people from an illegal rebel government proceed with his rebuilding of the Russian Empire.
Putin has played President Obama like a video game, seizing the initiative and the spotlight in the Middle East, leaving Obama and his team of academics standing in the shadows wondering what happened.
At a time when experience is sorely needed, when Obama needs operatives and cold warriors who have a history of dealing with the Russians giving him advice, he has surrounded himself with idealistic novices who have no idea where the mines are buried.
On top of that, he has fired many of our most battle-hardened, upper-echelon military officers, a case of politics over common sense, and the move of a rank amateur. And, with the assistance of a gutless Congress, he is in the process of downsizing and demoralizing our military and cutting the benefits of our veterans.
And, no, all you cherry pickers, I don't want a war with Russia over the Ukraine, or for any other reason for that matter, but don't think that Putin's ambitions will end there. Obama's inability and inaction will only encourage him and his belligerence will grow with each humiliation of the western powers until, one day, there will be a confrontation.
I only hope and pray that, when that day comes, America will have a leader who is up to the task.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America