America—A Miracle

by DR. PETER VINCENT PRY January 25, 2017

Watching the parade celebrating the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump was like seeing a slice of the miracle that is America. Marines, Girl Scouts, and tractors driven by farmers from the heartland and the Talladega marching band passed in revue before their nation.

For that rainy Friday afternoon people from all walks of life, from diverse communities, from every region of our vast country, paraded as one, a multi-hued but single gleaming thread from the rich tapestry that is the United States.

Last in the parade were 1,500 cadets from the Virginia Military Institute playing "Shenandoah." Seven generations ago, some 150 years in the past, the VMI cadets were part of the great Civil War against the United States, fighting for the southern Confederacy in the Shenandoah Valley, where they smashed a U.S. army at the Battle of New Market.

Now the nation's deep sectional wounds from the Civil War are so well healed that VMI cadets celebrate the inauguration of the 45th U.S. president, while being proud of their own historic traditions.

But it was not always so.

Re-unification of the United States after the Civil War was not easily accomplished. For example, according to some historians, after Vicksburg, Mississippi, surrendered to Union General U.S. Grant on July 4, 1863, the once Confederate city did not celebrate U.S. Independence Day again until 1945.

It took the Spanish-American War, two world wars, and the passage of 80 years to heal the nation's Civil War wounds in Vicksburg.

We should know from our own history that building a nation is not easy. We should know from our recent failed experiments in "nation-building" in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Balkans that people can become so bitterly divided by history, religion, ethnicity, and politics that true unification into a nation becomes impossible.

Indeed, divisions and hatred can become so deep that not only is nation-building impossible-it even becomes impossible merely to live in peace.

Americans should be deeply grateful that a majority of us are still united by a national consciousness of respect and love for this thing we call the United States of America.

But it is a fast diminishing majority who are proud to be Americans. On our universities and among the chattering classes of liberal mass media the very concept of patriotism is despised.

At least one major U.S. political party has as its stock and trade the politics of division, grievance, and anger. According to them, America is deeply racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, and every other kind of phobia imaginable.

In the interests of post-inaugural fraternity, I will not name the party that hates America. But they know who they are, and so does the reader.

Partisanship, feared by George Washington as the doom of the Republic, has become so severe that now leaders of the Intelligence Community have succumbed to partisan fervor, wittingly or unwittingly allowing themselves to be used to challenge the legitimacy of the 45th president, and the wisdom of the American people who elected him.

The "blame America first" party now blames Russia for allegedly "hacking the elections." They and their allies in the mass media have cried for weeks that Russia threatens our constitutional republic because Moscow purportedly disclosed John Podesta's emails.

Russia is an existential threat to the United States, but not because of Podesta's emails.

Moscow is building hundreds of more nuclear warheads than allowed by the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, is in violation of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and has moved nuclear missiles to Kaliningrad to target our NATO allies, Poland and the Baltic states.

Moscow boasts it is building a new heavy nuclear missile so powerful it could destroy an area the size of Texas with a single blow. Russia is building the most powerful nuclear weapon in the world-a 100-megaton monster, energetically equivalent to 10,000 Hiroshima A-bombs-that could be detonated underwater to drown the U.S. eastern seaboard, or detonated at high-altitude for an electromagnetic pulse to blackout North America.

Why is the "blame America first" party and their allies in the intelligence community and mass media not decrying these threats from Russia as loudly and as long as Moscow's alleged disclosure of Podesta's emails?

Perhaps a bigger threat than Russia to our constitutional republic is when one side loses an election fair and square, then concocts endless excuses to claim the election was not legitimate. Such extreme partisanship corrodes the ties that bind us as a nation.

Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran know this. Surely they wonder if the miracle that is America, so weakened by tribalism, can survive their first blow?

A version of this piece also appeared on

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both Congressional Advisory Boards, and served on the Congressional EMP Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA. He is author of Apocalypse Unknown: The Struggle To Protect America From An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe and Electric Armageddon, both available from and



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