Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Apples & Oranges...

I've been hearing lately how much worse the war in Iraq is because it has lasted longer than World War II...

Is the mainstream media just willing to throw facts and history out the window for a “good” story against the Iraq war?

Those making the World War II comparison seem to betray their utter ignorance of history...

In World War II we were fighting three modern, industrialized, militarized nations; we had to crush each of them utterly. Italy fell when its own people turned on their fascist masters. Germany had to be almost literally bombed back to the Stone Age, and then invaded and nearly every inch conquered. Japan was bracing for a similar fate when they noticed that two of their cities had put up "gone fission" signs, and we were promising to continue doing that to more cities.

From the Attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) until the surrender of Japan (August 15, 1945) you get 1,345 days if you are only counting up until the end of major combat operations.

Now let’s compare Iraq from the date of the US invasion (March 20, 2003) to the fall of Baghdad and the collapse of the Baathist government (April 9, 2003) you get three weeks, again if you are only counting up until the end of major combat operations.

Of course, after the major combat operations there is the occupation and rebuilding.

Let's take a look at that...

Germany remained under Allied control until 1949, when the Western powers ceded their districts to the Federal Republic of Germany and the Soviets created their puppet regime of the German Democratic Republic. This partitioning remained until 1990, when the German people finally took their fate back into their own hands and got away with it, because the Soviets were far too busy worrying about their own rapidly dissolving totalitarian regime. That brings the total time of "war and occupation" to about 49 years, give or take a few months. Unless, of course, you count "occupation" as "having US forces still present." In which case, we come up to the present day. In Japan, the official occupation lasted until 1952 -- ten years and some change after Pearl Harbor. And as in Germany, US forces are still present, so it can be argued that we are still stuck in the "quagmire" of World War II.

How about how many soldiers were lost during World War II? During WWII approximately 407,300 soldiers which was .32% of the population. In Iraq, we've lost approximately 3,000 soldiers or .001% of the population.

Is it me? I just don't see the comparison.

This war is taking a long time because of the way we have chosen to fight it, and not even once have I heard a Hiroshima style solution on the table, so what the heck is the point of those in the media making this comparison? We all know the answer to that one, too, don't we?

In the words of President Kennedy: "There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction."

As in all struggles, each side will make mistakes. We have certainly made several, but I believe the biggest would be to "cut and run" and these cowards would have us do.

The decisions made on Iraq will take the measure of America's maturity and sense of responsibility. Because, whether we like it or not, our decisions and our decisions alone will determine whether the barely containable murderous pathologies of the Middle East will be dumped into the face of humanity or whether rational efforts will be persisted at to assist its people to join the civilized world and to destroy the threatening forces that slither and hide within it.

11 Comments:

Anonymous reverse_vampyr said...

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

We still have troops in Japan.

We still have troops in South Korea.

We still have troops in Germany.

The only way to lose it to leave. By staying, we prove that we are not a "paper tiger". By staying, we prove to the people that want stability that we will not hang them out to dry.

1/12/06 12:38  
Anonymous Sharp As A Marble said...

Yeah, lets compare WWII to Iraq since they are so similar...

Total US deaths in WWII.... over 400,000. In Iraq... under 3000.

Each and every death of a US soldier is painful and regrettable, but since Ari wants to compare the two wars, why not compare more than just the number of days. Lets also not forget civilian casualties in Germany (about 1.8 million) and Japan (about 600,000), when making comparisons to civilian deaths in Iraq.

If we used the same rules from WWII in Iraq, the war would have been over three years ago.

1/12/06 15:32  
Anonymous Frank The Crank said...

Sure there has been strategic and tactical mistakes made in Iraq, but the last mistake would be to leave with out finishing the job of defeating the murderous ideology in Iraq and hopefully steering the populace to democracy. What the fuck do I know though?

1/12/06 15:39  
Anonymous fidelio said...

Green Beret Jeffrey Toczylowski who was killed in Iraq wrote: "Don't ever think that you are defending me by slamming the Global War on Terrorism or the U.S. goals in that war," "As far as I am concerned, we can send guys like me to go after them or we can wait for them to come back to us again. I died doing something I believed in and have no regrets except that I couldn't do more."

1/12/06 15:46  
Anonymous Dr. Rusty Shackleford said...

I don't get the comparison either. ) You cannot leave a field of battle honorably without total victory. There is no “honor” in defeat, no matter how you choose to airbrush, camouflage and pretty it up with weasel words. You either win or you lose. “Winning” means achieving your objectives and leaving your enemy crushed, humiliated and destroyed. “Losing” means anything short of that, but as Frank so eloquently put it what the f- do I know.

1/12/06 17:20  
Anonymous jumpmaster said...

Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11,2001?

There are some people who think the best option for the war on terror is to withdraw all of our troops and hope the problem goes away, but I am not one of them.

1/12/06 21:45  
Anonymous Frank The Crank said...

Hey Doc, what's with taking the -uck out of the "f" word???

3/12/06 22:35  
Anonymous Coach TC said...

December 1, 2006: The U.S. Army has been able to achieve an extraordinary feat, by sustaining it’s strength in a long war (longer than World War II) using only volunteers. The main reason for this success was the willingness of troops already in uniform to stay there. Reenlistments have been higher than before the war on terror began in 2001. The invasion of Iraq resulted in even higher reenlistment rates.

That should be in the comparison.

5/12/06 08:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your words amaze me. I love it when you post a well thought out message that really is exactly on target. I don't really have anything to add other than to agree that the media is a thorn in the side of the foundation of this country and I look forward to your future posts that will so obviously point this out.

5/12/06 09:10  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

Could you tell I like World War II history?

Thanks to everyone for their comments!

5/12/06 09:22  
Anonymous Mi-arnado de Mimi said...

Well said.... I don't think we should have gone to Iraq, at least not in the manner and speed in which we did, but.... We are there now. Win or go home. If we are going to be there and not genuflect to a whole group of people who resent the standard of living we have in the West, like the culture or not, fight to win. We need to do whatever it takes to leave with a win. If we lose this war, it does not bode well for the mess we will face from every Tom, Dick, and Hussein with a rocket launcher and the high school chemistry skills to build bombs. If that calls for sending more troops over there instead of bringing them home, do it. Winning is simple...be committed to it and bust your hump to get it done. I may not like how we ended up in Iraq, but I won't be fooled by 60 second infomercials telling me we need to get out. Most importantly, I will vote accordingly. Our economy, our safety, and our future is tied to the threat of terrorism so lets make sure we hit them hard enough and hurt them bad enough that we won't have to worry about them for a generation or two.

15/12/06 20:15  

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