Skip to comments.Iraq: Lessons of Terror Learned
Posted on 04/16/2003 8:19:44 PM PDT by nunya bidness
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Heads up neighbor.
The definition applies without condition. Neither the PLO, Israel, or the US in WWII should be given a bye. The distinction in the case of nuking Japan is that history was tempered by the follow through of the reconstruction campaign.
It was terrorism to nuke Japan, and it was terrorism when Dresden was firebombed.
I just hope the Iraqi people will be able to hold on to what has been offered to them.
Oh, let there be no doubt, it was terrifying. It was meant to be and it was aimed squarely at breaking the will of tow entire sets of people whose resources was pitted against ours in a war for the very survival of our way of life.
So, yes, horribly ... but necessarily ... we bombed the cities. We won the war and the peace and we kept an unbelievably dark night of even worse terror, terror practised as genocide against the free peoples of the world, from descending on mankind.
An unimaginably terrible trade off to be sure ... but a horribly necessary one.
The atomic bombings in Japan were directed at one thing, and one thing only. The quick end of the war without the necessity of invading Japan ... and the saving of American and Japanese lives by so doing. My Dad was on a Landing Craft Infantry preparing for that invasion. And in all likelihhod his life as well as a couple of hundred thousand Americans and millions of Japanese were saved by those two terrifying but necessary bombs.
A hell of a decision to have to make ... but the right decision.
It is well said that in total war there are no innocents. When a culture and people are so gripped with the aims of their leaders as the Japanese and most Germans were ... it is a fight of us against them with the survival of freedom and libeeryty at stake. We know this from observing what the enemy nations did to those nations they conquered ... and what we did with the nations after defeating them. That stark contrast, between Manchuria and all of Europe for the Axis, and between how a conquered Germany and Japan were treated reveals all. The steps getting there were terrible ... and they were horrible ... but not nearly as horrible as losing such a war.
It is also well said that war is hell.
We are now pitted against enemies in these terrorists and their abettors that may well be as grave and dangerous a threat as those of World War II. I particularly think that if the Chinese ever jump in on this thing on the other side at an inopportune moment, that the threat could be even greater. I pray they don't ... I pray we are not faced with such decisions ... but I also know that despite the weaknesses and failings of mortal men ... sometimes it is necessary to pull out all of the stops, as horrific as that sounds and as horrific as it is.
I spent two years in Germany talking to people who went through those years. Amazing tales from most Germans. A few were still bitter ... but most were humbled and thankful that it had turned out the way it did, and they were willing to admit it ... despite losses we can scaresly imagine.
Well ... I've gone on too long. There remains terrible evil in the world ... as you know, some of it right here on these shores. I pray we can check it and arrest it before it spreads from the cultish cliques, cells and groups where it curtrently resides to whole peoples which would make such warfare again a brutal necessity.
Best Fregars to you my friend on a thought provoking article.
Question, is this course worth two or three credits, and when is the final?
but I do not agree that the method of warfare we practised in World War II was wrong, if that is the implication.
If, by applying the standard of terror based on the definition above, the intention was to affect the the will of the people politically from the use of nukes, then I think it fits the definition of terror
Was it wrong? There was no way for us to act any differently than we had in the past, and just about every other country up to that time. With the obvious noted exceptions.
The importance of what our people are doing in Iraq right now is that they are finally getting it right. All the elements of progressive war are being displayed. Lightening mechanized attacks (Rommel, Patton), light/mobile objective based missions (Frederick the Great), etc.
In my mind the most important task undertaken by our men and women is the application of compassionate discrimination of targets at the risk of injury and death.
This legacy will bring forward a new generation of free Iraqis who will remember the pains our country went to to free them.
In that respect the time and mistakes of former military planners will be put in perspective.
Not so with most Germans under Hitler, and an even greater percentage of Japanese under the Emperor. They were very gungho and as a people willing to support that tyrant right up to the end (that support wained faster amongst the Germans).
It is this, in my estimation, more than anything else that is allowing us to prosecute the type of "compassionate" or "progressive" war you speak of.
If was not because we were historically bound that we fought as we did in World War II. More than the technology, it was the nature of the enemy and the populations that suported their armies.
Clearly, the newer technology allows us to be more discriminant if that is called for ... but let those millions in Baghdad (or anywhere else) turn against our forces and be gungho in their production and support of thier leader (as they were in World War II) and things change quickly.
Our actions after World War II to the enemies we had just defeated and who had worked so hard to support a regime that was bent on uteerly destroying us ... tells us that we had the compassion then, even as we do now. The major difference, IMHO, was the will of the people whom we were fighting ... and it was a will that had to be broken if we were going to ultimately safe more lives.
Human nature has not changed in the intervening years. We have not faced such a foe (meaning an entire culture or people) in Iraq, or at any time in the last 20+ years. I pray we never do ... but sadly, I believe it is very possible.
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