If We Had Only Known Then....

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Adam's Apple, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. Adam's Apple
    Offline

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    4,092
    Thanks Received:
    445
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +447
    Another thoughtful article from Jeff Jacoby. If CNN had been in existence in 1945 and had been able to get film of American GIs actually being cut in two by Japanese artillery during the taking of Iwo Jima (provided to them by the Japanese, of course), I am sure they would have telecast it for all to see with its subtle message: See what FDR has gotten us into!

    If We Had Known Then...
    By Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe
    October 22, 2006

    WAS IT a mistake to go to war in Iraq? The latest voice to say so is that of conservative commentator Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online's shrewd editor-at-large and, until last week, a supporter of the war.

    Goldberg hasn't become a John Murtha clone; he still believes that a precipitous American withdrawal would hand the jihadis a victory, and that finishing the job is preferable to bugging out and leaving Iraq a shambles.

    But he has concluded that invading Iraq was the wrong choice, however well-intentioned. "The Iraq war was a mistake," he writes, "by the most obvious criteria: If we had known then what we know now, we would never have gone to war with Iraq in 2003." Is that really how this war -- or any war -- should be judged?

    In 1812, Congress declared war on Great Britain, in part because of Britain's crippling blockade of US ports and the forced impressment of American seamen into the Royal Navy. Butif Americans had known in 1812 what they found out in 1814 -- that the enemy would capture Washington and burn the Capitol, the Treasury, and the White House -- would they have gone to war with Britain? Perhaps not. Does that mean the war was a mistake?

    We know now that the War of 1812 ended not with a US defeat, but with Britain, a superpower of the day, fought to a stalemate by its former colonies. As a consequence, the young republic earned international esteem; never again would Britain challenge American independence. Indeed, never again would the two nations go to war. If Congress had known that in 1812, would it have voted for war? Quite likely. Maybe by an even larger majority.

    Wars are routinely botched, and the Iraq war is no exception. Overconfidence, intelligence failures, poor planning -- none of it is unique to the current war or the current administration.

    In 1944, the Allies were sure that Hitler was nearly beaten, that the Germans had no appetite for a counteroffensive, and that the quiet Ardennes Forest along the Belgian-German border was a good place to send rookie soldiers and exhausted units needing a breather. It took the generals utterly by surprise when Hitler threw a quarter of a million troops against the Ardennes, launching what would come to be known as the Battle of the Bulge. It was the bloodiest encounter of the war for US troops -- five ghastly weeks during which 19,000 American soldiers lost their lives, and another 60,000 were maimed or captured.

    Today we realize that the Battle of the Bulge was Hitler's last gasp, and that the European war would be over a few months later. But at the time there were fears that the war might grind on for years. Doubtless some Americans found themselves thinking that the war with Germany had been a blunder -- one that could have been avoided ``if we had known then what we know now."

    Iraq is not the first war to plummet in popularity. At the start of the Civil War, many Northerners giddily anticipated a quick victory. Secretary of State William Seward ``thought the war would be over in 90 days," writes historian David Herbert Donald in his biography of Abraham Lincoln. ``The New York Times predicted victory in 30 days. "

    Had they had an inkling of the carnage to come, would they have cheered Lincoln's bid to save the Union? Long before the war's end, the cheers would turn to censure. By 1863, the war was being denounced in Congress as ``an utter, disastrous, and most bloody failure," while Lincoln and his administration were despised for their incompetence. ``There never was such a shambling, half-and-half set of incapables collected in one government," Senator William Pitt Fessendon of Maine said in disgust, ``before or since the world began."

    The point isn't that the violent mess in Iraq today is analogous to the Civil War in 1863, or to the Ardennes in 1944, or to the burning of Washington in 1814. The point is that we don't know. Like earlier Americans, we have to choose between resolve and retreat, with no guarantees about how it will end. All we can be sure of is that the stakes once again are liberty and decency vs. tyranny and terror -- that we are fighting an enemy that feeds on weakness and expects us to lose heart -- and that Americans for generations to come will remember whether we flinched.

    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/10/22/if_we_had_known_then/
     
  2. glockmail
    Offline

    glockmail BANNED

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    7,700
    Thanks Received:
    433
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    The beautiful Yadkin Valley
    Ratings:
    +438
    The Globe got it right for once.
     
  3. Adam's Apple
    Offline

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    4,092
    Thanks Received:
    445
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +447
    Not the Globe -- Jeff Jacoby got it right. :)
     
  4. glockmail
    Offline

    glockmail BANNED

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    7,700
    Thanks Received:
    433
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    The beautiful Yadkin Valley
    Ratings:
    +438
    And they published it just the same. ;)
     
  5. Kagom
    Offline

    Kagom Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,161
    Thanks Received:
    141
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Vicksburg, MS
    Ratings:
    +141
    World War II and the Iraq War are two completely different entities. I think that WW II would be handled differently than the IRaq war is being handled.
     
  6. Gunny
    Offline

    Gunny Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Messages:
    44,689
    Thanks Received:
    6,753
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Location:
    The Republic of Texas
    Ratings:
    +6,770
    Well no shit, Sherlock.

    We went into WWII to win by whatever means necessary, no if's, and's, or but's, and nothing less was not even a consideration.

    Of course, back then, whiney-ass lefties wailing about fabricated war crimes and people getting killed in a war (imagine THAT) were called exactly what they are ....pussies.
     
  7. Kagom
    Offline

    Kagom Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,161
    Thanks Received:
    141
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Vicksburg, MS
    Ratings:
    +141
    But there probably wouldn't be that many left leaning people doing that, considering the president was Democrat and probably had Democrat and liberal support.
     
  8. Gunny
    Offline

    Gunny Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Messages:
    44,689
    Thanks Received:
    6,753
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Location:
    The Republic of Texas
    Ratings:
    +6,770
    And more importantly probably because liberals weren't loonies back then. While their political agenda was different that conservatives, they still held the same common bond of being American wiht conservatives, as a core value that trumped political ambition. In other words, fools who forgot where we come from and what it takes to be an undivided nation didn't drive the liberal train then as it does now.

    The last time this nation was as radically politically divided as now was 1860. The wrong President was elected and we spent four years killing each other.
     
  9. glockmail
    Offline

    glockmail BANNED

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    7,700
    Thanks Received:
    433
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    The beautiful Yadkin Valley
    Ratings:
    +438
    There were more people afiliated with the Communist party back than. The difference is that the media back then didn't support them. Now we have communists who won't admit to that, far-left media and Hollywood supporting same, all bankrolled by a far-left loonie who would-be-king: George Soros. Plus the gay and feminist agenda.
     
  10. theHawk
    Offline

    theHawk Registered Conservative

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Messages:
    10,871
    Thanks Received:
    2,069
    Trophy Points:
    280
    Location:
    Germany
    Ratings:
    +5,756
    I think our mass media giving us battlefield information in almost real time is whats taking its toll. American citizens read and hear these reporsts of GIs dying everyday, so they feel like they are in the war. The thing is they are not, the average American is NOT a soldier. They are NOT cut out for war and they do not have the stomach for the battlefield experience. No one is asking these people to go fight this war, thats what our soldiers do. Just because the anti-war liberals in our country can't stomach the day to day news about the war doesn't mean our soldiers can't handle the day to day fighting. Back in the WWII days most soldiers didn't come home and talk about what happened on the battlefield. But today the day-to-day images of the violence our soldiers see is thrown in the face of all Americans, and since most Americans are not soldiers cut out for that kind of stuff the reaction is naturally going to be negative. The liberal media capitalizes on this to get people to oppose the war. Its easy to get people to dislike the death toll and violence, its much harder to get people to understand we HAVE a fighting force that is capable of being in the situation and dealing with it. This is beyond comprehension to most of the anti-war liberals because they don't have what it takes to be a soldier.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1

Share This Page