Lessons from WWII

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http://www.glennbeck.com/realstory/09-12-06-a.shtml

Lessons from WWII
During his speech last night, President Bush called this war against extreme Islam, "the calling of our generation." But the media today instead decided to focus on how divided they say this country is about the war and, like I told you in the last story, who's to blame for 9/11.

Here's the thing...no American actually LIKES war, most of us don't even like a challenge. But the Real Story is that before you buy into all of the media spin about how divided this nation is, you need some historical perspective.

Before Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, our country was adamantly opposed to war. That's not really a surprise - like I said, no generation ever wants to fight. The surprising part is that our grandparents didn't even RECOGNIZE the enormity of the threat before them.

In 1940, George Gallup did a series of polls about the war. In one of
them, he asked, "If it appears that Germany is DEFEATING England and France, should the United States declare war on Germany?" 77% said "no."

When he asked them why, the majority responded that "The United States learned its lesson in the last war," and, --unbelievably -- that "We would have everything to lose and nothing to gain." Nothing to gain by defeating Hitler! That was the attitude of this country less than two years before Pearl Harbor.

Later that year, Gallup polled people again, this time leaving out the part about England and France losing. He simply asked, "Do you think the United States should declare war on Germany?" Before I tell you the response, remember that this question was asked AFTER Germany had already invaded Norway, Holland, Belgium and France. So it wasn't like Germany only had the POTENTIAL to be a threat they already were.

Ready for this? 93% still said "no."

And that brings us back to today to the calling of OUR generation.
Polls now show that 79% of Americans see international terrorism as an "extremely important" threat and 86% say Islamic fundamentalism I s either a "critical or important" threat to our vital interests.

The good news is that we see the threats of our day far more clearly than our grandparents saw the threats of theirs. But the bad news is that it took Pearl Harbor for them to finally decide to act. So if 9/11 WASN'T our Pearl Harbor...if 9/11 didn't unite this country with common purpose as Pearl Harbor once did, then what will our Pearl Harbor need to be?
Why are we so slow to learn from history?
 

Hamiltonian

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I think that there is no agreed means of fighting Terrorism, and that's why we don't see more support. Terrorism is ultimately not solvable through military action like WWII was. All we had to do there is kill Hitler and we were done.

Terrorism is not organized like a traditional government. If we just kill Terrorist leaders that does not get us anywhere, because there are many more ready to take their place. Instead the real head of Terrorism is the social/political/religious/cultural situation in the Middle East.

I like to think about it like crime over here in the US. Police can only really catch criminals after they've committed an offense, and our military can only really kill people after they've become Terrorists. If you want to eliminate crime in a city, you can't just greatly increase the number of policemen, that doesn't work. You have to tackle issues like poverty, and as you can see from this message board there is a great disagreement about how to do that. Liberals think that we need social programs to help lift people up and conservatives think that those programs just convince people not to get jobs and hold them back.

In Iraq the military can't solve the situation. Their job is to try and keep the country somewhat stable while we solve the social/political/religious/cultural issue, not eliminate Terrorism by killing all the Terrorist leaders. There is a great disagreement over how to best combat the complex situation in the Middle East, and that is why we are having trouble galvanizing support. I think we have a common driving force here, but no agreed method of implementing it, and a lot of questioning about how effectively we can implement it.
 

UnAmericanYOU

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The reason nobody has learned from this particular history is because you are comparing apples and oranges...
You do realize that this doesn't destroy the thesis of Beck's argument?

Okay, let's talk fruit:

APPLE: American was in an isolationistic mode before WWII.
APPLE: We've been in one ever since Vietnam.

APPLE: WWII was a inevitable global war against an "axis of evil".
APPLE: You'll see. Limey's first.

APPLE: WWII was a war against a dangerous ideology.
APPLE : So is the WoT.

This is far more like WWII than Vietnam, the liberal's "orange". But you know what they say about those that refuse to learn from history, doomed to repeat it.

* cough * Neville Chamberlain * cough *

Apples to apples again.
 

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It is good that we are reluctant to go to war. Germany 1939 showed no hesitation when it came to deal with their threats. War is one-way-only and binary. You go to war and if you win the cause was just, else it was not. Also a very true lesson from history.
I agree that it is good that we are reluctant, but there comes a point when the results of reluctance become inevitably dangerous. It be nicer if we learned to recognize when we need to fight.
 

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