Comparison of WWII & Iraq
I know political issues are not suppose to be discussed here, but i thought this was so powerful, I had to share it. Now in my 50's, i remember a lot of this from my family talking about it all.
I received this article from a friend I work with. I believe the writer has a good perspective on the war in Iraq and the real enemy. I agree with his conclusion that we will have the fight now or later at a much greater cost. Hope you find it informative.
This is an EXCELLENT essay, well thought out and presented.
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By Raymond S. Kraft
SOME AMERICANS ARE NOT OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THAT NEARLY EVERY FAMILY IN AMERICA WAS GROSSLY AFFECTED BY WW II. MOST OF US DON'T REMEMBER THE RATIONING OF MEAT, SHOES, GASOLINE AND SUGAR. WE HAD NO NEW TIRES FOR OUR AUTOMOBILES AND A SPEED LIMIT OF 35 MILES AN HOUR ON THE ROAD, NOT TO MENTION, NO NEW AUTOMOBILES. READ THIS AND THINK ABOUT HOW WE WOULD REACT TO BEING TAKEN OVER BY FOREIGN POWERS IN 2008.
Historical significance for today's world:
Sixty-three years ago, Nazi Germany had overrun almost all of Europe and hammered England to the verge of bankruptcy and defeat. The Nazis had sunk more than 400 British ships in their convoys between England and America, taking food and war materials.
At that time the US was in an isolationist, pacifist mood, and most Americans wanted nothing to do with the European or the Asian war.
Then along came Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and in outrage Congress unanimously declared war on Japan, and the following day on Germany, who had not yet attacked us. It was a dicey thing. We had few allies.
France was not an ally, as the Vichy government of France quickly aligned itself with its German occupiers. Germany was certainly not an ally, as Hitler was intent on setting up a Thousand-Year Reich in Europe. Japan was not an ally, as it was well on its way to owning and controlling all of Asia.
Together, Japan and Germany had long-range plans of invading Canada and Mexico, as launching pads to get into the United States over our northern and southern borders, after they finished gaining control of Asia and Europe.
America's only allies then were England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, and Russia (USSR). That was about it. All of Europe, from Norway to Italy (except Russia in the East), was already under the Nazi heel.
The US was certainly not prepared for war. The US had drastically downgraded most of its military forces after WWI because of the depression, so that at the outbreak of WWII, Army units were training with broomsticks because they didn't have guns, and cars with "tank" painted on the doors because they didn't have real tanks. A huge chunk of our Navy had just been sunk or damaged at Pearl Harbor.
Britain had already gone bankrupt, saved only by the donation of $600 million in gold bullion in the Bank of England (that was actually the property of Belgium) given by Belgium to England to carry on the war when Belgium was overrun by Hitler (a little-known fact).
Actually, Belgium surrendered in one day, because it was unable to oppose the German invasion, and the Germans bombed Brussels into rubble the next day just to prove they could.
Britain had already been holding out for two years in the face of staggering losses and the near decimation of its Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, and was saved from being overrun by Germany only because Hitler made the mistake of thinking the Brits were a relatively minor threat that could be dealt with later. Hitler first turned his attention to Russia in the late summer of 1940, at a time when England was on the verge of collapse.
Ironically, Russia saved America's butt by putting up a desperate fight for two years, until the US got geared up to begin hammering away at Germany.
Russia lost something like 24,000,000 people in the sieges of Stalingrad and Moscow alone, 90% of them from cold and starvation, mostly civilians, but also more than 1,000,000 soldiers.
Had Russia surrendered, Hitler would have been able to focus his entire war effort against the Brits, then America. If that had happened, the Nazis could possibly have won the war.
All of this has been brought out to illustrate that turning points in history are often dicey things. Now, we find ourselves at another one of those key moments in history.
There is a very dangerous minority in Islam that either has, or wants and may soon have, the ability to deliver small nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, almost anywhere in the world.
The Jihadis, the militant Muslims, are basically Nazis in Kaffiyahs -- they believe that Islam, a radically conservative form of Wahhabi Islam, should own and control the Middle East first, then Europe, then the world. To them, all who do not bow to their will of thinking should be killed, enslaved, or subjugated. They want to finish the Holocaust, destroy Israel, and purge the world of Jews. This is their mantra (goal).
There is also a civil war raging in the Middle East -- for the most part not a hot war, but a war of ideas. Islam is having its Inquisition and its Reformation, but it is not yet known which side will win -- the Inquisitors, or the Reformationists.
If the Inquisition wins, then the Wahhabis, the Jihadis, will control the Middle East, the OPEC oil, and the US, European, and Asian economies.
The techno-industrial economies will be at the mercy of OPEC -- not an OPEC dominated by the educated, rational Saudis of today, but an OPEC dominated by the Jihadis. Do you want gas in your car? Do you want heating oil next winter? Do you want the dollar to be worth anything? You had better hope the Jihad, the Muslim Inquisition, loses, and the Islamic Reformation wins.
If the Reformation movement wins, that is, the moderate Muslims who believe that Islam can respect and tolerate other religions, live in peace with the rest of the world, and move out of the 10th century into the 21st, then the troubles in the Middle East will eventually fade away. A moderate and prosperous Middle East will emerge.
We have to help the Reformation win, and to do that we have to fight the Inquisition, i.e., the Wahhabi movement, the Jihad, Al Qaeda and the Islamic terrorist movements. We have to do it somewhere. We can't do it everywhere at once. We have created a focal point for the battle at a time and place of our choosing--in Iraq. Not in New York, not in London, or Paris or Berlin, but in Iraq, where we are doing two important things.
(1) We deposed Saddam Hussein. Whether Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 terrorist attack or not, it is undisputed that Saddam had been actively supporting the terrorist movement for decades. Saddam was a terrorist! Saddam was a weapon of mass destruction, responsible for the deaths of probably more than 1,000,000 Iraqis and 2,000,000 Iranians.
(2) We created a battle, a confrontation, a flash point, with Islamic terrorism in Iraq. We have focused the battle. We are killing bad people, and the ones we get there we won't have to get here. We also have a good shot at creating a democratic, peaceful Iraq, which will be a catalyst for democratic change in the rest of the Middle East, and an outpost for a stabilizing American military presence in the Middle East for as long as it is needed.
WW II, the war with the Japanese and German Nazis, really began with a "whimper" in 1928. It did not begin with Pearl Harbor. It began with the Japanese invasion of China. It was a war for fourteen years before the US joined it. It officially ended in 1945 -- a 17-year war -- and was followed by another decade of US occupation in Germany and Japan to get those countries reconstructed and running on their own a gain .... a 27 year war.
WWII cost the United States an amount equal to approximately a full year's GDP -- adjusted for inflation, equal to about $12 trillion dollars. WWII cost America more than 400,000 soldiers killed in action, and nearly 100,000 still missing in action.
The Iraq war has, so far, cost the United States about $160,000,000,000, which is roughly what the 9/11 terrorist attack cost New York. It has also cost about 3,000 American lives, which is roughly equivilant to lives that the Jihad killed within the United States in the 9/11 terrorist attack.
The cost of not fighting and winning WWII would have been unimaginably greater -- a world dominated by Japanese Imperialism and German Nazism.
This is not a 60-Minutes TV show, or a 2-hour movie in which everything comes out okay. The real world is not like that. It is messy, uncertain, and sometimes bloody and ugly. It always has been, and probably always will be.
The bottom line is that we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism until we defeat it, whenever that is. It will not go away if we ignore it.
If the US can create a reasonably democratic and stable Iraq, then we have an ally (like England) in the Middle East, a platform from which we can work to help modernize and moderate the Middle East. The history of the world is the clash between the forces of relative civility (civilization) and the barbarians clamoring at the gates to conquer the world.
The Iraq War is merely another battle in this ancient and never ending war. Now, for the first time ever, the barbarians are about to get nuclear weapons. Unless somebody prevents them from getting them.
We have four options:
1. We can defeat the Jihad now, before it gets nuclear weapons.
2. We can fight the Jihad later, after it gets nuclear weapons (which may be as early as next year, if Iran's progress on nuclear weapons is what Iran claims it is).
3. We can surrender to the Jihad and accept its dominance in the Middle East now, in Europe in the next few years or decades, and ultimately in America.
4. We can stand down now, and pick up the fight later when the Jihad is more widespread and better armed, perhaps after the Jihad has dominated France and Germany and possibly most of the rest of Europe. It will, of course, be more dangerous, more expensive, and much bloodier.
If you oppose this war, I hope you like the idea that your children, or grandchildren, may live in an Islamic America under the Mullahs and the Sharia, an America that resembles Iran today.
The history of the world is the history of civilization clashes and cultural clashes. All wars are about ideas, ideas about what society and civilization should be like, and the most determined always win.
Those who are willing to be the most ruthless always win. The pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them.
Remember, perspective is everything, and America's schools teach too little history for perspective to be clear, especially in the young American mind.
The Cold War lasted from about 1947 at least until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989--forty-two years!
Europe spent the first half of the 19th century fighting Napoleon, and from 1870 to 1945 fighting Germany!
World War II began in 1928, lasted 17 years, plus a ten year occupation, and the US still has troops in Germany and Japan. World War II resulted in the death of more than 50,000,000 people, maybe more than 100,000,000 people, depending on which estimates you accept.
The US has taken more than 3,000 killed in action in Iraq. The US took more than 4,000 killed in action on the morning of June 6, 1944, the first day of the Normandy Invasion to rid Europe of Nazi Imperialism.
In WWII the US averaged 2,000 KIA a week -- for four years. Most of the individual battles of WWII lost more Americans than the entire Iraq war has done so far.
The stakes are at least as high--a world dominated by representative governments with civil rights, human rights, and personal freedoms . . . or a world dominated by a radical Islamic Wahhabi movement, by the Jihad, under the Mullahs and the Sharia (Islamic law).
It's difficult to understand why the average American does not grasp this. They favor human rights, civil rights, liberty and freedom, but evidently not for Iraqis.
"Peace Activists" always seem to demonstrate here in America, where it's safe.
Why don't we see Peace Activist demonstrating in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, or North Korea--in the places that really need peace activism the most? I'll tell you why! They would be killed!
The liberal mentality is supposed to favor human rights, civil rights, democracy, multiculturalism, and diversity. But if the Jihad wins, wherever the Jihad wins, it is the end of civil rights, human rights, democracy, multiculturalism, and diversity.
Americans who oppose the liberation of Iraq are coming down on the side of their own worst enemy!
Raymond S. Kraft is a writer who has studied the Middle Eastern culture and religion.
Please consider passing along copies of this article to friends and students as it contains information about our American past that is very meaningful today -- history about America that very likely is mostly unknown by many of us (and our instructors, too). By being denied the facts of our history, we are at a decided disadvantage when it comes to reasoning and thinking through the issues of today. We are prime targets for misinformation campaigns beamed at enlisting us in liberal causes and beliefs that are special-interest agenda driven. I am not advocating war, just wanting to understand the greater picture and preserving our country's independence.
Re: Comparison of WWII & Iraq
Some of it is ok, but it is not an EXCELLENT article.
The history and various premises in it are wrong.
1. WW II did not start with a whimper in 1928. That is completely false.
Look to WWI, or even the Franco Prussian war in 1870.
2. I agree that there are similarities in being attacked and fighting an enemy, but starting the article and trying to establish a link to what those during WWII were going through compared to now doesn't really fit. Why pick WWII and not Vietnam? EVERYONE would agree that % wise, people were behind the government in WWII, today we are behind the troops, but 1/2 the country if not more are not behind the governement.
3. Russia did not save America's Butt during WWII.
I could go on, but I just think saying this is an EXCELLENT article is overlooking a lot of the flaws and wrong history in it.
"I never said I was a Golden God...or did I?" -Russell Hammond ALMOST FAMOUS
"Off the kickboxing topic, all I can say is you need to get right with Jesus"...IRISH GUTS to RANDY POGUE
Re: Comparison of WWII & Iraq
Sooo many options. I’m not sure I understand the difference between #2 & #4. Is there one?
This article makes perfect sense though, so any argument against it must not make sense, right?
I say we all band together and decide on option #1, and I’d personally like to be standing alongside Raymond S. Kraft. I’m sure he will be the one directing us to the “jihad” stronghold, where we can engage them in open combat. There we will once and for all trounce this new evil empire, and the world will be at peace, never again to experience any sort of “terror.” God bless America.
Of course everyone behind this jihad will stand still for our missiles and this war will be as quick and decisive as our War on Drugs, right?
And along the lines of what Geek wrote, there's alot of stuff that's just plain wrong. Dumb, even. "Russia lost something like 24,000,000 people in the sieges of Stalingrad and Moscow alone, 90% of them from cold and starvation..." That's a ridiculous number of people. My guess is dood got zero-happy.
Anyway, I could go on with a bunch of non-sense, but instead I’ll just direct you to a lengthy yet coherent rebuttal to Kraft’s nonsense.
Here are some highlights:
Mr. Kraft then segways into the present day, presenting to us the threat of Islamic terrorists. Well, what he says is true, though it's an extremely limited view. The threat of terrorist attacks using Weapons of Mass Destruction is not simply an Islamic issue, it is more accurately described as a religious fundamentalist issue.
What Mr. Kraft fails to point out is that the most persistent threat that we face here in America is not terrorist activity from Islamic fundamentalists, but in fact from Christian fundamentalists, white supremacist, and other ultra right-wing organizations. This isn't a shallow jab or a means to redirect the conversation, this is a solid fact. The biggest terrorist threat in America today comes not from the Middle East, but from the American homeland.
In 1995 Timothy McVeigh blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City killing 168 people.
Immediately following 9/11 there were the Anthrax letter bombings, strongly suspected of being perpetrated by a domestic American, though no arrests have been made yet.
In May 2003 federal agents arrested a white racist couple dealing in weapons of mass destruction in a small town near Tyler, Texas. The feds seized a cyanide bomb capable of unleashing a deadly poison cloud, chemicals and components for additional WMDs, gas masks, 100 conventional bombs, an arsenal of automatic weapons, silencers and half a million rounds of ammunition.
In February 2004 a letter containing the toxic poison ricin was mailed to the White House threatening to use weapons of mass destruction to turn Washington DC into a "ghost town" if new trucking regulations were put into effect. The letter was from Chattanooga, Tennessee and a similar one came from South Carolina.
Over 8,000 acts of violence have been committed against abortion clinics and doctors since 1977. In the past 10 years over a dozen doctors have been assassinated by Christian fundamentalists.
These are just a small sampling of the most prominent real terrorist threats that we face in America, and virtually all of this terrorist activity in America is associated with militant right-wing groups, often religious.
He then asserts that if the Islamic moderates "win" in the Middle East then everything will be okay and the Middle East will become prosperous. He also calls the Saudis rational and well-educated, warning of what might happen if OPEC falls into the hands of Jihadists. Well, first of all, Saudi Arabia is a theocratic monarchy ruled by Islamic law. Now sure the Saudis do things that are beneficial for America in terms of oil production, but the fact is that the West has embraced this theocratic monarchy because they have used religious fundamentalism, Wahhabsim in fact, to keep their people oppressed and thereby keep themselves in power, preventing the Saudi people from having a democracy and thereby ensuring that they can distribute as much oil to the West as possible for which the West helps to keep them in power.
The very nature of our relationship with the Saudi royal family promotes the religious fundamentalism and anti-democratic theocracy that Mr. Kraft is now urging "liberals" to back this war in opposition to.
The real fact of the matter is that the West has greatly contributed to the problems that we now face with fundamentalist Islam in the Middle East. The Saudi, Kuwaiti and other theocratic monarchies have been kept in power with aid from the West.
In April 1978, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) took power in Afghanistan. The PDPA was committed to land reform that favored peasants, trade union rights, an expansion of education and social services, equality for women, and the separation of church and state. The PDPA also supported strengthening Afghanistan's relationship with the Soviet Union.
Not only this, but the PDPA began an extensive anti-drug program and began eradicating the vast opium fields and combating the opium trade in the region. The opium trade was a major source of revenue for many Islamic tribal leaders.
After the PDPA took power, the Soviet Union sent troops to Afghanistan to support the regime. At that point a jihad against the PDPA coalesced.
Between 1978 and 1992, largely through Ronald Reagan's presidency, the US contributed somewhere between $6 billion and $20 billion worth of arms to the Islamic fundamentalist resistance, who were fighting against the secular PDPA and the Soviet Union.
Now, you can call this Soviet imperialism if you wish, or assume that there was an ulterior Soviet agenda, but the fact is, right or wrong, that the US single handedly did more to develop and foster radical armed Islamic fundamentalist terrorism with this action than any other event that has happened in the past 50 years.
Maktab al-Khidamar (MAK), the Taliban, Al-Queda, and dozens of other terrorist organizations have come out of the fighters who fought on the side of the CIA during this conflict.
Osama Bin Laden formed Al-Queda in 1987, while receiving aid from the United States. The United States embraced Islamic jihad and Islamic fundamentalism and helped to catapult the radical Islamic terrorist movement to heights never before imagined, and it was done in opposition to a secular regime.
This brought the terroristic Islamic fundamentalist movement against secularism to a new high across the Middle East.
The United States covertly funded and utilized terrorist organizations around the world during the Cold War as a means to indirectly attack the Soviet Union. The focus of these organizations was the destruction of superpowers. Now that the Soviet superpower is gone, these organizations are targeting the only remaining superpower that is left - America.
Mr. Kraft points out that France, Germany, and Russia were selling weapons to Iraq, but fails to mention that the US also sold weapons to Iraq. He also fails to mention that Halliburton, under Dick Cheney, was the largest American contractor doing business with Iraq.
He fails to mention that it was Republican Senators Bob Dole and Alan Simpson who were Saddam Hussein's biggest American supporters during the 1980s.
Mr. Kraft then goes on to state that, "[w]e have to help the Reformation win, and to do that we have to fight the Inquisition, i.e., the Wahhabi movement, the Jihad, Al Qaeda, the Islamic terrorist movements."
"We have created a focal point for the battle now at the time and place of our choosing, in Iraq."
Yes, and that's certainly a big part of the problem, because we took a country that didn't have a problem with an Islamic fundamentalist insurgency and then brought Islamic fundamentalism to it.
By attacking Iraq, one of the most secular countries in the Middle East, we have managed to unify the Islamic world, create an increase of Islamic fundamentalism in Iraq, and validate all of the things that fundamentalists and terrorists have been saying about America for the past 30 years.
The fact is that Islamic fundamentalism hasn't been an issue in Iraq in a very long time. Even before World War II Iraq was one of the more secular regions of the Middle East, and it remained so after World War II.
If the objective, as Mr. Kraft states, is to combat the forces of Islamic fundamentalism, then why on earth did we pick the least fundamentalist country in the region to invade?
Because it was an easy target? Yes, and because that was not the real reasoning behind the invasion of Iraq in the first place, it is now just a new justification for occupation because every other justification for this war has fallen apart. The truth is, however, that we do need to win this war now, but the Bush administration is incapable of doing so.
It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.
Last edited by Randy Pogue : 09-26-2007 at 01:49 PM.
Re: Comparison of WWII & Iraq
I liked the first post and found it interesting but all this reading is hurting my brain......
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