Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The War (Oh! Really?) on Terror


Is there really a war on terror. Are our elected leaders really capable of fighting a war on terror. At the end of the day we are either at war, or we are not at war. I don't think there is a status of 'kinda at war', although we have definately done a good job of showing what it is if it existed. If we are not at war, we talk, discuss, debate, and play nice all we want to try to achieve a mutual understanding at some compromised middle ground. If we are at war, we win.
Liberalism would have us treat these terrorist with the respect they deserve and use discussion and debate to win over their friendship. Unfortunately we have become too soft as a nation and have no stomach for the pain of war anymore. Our sense of patriotism and duty has become watered down. WWII has been largely forgotten and left unmentioned when trying to draw from history in an effort to help guide us in the present. What was done to Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor was unfortunate, probably even atrocious when you look at it in the rear view mirror. But after Pearl Harbor we as a nation said collectively “Oh Hell No! Your ass is mine.” And it was a tough several years of rationing, families torn apart, bad news, death, and loss of loved ones. I have heard the stories from my parents and grandparents who lived it here and overseas. But we as a country had mettle. And we had moxie. And we had men like Gen. Patton, MacArthur, Eisenhower, etc. And we stood behind what was necessary in the face of war.
War is hell. That wasn’t said the first time just because it sounded good, it is true. Our country has no stomach for war anymore. The speed for which the anger over 9/11/2001 was dismissed is proof of that. 60 years ago there would have been a collective shout of hell no and we would have kicked somebody’s ass. Today it is easier to forget how mad we were. It is less painful to forget than the hurt caused by the loss of our good soldiers lives. Well, our enemy has a stomach for war. They live at war constantly. Without war, they wouldn’t know what to do. It has become a way of life. We can call off this war (if that is what you want to call it anyway) and try to play nice, or we can declare a real war and win it, collateral damage and all. Because war is hell and people die. Sometimes the innocent have to pay the ultimate price. We will never know how much longer WWII would have continued if 10’s of thousands hadn’t died when two bombs were dropped in Japan 60+ years ago. After the first bomb, even Japan wasn’t willing to surrender. It took two. Do you really think our enemies can be had through conversation. I could go on for days. I wish we had some people with the balls to do one of two things. Fight a war and win it (because we can win it), or pull back, become the isolationist country we were in the 30’s and wait for another Pearl Harbor to wake a sleeping giant. Oh, wait, they tried that on 9/11/2001. The giant may be in a coma.

6 comments:

  1. Hidden away in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., lie thousands of pages of documents stamped "Top Secret". Now declassified, these documents show the plans for Operation Downfall, the invasion of Japan during World War II. Few Americans in 1945 were cognizant of the elaborate plans that were prepared for the Allied Invasion of Japan. Even fewer people today are aware of the elaborate plans the Japanese had to repel the invasion, had we launched it. Operation Downfall was finalized and planned for the spring and summer of 1945. Two massive U.S troop dispersals were to be carried out in succession and aimed right at the heart of Tojo and his empire.

    Fourteen combat divisions of soldiers in the first wave and twenty two divisions in the second would go up against 1 million Japanese defenders. Three million more U.S. soldiers in support rolls, or more than 40% of all servicemen still in uniform in 1945, would be directly involved in the two amphibious assaults. Casualties were expected to be extremely heavy.

    Admiral William Leahy estimated that there would be more than 250,000 Americans killed or wounded on just one of the islands, Kyushu, alone. General Charles Willoughby, chief of intelligence for General Douglas MacArthur estimated American casualties would be one million men by the fall of 1946. Willoughby's own intelligence staff considered this to be a conservative estimate.

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  2. Being someone who grew up in a contentious environment, I find that anyone willing to bring harm to another human being because of what they lack, what they perceive, or because they can, exhibit no mettle or moxie...just a misplaced sense of bravado. Sitting around thinking about the worst of things will bring about a mindset of protection (survivability). For me, it is about war...the war you wage with yourself to deliver you from your worse self. That is the only war that should perpetuate.

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  3. LaKeviusM: I've read a couple of your comments here on the Blog. It's obvious you're reasonably intelligent. With that in mind, clarify, if you will, for this simple soul, something from the previous post. When you say, "I find that anyone willing to bring harm to another human being because of what they lack, what they perceive, or because they can, exhibit no mettle or moxie..." I'll assume you are referring to "they" as being the persons bringing harm, correct? If this be the case, these would also be the people you say have no mettle or moxie. Question: How does this apply to the men cited for delivering us from the the evils of WWII, like Patton, MacArthur and Eisenhower, as mentioned in the post to which you originally responded?

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  4. mettle – noun
    1. courage and fortitude: a man of mettle.
    2. disposition or temperament: a man of fine mettle.

    moxie – noun Slang
    1. vigor; verve; pep.
    2. courage and aggressiveness; nerve.
    3. skill; know-how.

    bravado – noun
    a pretentious, swaggering display of courage.

    I ponder the responses above and am curious as to whether the misplaced sense of bravado refers to the US during WWII, the US during our current state of affairs, or our past and present enemies. I would say bravado would be very applicable to the actions of a bully. And a bully acts because of the reasons you state (because of what they lack, what the perceive, and because they can). I disregard any notion that the US acted as bullies during WWII. I firmly believe what I said about our elders from that period of time. It took a strong sense of pride and courage, as well as fortitude, to endure the long years of WWII. We as a nation have forgotten that and I feel sorry for the remaining survivors of that war who have had to witness this.

    We all wage war with ourself and I am certain any person who has spent time in a foxhole or under fire from an enemy sooner or later wages these internal wars. And it would be hard to expect those individuals to always do the right thing and not occassionally act out with anger and emotion and do the wrong thing.

    However, I sense (reading between the lines) that you are directing your thoughts more towards today and our current 'war'. Wars are faught on a differnet scale than playground fisticuffs. It is not over when the bully gets a bloody nose and starts crying for his mother. And we were not the bully when 3 plains were hijacked over 7 years ago. I will concede (likely against the approval of some of my coleagues) that in my opinion our foreign policy has not been as good as it could be for many years (i.e. more than just the last eight). There is a balance between too rigid and no compromise, and doormat that needs to be maitained. We all need to try to get along. You mentioned in another post the 'liberal' belief in letting other have their philosophies and live by them. I am all for different cultures and beliefs living their lives and all of us living together as long as certain universal wrongs are not committed.

    I am still mad as hell about 9/11/2001. And I still believe our country as a whole has gone soft. Could we win our independence again (that was a hard fight as well, should we not have fought it either?)? Could we defeat antoher Hitler and Japanese empire waging war on two fronts? I really hope we don't have to find out because that scares the hell out of me. The giant is asleep. BTW, the rusted gears were displayed to reference something else that I believe. That sleeping giant has a manufacturing side too. If we don't wake up the manufacturing giant soon we may lose another war that I don't think many people realize we are fighting.

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  5. John Galt, reasonably speaking, yes. Sure, there are some singular examples of "moxie" or "mettle"; however, I am not naive enough to believe that we go to war because some one punched us in the face...Please! We play these silly games as humans because we lack, perceive we lack, or just don't care. I can create a thousand enemies right now while typing this and put as much benevolence, altruism, and sense of hope in my reasoning as to make you believe that we need to go to war with these folks. The first war perpetrated by man was probably two men, and it grew and festered from there. One bad decision can become two real quick. I am a programmer by trade, but logic is my skill. I didn't live that long ago, but I can reasonably assume that most of our problems started small, and that human emotion called "pride" didn't allow them to stay that way.

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  6. Mr. Paine: Please tell me you haven't just marginalized our entrance into WWII by saying it was just a "silly game" and that Pearl Harbor was simply our naive attempt at justification! While you're formulating an answer, you might also consider answering the question you so deftly side-stepped, to wit: How does your original statement apply to the heroes of WWII?

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