Friday, September 24, 2004

Iraq is Not Vietnam, It's Guadalcanal

Fantastic piece Lieutenant Colonel Powl Smith about why the correct historical parallel for Iraq isn't Vietnam, but Guadalcanal.


Westmont said...

Thanks for the link to the LtCol Smith piece. Fantastic is right. It brings to mind the book, "An Army at Dawn: The War in Africa, 1942-1943..." by Pulitzer Prize winning author Rick Atkinson about our effort in North Africa in WWII.

In the first chapter the author recounts how the war had been going badly that first year.
I am paraphrasing but the numbers are close to correct - in the first year we had lost 500 Liberty Ships in the Atlantic.
Those losses did not include aircraft or ships lost in the Pacific.

That is more than a ship per day.

I don't recall reading anywhere that any credible American politicians and mainstream media whined and pouted that the war was not going well and we should stop. Of course, I'm only 42 so my grandfather or uncle (who was a member of Darby's Rangers) may recall some isolated whimpering.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if there were "Kerrys", "Kennedys", "Begalas" and "Dan Rathers" in the Fall of 1942? At the first sign of trouble, they would have been calling Roosevelt incompetent and sought to "bring our troops home".

Kerry would have been testifying to the Senate about how evil we were for bombing Dresden, Rather would have been passing out fake documents showing that FDR really didn't have polio, he was just avoiding military service, and Kennedy would have been drinking schnapps and chasing skirts (no real change there).

Our kids would all be goose-stepping to Reich schools. There would probably be no evil Halliburton but we sure would have Krups's and also Mitsubishi (they made the Japanese Zero's) One thing could be the same . . . . Theresa Himmler Goerring Heinze Kerry might be the First Frau.

Anonymous said...

Amusing seeing that Lieutnant Colonel criticizing others for comparing Iraq to Vietnam, and at the same time comparing jungle conventional warfare (the japanese might have been ruthless, they were still an army) on a foreign island, and urban guerilla warfare with local insurgencies. Why did then the US drop two atomic bombs on Japan? (Hint: Guadalcanal would have looked like a walk in the park)
Past the second paragraph, the article is worthless (except if the US gov is planning to nuke some Iraqi city, of course).
Never mind the conclusion:
"Totalitarian enemies have to be bludgeoned into submission, and the populations that support them have to be convinced they can't win."
That is the typical warfare of a totalitarian regime. Crushing the enemy into submission. Ain't totalitarism submission anyway?

Anonymous said...

The posting previously that somehow the U.S. role in world war two was a totalitarian regime action is a staggering statement. Are you comparing the conduct of America to that of the totalitarian regimes in the Reich and Imperial Japan? I wasn't aware anyone could be that ignorant. Don't confuse the necessity to beat Imperial Japan into submission with the brutal and oppressive ideals they held that lead to that crisis. Last time I checked, the Japanese, Germans, and every country they had occupied were free, sovereign countries; who are free to disagree with our views of the world (re: German foreign policy). The results of a totalitarian world view? I think not. Stop being ashamed of being an American.