Sunday, October 10, 2004

WW II and Iraq-Historical Perspective

My goodness, this is good. (Hat I don't know who the writer is or where he came from, but this is outstanding. Get a great history lesson on WWI, WWII, the Cold War, and how it all comes down to the Iraqi War. This guy runs the numbers and puts what is at stake in Iraq in perfect focus. Here's a few graphs to wet your whistle, but by all means, read the whole thing.
World War II, the war with the German and Japanese 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 America 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 again . . . a 27 year war.  World War II 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 killed in action, and nearly 100,000 still missing in action.

[The Iraq war has, so far, cost the US about $120 billion, which is roughly what 9/11 cost New York.  It has also cost about 1,000 American lives, which is roughly 1/3 of the 3,000 lives that the Jihad snuffed on 9/11.]

But the cost of not fighting and winning WWII would have been unimaginably greater - a world now dominated by German and Japanese Nazism.

Americans have a short attention span, now, conditioned I suppose by 30 minute TV shows and 2-hour movies in which everything comes out okay.  The real world is not like that.  It is messy, uncertain, and sometimes bloody and ugly.  Always has been, and probably always will be.

If we do this thing in Iraq successfully, it is probable that the Reformation will ultimately prevail.  Many Muslims in the Middle East hope it will.  We will be there to support it.  It has begun in some countries, Libya, for instance.  And Dubai.  And Saudi Arabia.  If we fail, the Inquisition will probably prevail, and terrorism from Islam will be with us for all the foreseeable future, because the Inquisition, or Jihad, believes they are called by Allah to kill all the Infidels, and that death in Jihad is glorious.

The bottom line here is that we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism until we defeat it, whenever that is.  It will not go away on its own.  It will not go away if we ignore it.