As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn

When The Lights Go Out….

I was in a forum, sometime in 03, which was pretty mixed politically, and people were saying “We need to leave Iraq. We need to go back home and mind our own business.”

And then… someone said something I still remember. I remember the sound of it and that chill feeling you get up your spine when an unpleasant truth is spoken.

“If you leave now, you’ll come back when the lights go out. You’ll come back from a severely crippled America. You’ll come back in far worse circumstances, when things are more against you and it’s impossible to win.”

Well, thank heavens we’re not there yet. Thanks to the men who’ve fracked and who’ve exploited our energy resources against the express will of those who want to “skyrocket” our prices. And thanks to the men and women who has floundered and fought and struggled to survive, instead of subsiding quietly into a collective torpor where the state is going to take care of everything.

Thanks to them, the lights are on, and America is still working. Oh, not as it was. Oh, not full throttle. But the lights aren’t flickering, and we’re not Detroit.

We’re not there, but neither are we where we were in 03. And the president says we’re not going back, which of course, after five years of this most of us recognize as a sure sign that we are.

I have no idea how the news are going to dress it up. The spin I’ve heard was that this is Bush’s fault, because he created a power vacuum and he didn’t have a way to fill it. He didn’t have “an exit plan.”

I’m here to tell you the fault was of those demanding an exit plan. The fault is of those who demanded a set date for the end of the war. A set date to withdraw. A set date to let the Iraqis be themselves, to leave them to their own fate.

But Sarah, you say, wars have ends.

Yes, they do. But not like that.

I’m not going to say I was enthusiastic about going into Iraq. Unlike Bush, I’m not a compassionate conservative. (He wasn’t my horse in the race in 2000.) I’m not even really a conservative. I’m a person who errs on the side of freedom and who hates the golden-bricked road to serfdom to the state with a passionate, visceral hatred.

I believe not in isolationism but in overkill. I believe that when attacked a country should do only one thing: retaliate hard enough to make the other guy afraid to do it again.

I don’t believe in bombing aspirin factories. I believe in bombing to the stone age. I admire Israel’s habit of sending notices to their enemies to evacuate targeted sites. I admire it, but I wonder if it’s sane. And if it’s part of the reason the enemy won’t relent.

Oh, I am in general on the side of people. I hate the loss of life, particularly young life. When I first heard about war I was four or five, and I asked my father why all the children weren’t evacuated before a war started.

Dad told me about some of the evacuations in WWII. He didn’t tell me about the young man he grew up with who’d been evacuated from France to the family of (VERY) distant relatives, probably because he hadn’t thought of it in those terms. Antoine was just Antoine. It wasn’t till he visited with his children and grandchildren five years ago that the whole thing was put in perspective for dad.

But he also didn’t tell me that yes this should be done all the time. Instead, he told me war was a terrible thing and I should pray it never came near me.

I was, I think, too young for him to explain how war works.

War is a terrible thing. War is like a combine going through a field on an erratic path, cutting wheat and rose bushes, potatoes and trees at random, and pulping them. Sometimes war spares the wicked and takes the innocent. Sometimes war seem pointless, like, say, WWI, even to the people fighting it. (It wasn’t. But the peace was almost pointless, it was certainly forced, and it was only an hiatus in the war.)

War is a terrible thing because wars are clashes of cultures and because human cultures, while they’re not innate and they can change, don’t change suddenly or in any significant way unless they’re under extreme trauma. And even then the word is out on whether they change markedly and permanently or just sort of change, for a while. None of which matters, since in the end, changing for a little while and stopping attacking people that aren’t attacking it would be a vast improvement on the Middle East.

Here’s the thing, though – sometimes it’s best to have a terrible and SHORT and decisive war than a prolonged, lasts forever, claims lives, claims generations war.

It doesn’t seem that way to us, of course.

I think a lot of the pacifism of our culture and a lot of the crazy, sappy, silly nonsense that the war in Iraq has been subjected to is that we’re not just the children who came after WWII. Oh, no. We’re the children who learned about WWI and II in school from people who didn’t experience them. This means the academics have got hold of them, and if there’s one thing academics do, really well, is to take the moral high road. They might be people, in colleges, giving their opinion on things they never experienced, but they have thought really hard, and they have read books and they’re morally superior, anyway. And you should listen to them.

And so generations of children have been taught about the horrors of the world wars but not of the alternative. And they’ve been told about the spots where the cold war got hot, but not about the spots where it didn’t, or the places where the west cut and run and let the other side win. Places like Cambodia. Places like North Korea. Places like the Soviet Union itself.

This feeling of “peace at any cost” has settled in. Be quiet. Don’t make waves. War is a horror.

I’m not going to tell you war is not a horror. Or that we should have more wars.

What I’m going to tell you is that war is inevitable. It’s a result of humans being flawed creatures, not angels. It’s a result of humans being tribal. Sometimes a tribe’s internal culture will spin out of sanity and become convinced that, yes, indeed, the most important thing for its members’ happiness is to kill everyone else. Sometimes a tribe will want mastery over a resource, a place, an area that is, alas, also wanted by another. And sometimes a tribe can be convinced that no, this is not what you want. Given sufficient firepower. Given enough losses. Given enough pain. (Whether that breaks it or not, I don’t know. Japan did stop its ideas of mastery and superiority, but its birthrate is dismal. Shake the magic eight ball and ask again.)

The point I’m trying to make is that your choices are never between war and an ice cream social where feelings are discussed. Your choices are never between war and holding hands together and singing kumbaya.

War comes. It comes because we’re humans. It comes whether it’s declared or not. And it comes whether a ceasefire is proclaimed or not, weather a peace treaty is signed or not. The peace treaties of the end of WWI didn’t hold, because they weren’t real. The causes of the war weren’t gone, and the war would return as soon as another generation grew up to man the machine guns.

You declare war, usually a recognition of what is already happening. You don’t declare peace. You negotiate peace. And for peace negotiations to work, they must remove the cause of the war, or at least make one of the sides to the war give up on its claims. This is usually only achieved through massive losses that hurt the other side. If you’re not hurting, why would you give up on what you want to those other guys?

So I wasn’t crazy about the Iraq war, because I thought we should have gone in and really created a power vacuum. Bomb Saddam and his family into the stone age. Bomb every presidential palace. Destroy their oil wells or, not to be wasteful, take them over and occupy the area around them. And then let them figure out how to crawl out of the hole by themselves.

I wouldn’t like it – but I like it better than what we have now.

Bush was a better person than I. He wanted to go in and liberate the Iraqis and win hearts and minds. He almost managed it too. With his hand forced by the opposition, with demands for an exit date and an exit, he almost managed it. While being called names, he almost managed it.

And then came Obama, who is my generation, and was taught by people who thought wars could be stopped with Woodstock. He thought we could retreat, because the country was stable, and because ending the war looked so good on his resume. He didn’t get that the only way to wage war without massive casualties and destroying the place was to stay long. Stay long enough for a couple of generations to grow up. Create a tradition of democracy. Build the culture from the inside out.

No. He wanted to declare a peace and have a victory dance. And – and this is the important part – this is one act he thought would never explode in his face, because to him peace is like that. You plan it, you declare it, you leave. And peace stays. Because if you’re not fighting the other side also won’t.

This is war theory as explained by squirrel high on methamphetamines, but it’s what he was taught. It’s what most people my age were taught. I think I told here the story of a beginning writer at an impromptu workshop at a local con reading a story of a dead Iraq (female) soldier watching her own funeral. The story was weird, because it was all bathos and memories of walking in the beach and playing with her little sister and nothing about volunteering to serve. Nothing about honor, or duty or tratidion. I don’t know any military person who doesn’t think of those. But worse of all, the writer was crying as she read it, and when we told her that the story had some issues, she cried even harder. “But I have to write this story,” she said. “I have to write it, because otherwise the war will never end.”

She was my age. At the time, late forties. And stories were things that could end the war. A short story about a fighting woman, dead in the war, would make everyone change their mind and stop fighting. Or at least it would make the US change its mind, and of course, little browns peoplez would never continue the war once the evil imperialists left, right?

This is what we were taught, and the incurious, the fantasist, the idiot believes what he is taught.

There is a reason spreading despondency and doubt was considered treason. But we’ve let treason walk and talk, and teach school and write stories.  What do you call that?  What but monumental stupidity?  Oh, not in letting them do it, but in letting them claim this is the only truth, letting them corner the narrative, going along to get along. Letting them think stories and bathos will end a real war, and not stopping them and telling them they’re wrong and what’s more, their beliefs are dangerous — or pointing at them, laughing and making duck noises.

We’re going back. We’re going back when the locals have no reason to trust us. We’re going back without allies. We’re going back when Europe is on the verge of flames. We’re going back with the world burning and our economy in ruins.

We’re going back because there are worse things than that – like letting the horror that is ISIS and its seventh century culture take over the Middle East and possibly swathes of Europe.

So we’re going back. And the illusion that peace can be declared from on high is going to cost us rivers of blood. The blood of people far better than the fantasists who pushed for and declared “peace.”

Will we learn? Shake the magic eight ball and ask again.

307 thoughts on “As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn

  1. We’ve spent 70 years in the civilized lands of Europe but had to cut and run in Iraq. No racism involved on the part of the Eastern Elite at all in that view. at all.

    We went into a nation with no experience in its history with democracy and said here’s the keys we’re gone. And now we wonder why its gone to hell in a hand basket.

    1. We’re still in South Korea, too. My dad was there at the end of the war, I served a year there, and my daughter could have also served a stint there in her turn. That’s what it takes – although I think the Koreans had begun to get the hang of being a first world modern nation by the late 1970s, at least.

      I thought that Iraq would take about as long, since it was, at a squint, a sort of modern nation to begin with, at least on the surface. Fifty years, a couple of nice strategic bases, scattered in inconspicuous parts of the country, that it would eventually become an accompanied tour (that is families along with the service member and being a 3-4 year tour). I thought that the Iraqis would be able to build a super-fantastic tourism industry, and convert some of Saddam’s palaces into resort hotels…
      I thought it was a gamble in 2003, but a gamble worth making … if only we had stuck with the project the way we had stuck with South Korea.

      But Obama threw it all away – threw away the blood spent, threw away the possibilities, all for a cheap and easy headline. There aren’t words enough to express the contempt I feel for him, or for those who covered for him in the media, and for the feebs who voted for him more than once.

      1. That’s what those of us who were there thought as well – but Mr. I’m Not to Blame, its the guy before me who didn’t negotiate the SOFA didn’t agree with that point of view.

      2. Obama pissing away the huge gains we made in Iraq for a smug soundbite, and abandoning people who were beginning to find a way to trust us, leaving aside his failure to aid our allies the Kurds…

        I’d like to think these things might haunt the man in the future, but I don’t think he has the shame. Or the brains.

      3. You said it much better than I could. We left them as helpless as a toddler when we should have left them in their late teen years to make it on their own. We are still in Germany, too.
        In Dinesh D’Sousa’s Obama’s America 2016, his first movie, Obama’s brother explained about the African nations and India. (D’Sousa made this point too) The ones where the Brits had established a culture of laws and procedures there is stability (of at least a sort); where they did not there is chaos and tribal warfare.
        The Iraqis had it once, but no more we let them and the world down. If we aren’t strong enough, somebody else will try to be and that may take a century.

      4. All the stupidity the Left dredged out to kill any chance of our actually benefiting from the war in Iraq won’t change the fact that it was Obama that blew it, not George Bush. The list of things Obama threw away is long:
        1). A stable, economically viable, and democratically governed country in the Muddled East (there’s only one — Israel — and he’s trying his best to destroy that, too).
        2). An internally secure, functioning nation that could have replaced Turkey as our pivot point in the Muddled East.
        3). An ally and FRIEND in the Muddled East. We HAD Israel, but less and less every day.
        4). Several military bases in the Muddled East from which we could have supported the rebels in Syria, Iran, Jordan, or elsewhere.
        5). A counter to growing Russian influence in the area.
        6). With Afghanistan (another war Obama is losing, probably deliberately), a box around a growing militancy in Iran.
        7). A chance for stability in oil prices (something else Obama doesn’t want).

        Instead, we have another debacle from the “great won”. May his soul burn forever — from embedded white phosphorous.

      5. Bravo, Sarah. And Celia. What the left ignores is that there were three reasons to go into Iraq: non-compliance with UN resolutions, continual firing on US aircraft (Not being able to hit the broad side of a barn doesn’t stop that from being a causus belli.), and WMDs. We thought they were there. Saddam’s generals thought the WMDs were there. Each figured one of the others had them because when the dictator wanted something, they told him they could do it. And mustard gas shells are WMDs. And who knows what was in the trucks crossing the border into Syria? Thanks, Turkey, (with a big assist from France & Germany) for not letting the 4th ID deploy south from Incirlik where they might’ve been able to stop some of those trucks. Where we really, really blew it was deBaathification – if anybody was in the party, he had to go. That’s State Dept logic right there. Of course they were in the party; they wanted to be able to hold a better paying job than day laborer. And yes, we unintentionally (I think) turned Iraq into one of the biggest bug zappers ever – sucking in & zapping terrorists.

        The people who said “you broke it, you bought it” were right. If we’d stayed until the Iraqi kids who grew up after the war were slinging lamb kabobs in the local McDonald’s, and there were suburbs growing up around the bases, maybe it would have worked. It was going to take fifty years, and our press has the attention span of a squirrel with ADHD on meth. Plus they have the unerring ability to look at a daily downtick in any metric, blithely assume it must be a linear function, and gleefully inform us that disaster will unfailing occur by a given date.

        Then we had an election. As best I can tell, the left believes it’s immoral to fight under practically any circumstances, and they wanted to cut and run. It’s not actually the generals who constantly refight the last war. It’s the politicians, and they are unable to process the fact that a ground war is not locked into the Vietnam model simply because it’s a ground war. That’s why they say dumb things like ground troops are not an option right now. Basic political science – you *don’t* ever say that. Even if it’s true. You at least make the other side’s analysts work for it; you don’t hand them that conclusion. “Three, the loser (not the winner) decides when the war ends.” – Randy, spot on! Can I steal that?

        The problem now is multiple crises, because we haven’t stood up to any of them when they were little problems. I want to send a stack of Baen books to the White House with a note that says, “I know you don’t know what to do. Here’s a list of characters. Do what any of them would do.”

        1. ” I want to send a stack of Baen books to the White House with a note that says, “I know you don’t know what to do. Here’s a list of characters. Do what any of them would do.””

          I’m in the middle of the Kildar series by Ringo. I’m pretty sure Michelle might have issues with some of that. But then again, who knows?

        2. I want to send a stack of Baen books to the White House with a note that says, “I know you don’t know what to do. Here’s a list of characters. Do what any of them would do.”

          What Would Miles Vorkosigan Do?

            1. Unfortunately, Agent Franks “charter of action” forbids him from taking on non-supernatural foes of the US. Now if ISIS got themselves some supernatural allies, then Franks wouldn’t worry about how many human foes of the US got in his way while he dealt with the supernatural foes. [Very Big Evil Grin]

              1. So I need a crossover of MHI with the opening scene of Baptism By Fire… I can work with that. Speaking of which, that book still hasn’t gone in the promo post, I don’t believe. Need to fix that. *pokes the Kilted One*

              2. Well, if Commander Ni Drako can cross swords (or amulets in this case) with an alien passing itself off as an ifreet . . .

              3. That just means Faye gets to have more fun and Franks can be grumpy. Or grumpier than usual.

        3. This is assuming the perfumed princes and princesses in DC have a long enough attention span to read and remember—hey, a fundraiser!

    2. Exactly. There are reasons we are still in Europe. South Korea. Etc. Partly because it’s good for us to have bases in far away places. But the way we left Iraq was so stupid, and all the problems with it have played out in other places in other times. And yet.

    1. You can limit your disappointment by remembering them always.

      “They constantly try to escape
      From the darkness outside and within
      By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.
      But the man that is shall shadow
      The man that pretends to be.”

  2. Our elected elite were looking for an ‘easy win’. After hamstringing Bush at every possible opportunity, they took a relatively stable situation that should have been continued and threw it away to score cheap political points in their continual status games inside the Beltway.

    History will not be kind at all to Obama and his entourage. At the very best they’ll be forgotten as completely inexperienced and ineffectual – at the worst they’ll be held up as examples of what a President and his staff should NEVER do.

    1. And with the loosening grip MSM has on controlling the information available to everyone, the actual results of their actual actions should catch up to them quickly.

    2. It’s not just “the elites looking for an easy win.” The Democrats went out of their way to ensure Iraq was a failure in order to embarass George W. Bush, from the nonstop accusations that Bush “lied” about WMD; to Harry Reid attempting to cut off funding for the war after he voted for it; to the constant drumbeat about how we were losing in Iraq even as the surge was working. Obama himself was one of the biggest offenders, in that regard.

      The Democrats wanted us to lose in Iraq in the worst way, and that’s precisely what they got: Iraq is now being partitioned between Iran and the even more bloodthirsty and fanatical ISIS, with the Kurds clinging desperately to Mosul and the north. And Afghanistan – the war the Democrats claimed was the one we should have been fighting all along – has been effectively handed back to the Taliban, after Obama ran up more American combat casualties in less time than we suffered there in Bush’s entire term.

      Worse, Obama actually tried to intervene in the Syrian civil war on ISIS’ side (!); overthrew Mubarak in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood; fought a drive-by war against Qaddafi for the benefit of Al Qaeda; actively undercuts Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia at every turn; and actually appealed to Iran to help sort out the mess he created in Iraq. We’ve literally switched sides in the War on Terror.

      Whether we should have interevened in Iraq is a moot point. The fact is, the current mess in the Middle East is entirely of Obama’s and the Democrats’ making.

      1. The Democrats went out of their way to ensure Iraq was a failure in order to embarass George W. Bush, from the nonstop accusations that Bush “lied” about WMD; to Harry Reid attempting to cut off funding for the war after he voted for it; to the constant drumbeat about how we were losing in Iraq even as the surge was working.

        Not just the Dems– the isolationist type libertarians, too. I got unfriended and blocked by an otherwise good guy for proving to him that there were WMDs. (He wanted that to mean “nuclear weapons.” It doesn’t. He didn’t like the multiple links showing it doesn’t, or that we’d had roadside bombs that used some of the missing WMDs.)

        1. NBC is not just a gossip network, it stands for what is commonly considered WMDs; Nuclear, Biological, Chemical. Interestingly enough another acronym for the same thing is ABC; Atomic, Biological, Chemical.

          Even leaving out biological and chemical, Iraq DID have Nuclear. We didn’t find any functionally complete bombs or missiles, but we did find plenty of yellowcake. Enrichable or weapons grade uranium is considered Nuclear components for WMDs everywhere except for where the libs want to claim there are no WMDs.

            1. If you read the report that the Dems say proved there were no WMDs, you find all kinds of items saying that there definitely WERE at least some, plus numerous laboratories which had obviously been very recently destroyed, including locations where they had been testing weapons on animals and possibly people.

              1. That’s a deliberate misdirection on the Dems part. The actual claim was that Saddam hadn’t dismantled his WMD programs, not just stockpiles. But the narrative was that because we didn’t find neatly-stacked stockpiles then BUSHLIED!.

                The centrifuges and other equipment found indicates Saddam was not complying with the cease fire agreement from ’91.

                1. Let us not stop with condemning Bush for his lies, let us also recall the lies of other members of the Bush-Cheney axis:

                  “Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.” — Al Gore, 2002

                  “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein’s regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed.” — Ted Kennedy, Sept 27, 2002

                  “The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last 4 years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for 4 years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation.” — John Kerry, October 9, 2002

                  “As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” — Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998


      2. Hence the ‘hamstrung Bush at every opportunity’…

        It was important BUSH lost – regardless of what it did to the rest of the world. Stupid %^$&s playing stupid games, and not at all concerned with what the cost was going to be as long as they ‘won’.

        And I’m not really surprised that we ‘switched sides’ in the WoT. Side-ism is such a gauche concept, when you’ve managed to convince yourself that no matter what you do it’s going to be right.

    3. History will be kind to Obama because Progressives own Academia and write the books that the kids are taught from.

      1. You’re making a possibly invalid assumption that academia survives in its current state. You can only show you’re ignorant for so long before the people start rejecting your ‘wisdom’.

    4. Obumble has been trying to create a “legacy” like his hero, FDR. Well, he’s got one. He’s the most ineffectual president since Franklin Pierce. History will NOT be kind to him. Even the elites will turn on him as soon as the rest of the country turns their backs on him. They won’t cling to a loser, and Obumble is the epitome of “loser”.

      1. As I’ve been saying, Obama had a transformational agenda for the United States. And he even gave us warning with his speech where he said ‘Under cap and trade our energy prices will necessarily skyrocket’.

        He seems to have put no thought into what would happen WHEN they skyrocketed – he seems to have figured the economy would just keep perking along.

        Well, you can transform a Ferrari into scrap pretty fast against a lamppost – and nobody bothered to really get a good idea as to what he wanted to transform us into.

        (Plus, there’s times I think that the ACA was supposed to be a poison pill for a Republican President in 2012. Any attempt at modification and/or repeal would have been met with shrieking fury by Democrats and the media… but Obama won and they had to swallow it themselves.

          1. I was about 10 when I noticed that prices were very high and nobody seemed to have enough money to pay for the things they needed. This was the era of Nixon’s wage and price controls (and why I laugh whenever anyone refers to Nixon as “right wing”). Now, I had just learned that the US Mint printed basically printed money (using some rather dated information from an old set of the World Book Encyclopedia we had) and asked my mother why they didn’t just print more money so everyone would have enough money to buy stuff.

            My mother sat me down and explained supply and demand and how printing more money would just drive up prices.

            And that, my friends, was my introduction to basic economics.

            1. I remember “cars with license plates that end in odd numbers can get gas on odd numbered days, and cars with license plates that end in even numbers can get gas on even numbered days”. Hope we never have to deal with that again.

              And of course your comment brings to mind the suggestion a few years ago by certain libs that all we needed to do to balance the budge was to create a trillion dollar coin.


            2. Sadly, too many parents these days would be incapable of providing such an explanation to their kids. They think “The Man” is hoarding or Obama’s got a stash.

              You ever stop to ponder what great economics and life in general lessons were to be found in Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge comics?

          2. I’d love to see the look on his face if everything around him made of petrochemicals vanished “poof.” But only his face. Nothing else, just from the chin to the top of his hair. Because some things are not meant to be seen with mortal eyes.

        1. Oh geez Jerry, like THAT was hard to figure out? He wanted to turn us into a socialist state that he could be..”king” of. I dubbed him the moment I saw him..”the man who would be king”

  3. Somehow, our elites, on both sides of the aisle, have forgotten some essential truths:

    One, there is no substitute for victory.

    Two, the winner calls the shots.

    Period. Full Stop.

    1. Like the old saying, “The only thing more expensive than the best military is the second best military”.

    2. I would add

      Three, the loser (not the winner) decides when the war ends.

      Putting an exit date on the calendar while the war is being fought is surrendering the field.

      1. Isn’t one of Murphy’s Laws of War something like: “When you have secured an area, make sure the enemy knows that.”?

        You could make a similar statement about ending a war…

    1. Mind you, if you’re SMART, you can win the war and be utterly sure they won’t try it again.

      But that requires ruthlessness, and we don’t do that anymore. Mind you, Vladimir Putin DOES do ruthless. . .

    2. That depends on who “they” is.

      There were LOTS of Iraqis who liked us for freeing them.

      Then Obama abandoned them.

  4. Thank you for a very thoughtful post. Those who have not been there, seen the blood, smelled the smells of battle can never truly understand. It IS a horror, never knowing if you are next to catch the bullet. BUT, as others have said, you don’t go in to a war to ‘tie’, ruthlessness IS required. Not the PC ROEs our folks are stuck under today. Collateral damage is just that, collateral… Not done on purpose, but out of necessity. Even with LGBs 192lbs of explosive DOES have a blast radius, and the bad guys know how to hide in the civilian population (witness Gaza), They know America won’t bomb them or send in tanks… Just small units they have a chance of overwhelming due to the only shoot back if fired on ROE, and if the bad guy drops his gun you can’t shoot him… Peace is ONLY possible through superior firepower, delivered in strength to send them cowering back into the holes that bred them. And then put a strike on those holes…

  5. Those who would abjure violence and war are only able to do so because there are others out there executing violence and war on their behalf.

    Barbaric cultures will endure (as will barbarian traits). I’m not always certain that civilization will survive, but that’s a hope.

  6. Libprogs always approach war with the mindset of doing the least possible to achieve peace – and so peace always flees.
    Conservatives look at war as something that has to be won, and goes all in until it is. Anybody remember Grenada, under Reagan. A very short campaign, because the generals in charge were told to do what they needed to do.
    In war, stick with the pragmatist, not the visionary.

  7. ” I admire Israel’s habit of sending notices to their enemies to evacuate targeted sites. I admire it, but I wonder if it’s sane. And if it’s part of the reason the enemy won’t relent.”

    There is the difference between us, I don’t admire Israel for that, it is bat@#$t insane and dangerous to their people and country. And yes it is part of the reason the enemy won’t relent.

    Bombs aren’t enough to cure the problem, and certainly not when you are giving advance warning and only performing precision strikes. If they really want to try and save ‘innocents’ the sane thing to do would be to give 24 hours warning (remember how small Gaza is, you can walk across it in an hour or two) then carpet bomb. Follow the bombs in with troops and kill anyone found alive not in diapers. Then DON’T GIVE IT BACK! Giving the Palestinians Gaza the first time was in my opinion stupid, but I can see argument for doing so. It obviously didn’t work and continuing to provide a breeding and training ground in the suburbs next door is crass stupidity. Kind of like letting a child molester stay rent-free in the studio apartment over your garage, when you run a daycare out of your home.

    1. I do admire them for it, and it’s completely sane.

      In one sense it’s like a baseball player stepping up to the plate and pointing to where he’s going to hit the ball, or calling your shots in pool. It makes it clear that you’re going to do what you feel you need to do, and all their power can’t stop it.

      But for the Israelis it’s got another purpose. When they “call their shots”, they are after the infrastructure that supports the war, not the people. They don’t care if there are any Hamas members in the building, they’re just after the building.

      We have (still, barely) the military power to overwhelm any single country on this planet if we want to. Some (China, Russia) would be harder than others, and the ROE would have to be loosened considerably, but there is, in the long run, nothing to be gained by indiscriminate fire.

      Today we have the technology and the training (when we spend the money) that we can equip and train our shooters to (largely) hit what they want, when they want. We can (when things go right) take out the middle building and barely crack a window on the houses next to it.

      When you have that capability you use it, when you can. You spare the “civilians” and focus on the problems.

      Then you stay around to make sure the lesson sticks.

      1. War to the knife. The infrastructure is unimportant as long as there are people willing and able to walk bombs into Israel. At this point talking about “civilians” is of questionable veracity. Palestinians who say “the Israelis aren’t so bad” tend to end up dead at the hands of their neighbors.

        1. The infrastructure (Tunnels, rocket storage & launch facilites) are critical because Israel built this big honking wall[1] and is only letting small numbers of people through. Also there’s only a small number of mental defectives willing to be turned into suicide bombers (seriously, it takes quite a bit of work to turn even a willing person into a suicide bomber. Two to three weeks of isolation and (further) indoctrination and even then many fail to do the deed. Which is why many of the contemporary suicide vests have remote detonators on them, in case the human rocket motor fails to do the deed.

          Most of the suicide bombers in Iraq were from the ranks of the mentally retarded, or were people who had been captured and told that if they DIDN’T do it their families would be harmed.

          [1] Well, not compared to the Great Wall of China

            1. I believe that happened back in February, and someone started making the rounds again recently as “recent news”. Now let me click on the link and find out if I’m right, or if a SECOND genius managed the same trick.

              1. I seem to recall some cartoon depicting that sort of thing. Punchline was:
                “Watch closely! I’m only going to do this ONCE!”

      2. It would take only ONE ARCLIGHT strike on the Taliban to get them running. My ears are bad today because I was 30 MILES from an ARCLIGHT strike. The effect of 159,000 pounds of high explosive and steel pounding an area three miles long and a half mile wide into oblivion cannot be overstated.

        There are two ways to win a war: you can kill all the enemy soldiers, or you can take away their will to fight. An ARCLIGHT strike is terrifying. I’m sure that the Taliban are as human as anyone else. Running a few ARCLIGHT strikes along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border would do wonders for their morale — in a highly negative way. Yet it’s a weapon (and a tactic) we’re absolutely unwilling to use. People die because of it, on both sides.

        1. What does insha’Allah mean?

          What would it take for you to be happy your child or grandchild martyred themselves?

          There is another way to “win” a war. To occupy the enemies lands and suppress the crazies for 4 generations, all the while building and supporting alternative institutions.

          Compare India to the rest of that part of Asia.

          1. What does insha’Allah mean?

            “As God wills”. It’s a good phrase for abdicating responsibility for anything.

          2. What would it take for you to be happy your child or grandchild martyred themselves?

            It’s not you, but my gut flips at the word “martyr” being applied to suicides and murderers who die. It’s like how folks use translate whatever word as “peace” instead of “submission.”

          3. William,
            You can’t have it both ways, this argument is at direct odds with your comment just up above here.

            It may very well be possible to “win” the war the way you state here, it would not be possible for the US to win it this way (maybe Israel, that is at least questionable). We can’t even continue a strategy through 2 ADMINISTRATIONS, 4 GENERATIONS is uncomprehendable.

    2. There is the difference between us, I don’t admire Israel for that, it is bat@#$t insane and dangerous to their people and country.

      For their on paper enemy, you’re right.

      For their real, long-running enemies, it’s perfectly sane. It’s causing major attrition in the ranks of the Israel haters– damage compounded by the psychos using it as a reason to attack Israel all the more.

  8. I expected that the election of Obama meant throwing away peace in the long term, and losing opportunities to avoid mass killing.

  9. Hit em hard, hit em fast, knock em down and make sure they stay down. Its the only way to make sure they dont hurt you and yours if theyre intent on trying. Western politicians no longer understand this, and neither do many of the political military.

    With Iraq I believe we were sold a lie. No western forces should have gone in at all, it would have ended up in the same place it is now anyway – just a few years further down the line. We’ve nothing to show for it except dead soldiers and grieving families.

    As to Israel / Gaza – I honestly think that if Palestine wasnt next door it would have been glassed by now. Thats a conflict that isnt going to end until either one side or the other has been eradicated.

    1. It wasn’t a lie. They HAVE found weapons. And Saddam was funding attacks on the US and Israel. I just question if we needed boots on the ground or massive, unreasoning destruction from above. However, the treasonous press makes the later impossible, so…

      1. Re Iraq: I’ll admit Im not as up to date on cause / effect as Id like, but iirc the last enquiry done in the UK going into the reasons for going into Iraq on a war footing showed that although no WMDs were found, it was suspected that Saddam did have them but they werent the sort that could reach Europe, and that was justification enough.

        British media did a big about face once that was revealed. Interesting to see how that story differs from what youve been given in the USA. The fact that theres still a number of differing. conflicting “official” stories indicates that none of them are true in their entirety.

        I could see the possible justification for carpet bombing the place if there’s evidence Saddam was funding terrorist attacks, but not for boots on the ground.

        1. although no WMDs were found

          That statement is factually incorrect. A fair amount of WMDs were found, chemical weapons and the like. They appear to have been Gulf War I vintage, but they were also supposed to have been destroyed, or not existed at all. Here’s pretty much how the timeline went, according the press:
          1) No WMDs in Iraq
          2) Not many of WMDs in Iraq
          3) No large stockpiles of WMDs in Iraq
          4) Call Goalpost Movers Local Union for help

          1. As I said – bit out of date on it and that was to the best of my recollection. If Im really honest I stopped paying attention after the 2nd “enquiry” here in the UK as it was clear that both the government and the media were lying, so you couldnt believe anything being said.

            Either way, WMDs or no, I still believe that it wasnt in the UK’s national interest to go to war in Iraq. Weve got nothing out of it, and if truth be told – made things a hell of a lot worse.

            1. WMDs were just one item in the casus bellum. There were 13 others. Every one of them being sufficient grounds to declare war.

              Granted, I was in the “Go in hard, establish Chalabi as the strongman, and give him a few million to buy loyalty” camp.
              There might have been a pyramid of skulls involved somewhere, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t added until after the first battle of Fallujah.

            2. It was only in the UK’s best interest under “you fight with your allies so they’ll fight with you.” That has been the code since there have been treaties between nations, sorry. It didn’t make things at all worse, until the present idiot in our country decided to switch sides on the war on terror. I was skeptical about the whole thing, but we came THIS close to turning that corner. And then voters got stupid and started believing what the press told them or didn’t tell them.

              1. And then voters got stupid and started believing what the press told them or didn’t tell them.

                Low information voters will be the death of this country.

            3. As I said – bit out of date on it and that was to the best of my recollection.

              It’s not a matter of being “out of date”. It’s a matter of your being systematically lied to by the press and by left wing (by US standards, pretty much everyone in the world is “left wing”) politicians.

              made things a hell of a lot worse.

              We keep getting told that. However, the evidence of “destabiliziation” or “made things worse” is mighty thin on the ground. Now, mind you, the evidence that Obama’s “apology tour”, subsequent deals with terrorist organizations, support of groups like ISIS, and withdrawal from Iraq et seq. has made things imeasurably worse.

              But I don’t think that’s what you mean.

            4. I remember that inquiry.

              It was after some of my Marines were being treated for exposure to a WMD IED.
              (They were fine; it was improperly maintained, thank God.)

          2. Don’t forget that they recently “discovered” that at least some of the trucks headed into Syria were carrying WMDs out of Iraq.

        2. Having talked to the guys who found the darn things, there were WMD. Chemical, etc. There were also jet planes buried out in the desert to hide them. We were finding huge caches of weaponry of assorted types, up to the day I left in late ’08. And a friend of mine was over there 2 years later, and still finding them. And this is just the UNCLASSIFIED finds. None of the news media from any country were interested in the finds or the stories and kept right on trucking as if they’d never happened. With as much as we found, I doubt we found it all and there’s still some nasty things buried under the sand out there.

          1. Is there an online listing of these finds? I’ve seen short, incomplete lists of WMDs that have been found, but nothing comprehensive, and I don’t have any of the links I’ve seen before.

            1. Not sure if they’re are any available through civilian channels, unfortunately. One of my jobs was keeping track of that sort of thing for my unit. Since I got back it’s mostly been accounts from buddies who went over after I did and let me know. Not exactly the most efficient data collection method, but enough of them had been over there multiple times that we knew what the normal rate of finds was. *passes the salt*

                1. Now it would. Then we were more worried about idiots posting information to their blogs that could tell the people shooting at them where they were and what they were up to than compiling public lists that the media couldn’t be bothered to compile.

                  1. Opsec? In this day and age? How passé. What you needed was a PR company to change the public narrative to gain sympathy from all of those illegal combatants, er insurgents, um … freedom fighters (is that the accepted term these days? So hard to keep track. Remind me to hire a just graduated _______ Studies major to follow those trends for me. You can pay them in coffee and privilege; it’s great) and the scumbags, politiciansstatesmen who keep them in beans and bullets.

                  2. Not that any such lists would matter. They’d likely be decried as lies by the government in an attempt to justify the war. *Obviously* such lists would be false and just made-up since the news media never reported any such things.


                2. I had two folders that seem to have been eaten some how. One was Global warmening related, the other was where the WMD went. I recall recently that one of the reports of chemical weapons used by Syria was they had been results of the Saddam programs and their having been moved during the run up (the Iraq/Syria border had lots of plane and truck traffic in the run up to the war with none of it inspected by the U.N.)
                  Lots of the stuff found that I had was inspected and tagged by the U.N. and then never destroyed. Those arguing with me always claimed those didn’t count, even though he lied about their destruction and plenty of the leftoids claimed they would not have worked due to age. Oddly none would have been willing to prove it was harmless by allowing one to be released into their house. I also had a link to a report on Tons of Yellow Cake being transfered from Iraq to Canada, which came not long after Joe Wilson’s claims and the “outing” of his wife by Armitage.

                  1. I had that problem to.

                    (commercial endorsement of a product I have no financial interest in:)
                    Now I use Browser plugins, cross platform, tags, searchable, moderately strong crypto.

                    1. what is really puzzling is I have folders of links far older than those were, and I am not the type who goes through and cleans up his favourites folder

                  2. “which came not long after Joe Wilson’s claims and the “outing” of his wife by Armitage.”

                    And people *still* blame that on “Scooter” Libby.

            2. There is nothing comprehensive. They leak out in dibs and drabs, but the presstitutes still have their fingers in their ears and are shouting “there is no WMDs”

          2. That’s another point. If all approved party was in power the media would have appropriately reported that.

            It isn’t opposition to war that drives the left but lust for power. When they say they “hate war” they are lying.

              1. And play with unicorns and CARE!!!

                And when they kill someone with a drone or someone really, really unpopular like McVeigh or Bin Laden, it doesn’t count.

                Why? Because THEY CARE!!

                And of course nobody else does. Why? Because they say so and they, and only they, get to say so regarding who it is that CARES!! because THEY CARE!!!

                And I do think that’s too much of a parody of their thinking process.

                1. There’s usually a “shut up, h8r” thrown in that sort of progressive rant somewhere.

                    1. Have a care of speaking that deity’s name. He’s been known to work all sides, and his minions, E. Mong and The Good Idea Fairy have been the woe of many a lad and lass.

                1. I’ve seen that little factoid discussed quite frequently due to the recent capture of the Mosul Dam by ISIS…

            1. The current line seems to be “Chemical weapons are not WMD, it’s just confusing to link them with A-bombs.”

              1. But at the same time semiautomatic rifles with certain cosmetic features, or pipe bombs, or any number of other things far less damaging that even an air-dropped iron bomb, are “Weapons of Mass Destruction” when the Narrative calls for it.

                Nope, no cognitive dissonance here, you racist hatey mchaterson, you.

          3. Thanks for that Wyrdbard, happy to be corrected – funny how a personal account these days is much more believable than the media stories.

            I was watching a clip from a Fox news channel earlier on the whole ISIS debacle, thats only a couple of days old – and they are still claiming there were no WMDs found during the Iraq War.

          4. One of the things that my father dumped out into the desert (besides the usual– socks, arming mechanisms and MREs) were cleanup kits for bad things (remember NBC and ABC? No I’m not talking about fire extinguisher labels). Dad couldn’t talk about that part while he was out there– for reasons. They were setting that up in Desert Shield, even before Desert Storm. So… I think it wasn’t just intel at that point.

            Why does this “Peace at all cost” remind me of the diplomacy version of the sort of defeatist thinking that went into creating communism in the face of capitalism? How many times do we have to reenact the First World War to realize this is a failure? Never again… in Europe! But almost as soon as the ink is dry, things go into the works to erase the connections to it all looks like the slings and arrows of random chance, and not the shambling corpse of failed policy.

            And fools believe what they want to hear. Using human failure to perpetuate dominance is every tin pot dictators wet dream.

        3. The Bush administration didn’t say there WERE WMD stockpiles. They asserted that Sadam had WMD *programs* and we couldn’t wait until until there was an imminent threat.

          There *were* programs, some were in suspended animation waiting for the scrutiny to end (like the UN Sec. Gen’s son and George Galloway getting bribes from the oil for food program), some were in progress.

          Most of what we found were old WMDs, some of which Sadam had declared and were supposed to (some day) be destroyed.

        4. Despite the impression that has seized the popular imagination regarding the failure to find significant stockpiles of WMD, Saddam also maintained his WMD programs until the very end. Dr. David Kay, the head of the Iraq Survey Group, reported to Congress, “We have discovered dozens of WMD related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the UN during the inspections that began in late 2002.” Kay concluded that Saddam had become “even more dangerous” than had been realized. The discovery of more than 500 sarin-filled warheads in 2006, WMD by anyone’s definition, was met with a yawn when it was announced by Congressman Pete Hoekstra, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. This vital information simply did not fit with the urban legend that Saddam had no WMD.

          1. Aside from removing the potential of risk of WMD getting into terrorist hands, removing Saddam was necessary in order to get our troops out of Saudi Arabia. So long as his aggression pinned infidel forces to the sacred soil of Mecca & Medina Saddam kept us a constant irritant to the Islamist extremists.

            Far better to have our troops based in Iraq than Saudi Arabia, a fact overlooked in most critics’ analysis.

            But leave us not get into facts overlooked by critics; that’s a deeper sinkhole than facts misrepresented by the Forces of Nuance.

      2. I am continually astonished. Doesn’t anyone remember those heart-wrenching photos in Time Magazine? What is nerve gas if not a WMD?

        Or is it just that they only count as WMD if they are used to attack Europe/America?

        1. Doesn’t anyone remember those heart-wrenching photos in Time Magazine?

          No, not unless it’s useful.

          What was done to the Kurds went down the memory hole as soon as we started DOING anything in Iraq, and that was in the New Yorker.

        2. The party line was that those had been faked as well, by the first President Bush, when HE lied us into the first Gulf War.

          Yes, people made that “argument” with a straight face.
          And got engaged when scoffed at.

    2. They were finding WMD in Iraq when I was there in 04-07. The Poles bought weapons from the insurgents that were supposed to be destroyed under the cease fire from 91. We had IED’s made from mustard gas artillery rounds found and disarmed – and at least one had the primer charge go off.

      So yeah the whole “NO WMD LIE” is just that, a lie.

  10. Which Bush?

    A lot of Iraq’ problems can be laid at the fist Bush’s feet.

    1991 to 2003 (to 2014?)

    Is a perfect example of what you are talking about.

    1. The problems after George H W Bush IMO were more Clinton’s fault. Sure George H W could have taken out Saddam, but Clinton could have done much more to keep the pressure on Saddam. Quite frankly Saddam’s actions during the “cease fire” should have been answered by an invasion during Clinton’s term of office.

      You know, one of the things I dislike about Obama is that he makes Clinton look better.

        1. Speaking of which…

          One of the things that’s come up recently is Clinton’s speech on 9/10/2001 about how he could have killed Osama bin Ladin…

      1. Quite frankly Saddam’s actions during the “cease fire” should have been answered by an invasion during Clinton’s term of office.

        And this is how I respond when I hear the BS about “Bush just invaded Iraq because Saddam tried to assassinate his father.”

  11. Slightly off-topic:

    I’ve been watching (well, not really, reading about) the riots going on in Ferguson, MO (on the other side of my state).

    I first read about it on the official QT Facebook page, thanking people for their support.

    I just can’t understand this. Because an unarmed young man was killed by police, go out and trash a bunch of stores, etc., who had nothing to do with it? Don’t they realize that that will lead to police killing more unarmed people in order to protect innocent lives? Or is that what they want?

      1. Yup.

        Our problem is that we project our motivations on them. If they say “we’re angry and we want justice” we think “well, if I said I was angry and wanted justice I’d mean it so I guess they do too.”

        We can’t get it in our heads many times that they are just not sincere in what they say.

        1. How many of the people here would express their anger and desire for justice by rioting and looting stores? I’m guessing the number closely approaches zero.

          1. Remember the Tea Party protests, which left the parks, etc., neater than when they arrived? We might not all be fully up to that level, but that’s much closer.

          2. I’d say the percent on this board who would be looting is about the same percent that is functionally illiterate, and amenable to authorities who endorse grievances and victimization.

            I stand by my claim that there are people who are generally on our side who take at face value that the motivation of the rioters is the pursuit of some sort of justice simply because they say so and that honest people are more inclined to believe this sort of lie.

            Look at the first question on this subject. Someone was expressing puzzlement as to how some can think that rioting equals justice. People actually say this and it is more often than not taken without question.


            Mary is right. The only rational explanation for the riot is to get loot. So why do many actually believe otherwise?

            1. There were some pretty funny clips riffing on teh LA riots on SNL at the time, and the need to steal tv’s in the midst of rioting for “justice” but I can’t seem to find any on youtube.

              1. One clip — not a parody — that sticks in my mind from the riots is of some shirtless, skinny white kid taking a TV set from a store. He saw the news camera, shouted “Rodney King” and gave a power fist salute then scampered off with the TV.

          3. Aside from the butcher shop on the highway, I can’t think of any place with stuff I’d be interested in looting at the moment (subject to change son short economic notice). Aside perhaps from the book store, but I’d probably spend way too much time reading covers to see if anything non-Baen was worth carting off. 😛

            1. Gun store. Of course, I’d much rather have the disposable income to enrich the proprietor beyond his dreams of avarice. On the gripping hand, given the opportunity, I’d offer to take a watch.

                1. People would still do it. Heck, folks try to hold up gunstores NOW! With cop cars out front!

                  My favorite local gun store is almost entirely military associated, and of the flavors that find this kind of tactical stuff fun, so…very bad move.

                  1. No, they don’t.

                    They try to commit suicide in gun stores with cop cars parked out front.

                  2. I saw an amusing security camera clip a while back from a gun store when the goblin attempting to rob the place was taken down, not by the proprietor, or even one of the customers, but by the proprietor’s large dog, who saw someone threatening Master with a pistol and went over the counter in half a second to fix the problem. Hoodlum dropped his piece and took off like a shot, dog in pursuit. It made me smile. Too bad I no longer have the link.

              1. I’d go for the local Home Brew Party store, myself. Home brewing and cheese-making supplies and equipment. I’d be set up for the rest of my life with alcohol and cheesy comestibles.

                1. But HF is only two miles from me, and if the roads are blocked with flaming debris, I can get a wheelbarrow there. And I *really* want a twelve-inch planer. And a dust-catching system.

    1. I haven’t been following what’s happening in Ferguson, at least not closely. What I’ve seen reminds me of the LA riots after the Rodney King beating verdicts.

      Are the rioters still destroying the businesses in their own neighborhoods, making bad economic conditions even worse for themselves?

        1. That happened in LA during the king riots as well – LAPD is known to have left one armed gang-banger, a known violent felon, alone because he was guarding the corner grocery that his grandmother used. “My grandmother shops here, nobody’s going to destroy this place.”

          1. I gather that a lot of the Ferguson people claim that the looters aren’t even from their town. And I can well believe that opportunistic looters might come over from another nearby town. But it might be an attempt at face-saving, too.

    2. You want to know what’s crazy?

      There’s *zero* mention of it in my news sources. I’ve only heard about it via roundabout methods. Same thing with the recent political struggle in Baghdad. Maliki called up troops. You’d think that sort of thing would be worth mentioning in the news. But nope.

          1. I honestly go back and forth on that. Are they stupid or are they doing it on purpose to rip everything down to bring about a dictatorship of the proletariat? Right now I’m leaning towards stupid.

            1. That a riff on “never ascribe to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity”? *grin*

              Of course, there’s nothing to say that the malice can’t be stupid as well, despite that.

            2. Are they stupid or are they doing it on purpose to rip everything down to bring about a dictatorship of the proletariat?



      1. Like I said, I found out about it from QT’s Facebook page. I had heard of the initial shooting from my news sources, but not anything else.

        1. The Feds, in their “infinite wisdom”, decided that given our location, we should have St. Louis local stations on DirectTV. Getting plenty of coverage, we are.

    3. I was here during the LA riots. Basically gangs and thugs used Rodney King as an excuse. There blacks, browns and whites looting stores. There were blacks, browns and whites trying to put out fires. It was the Death Nell of the Hawthorne Mall (which has never reopened). Some people sheepishly returned what they stole.

    4. A friend suggested the fastest way to end the riots would have been to get a group together flying RC quadcopters carrying cannisters of something suitably fatal, and fast acting. Of course if store owners and patrons had started shooting rioters in job lots…would have had about the same effect.

    5. And the latest tidbit of information that you WILL NOT see on the news. The young, ‘innocent’ little boy that the police officer ‘gunned down in cold blood’ isn’t so innocent. According to sources in the area, he had a substantial violent felony record as a juvenile. Should have been locked up and had the key thrown away along time ago.

          1. Which are what? Race War? Segregation under a nicer name (eg “multiculturalism”)?

            I often wonder whether Progressives even have the *concept* of an end point. When has PROGRESS! progressed far enough?

            Guess you can’t be a permanent revolutionary if you ever accept the status quo, even if it’s one you created yourself:-(.

            1. Good heavens! They would lose their source of moral egoboo! How can they possibly be content with quotidian do-gooding that lesser souls engage in?

              1. They would also forsake that moral privilege which allows them, in good consience, to violate the standards to which they wish everybody else to adhere.

                Democrats Pay Black Staffers 30% Less
                Campaign staffers who are people of color routinely get paid less than their white counterparts, and are often given less glamorous jobs. How an antiquated understanding of race relations results in minority staffers getting the short shrift.

                If you’re a person of color hoping to get hired by a political campaign, here’s the ugly truth: You’ll probably get paid less than your white counterparts, if you’re even hired at all.

                On both sides of the aisle, there is a racial pay gap in campaign politics. Asian, Black and Latino staffers are paid less than their white counterparts, according to an analysis by the New Organizing Institute.

                For example, African-American staffers on Democratic campaigns were paid 70 cents for each dollar their white counterparts made. For Hispanic staffers in Democratic campaigns, the figure was 68 cents on the dollar.

                And a recent study by PowerPAC+, funded by a major Democratic donor, revealed that less than 2 percent of spending by Democratic campaign committees during the past two election cycles went to firms owned by minorities.

                Because I know you’re wondering:
                “Republican campaigns pay from 20.7 percent to 27.5 percent more than average for minority campaign workers. That’s the good news.

                The bad news is that GOP campaign candidates and managers hire far fewer minorities than do Democrats, by a factor of four-to-one.”
                — Mark Tapscot, Washington Examiner

                1. The bad news is that GOP campaign candidates and managers hire far fewer minorities than do Democrats, by a factor of four-to-one.

                  That’s only “bad news” if the writer thinks quantity is more important than quality.

                2. It would be interesting to know if it’s apples-to-apples for the pay, or if the “minority” folks they’re talking about were amazing professionals being compared to the one-step-above volunteers.
                  The overwhelming pressure against even conservative blacks being publicly involved with anything Republican would be a major consideration. You’d have to pay me pretty well to risk my family like that, even if I were young and single. I HAVE heard of folks being at best ostracized because a child or sibling is too publicly in the political wrong.

          2. I think they’re GETTING the results they want, they just want more of it.

            Imagine the News Emmys you could rack up in a constant state of Race Riot….

  12. I really do not think those in charge understand the difference between ending a war and winning a war. Emperor Hirohito ended WWII. President Truman won it.

  13. Sadly, there were Liberals who didn’t care what the “little brown brothers” did to themselves.

    One Liberal on Baen’s Bar had basically said “sure there’ll be killing after the US pulls out *but* the US won’t be doing the killing or causing the killing due to the US presence here”.

    Interestingly, this gentleman had read stories in the New York Times that seemed to support George W’s point of view.

    He was so “sure” that the New York Times had to be lying. [Sad Smile]

    1. Reminds me…

      Over the weekend, I saw a trailer for an upcoming documentary about the collapse of South Vietnam. The focus appears to specifically be on the Vietnamese who tried to flee the country. It looked like the documentary might be worth watching when it comes out, but unfortunately I can’t remember the name of it.

      1. I used to work with a lady, one of the Viet Namese boat people. When she was feeling relaxed she talked about the home, the life and the people she lost when she and her husband fled. She also talked about being boarded and robbed of pretty much everything by pirates when they were at sea and how she lost everything else in the refugee camp.

  14. You neglected to cite the perfect example, Vietnam.
    I get very upset when I hear people say that we lost. If I feel like arguing I ask “which we exactly do you mean?”
    In that conflict we won every major battle. We overcame an encounter with unconventional warfare more pervasive than any seen before. We negotiated an armistice, declared peace, and brought the bulk of our forces home.
    Then the North invaded the South yet again, violating the treaty they had agreed to. Our congress refused to honor our promise to uphold the agreement and protect South Vietnam from invasion. That is when the Vietnamese war was lost, entirely and solely for political reasons by our elected congress fearful of their jobs in the face of a war weary nation.

    Iraq? Should have stayed under US martial law for at least a generation. Then we should have ceded authority and control to the Kurds, the only sensible folk in the region. Or kept the place a US protectorate and hired the IDF to police it for us. Now wouldn’t that have made bunches of pointy heads explode.

    1. Disagree on a point of philosophy, Unc. (Despite our territories like Guam and PR) I am of the opinion we should not move toward empire. That said, I’d like to steamroll the bastards, make pyramids of skulls, rebuild the nation to US standards and educate all the children in Christianity and capitalism. And English. What’s that? Me? A crusader? Might be. Mostly, I’m just pissed that Wee Dave may never know peace.

      1. I think we’re in violent agreement oh kilted one.
        I have no wish for empire, but if we’re gonna conquer a place let’s do it right. Once upon a time we owned the Philippines, Cuba for all intents and purposes, the islands of Japan, and West Germany. And we stayed on until they could survive and prosper on their own, often using vast sums of our own treasure to help them back on their feet. Mostly the ones on the list have done fairly well. Cuba, had Batista not screwed the pooch, would be a nice island resort today. May still be if they can ever shake off the Castro family.
        We along with the rest of the Allies in WWI made some horrible mistakes after winning the war, notably punishing Germany to the extent that they were a fertile field for old Adolph to take root in. Not to mention carving up vast territories with no regards for ethnicity or tribal histories. After WWII we at least tried to do it better with some success and some epic failures.
        Winning the war is half the battle, and the easier half at that. It’s building a permanent peace that’s hard, and obviously completely outside the experience and understanding of a conniving community organizer from Chitown.

      2. I’d say skip the christianity personally. Hell introduce them to the old norse gods. The reaction to which would be truly entertaining I suspect. 😛

        1. …or at least play “Immigrant Song” over loudspeakers while going into battle?

    2. My area has a huge Vietnamese community of “boat people.” The first generation was largely strawberry farmers (and there are still a lot of strawberry stands with Vietnamese names; it’s a job that requires low start-up capital.) A lot of their kids are dentists. I’ve seen it pointed out that the trauma of being a refugee tends to pass down through the family line, in that successive generations tend to go towards portable skills—hence the large proportion of Jewish musicians, for instance. And being a dentist is a very portable skill.

      1. My sister’s in-laws are Vietnamese, and fled the country at the end of the war. Her husband’s a school teacher. Seems to fit the mold you describe.

      2. Most of them, as well as most of the Korean immigrants {as well as their kids} have been pretty well infected with the American Dream. Most of the Koreans I know are doing all they can to “blend in”, including doing what they can to catch an “American Husband”.

        The kids seem to go get degrees. I’m not sure I agree about the portable skills, though with the right degree you could get a job nearly anywhere.

    3. What about the idea that both Vietnam and the Space Program need to be looked at in the perspective of the larger Cold War. What I mean to say is that both tied up huge quantities of Soviet resources, speeding up the bankruptcy of the Soviet system. In that perspective, Vietnam was a huge success.

    4. We physically won in Vietnam, then we gave up. The US has a horrible track record of not keeping it’s promises, especially as administrations change. If I were another country, I hate to say it, but I would have very little faith in any agreement or treaty with the US.

      The one that drives me flippin’ nuts is when some of our current dimbulbs try to claim we lost in Korea. North Korea and China invaded and attempted to conquer South Korea, we went in with the express stated purpose of defending South Korea and protecting it from being taken over by the Chicoms. Almost three quarters of a century later South Korea is still an independent, non-communist, allied country. How is that a loss?

  15. I have a niece who has grown up in the stupid echo chamber called the state of Connecticut. She said to me a few years ago, before Obama was elected, that “Wars are stupid. The next president should simply declare all wars illegal!” Now I love my niece, but I loathe willful stupidity and therefore could not let such nonsense go unchallenged. Did I convinced her? I doubt it because she cares so much. Pretty sure that she wonders why her uncle is such a bloodthirsty warmonger who hates the brown people, or whatever it is the “smart” people are calling me now. In any event, I leave you with the following:

    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. – John Stuart Mill

    1. “The next president should simply declare all wars illegal!”


      Wait, she’s serious. 😦

      1. “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes”
        — Ronald Reagan

        If only. 😛

      1. I dunno. She just became old enough to vote a few weeks ago. Of course, when I mentioned how much I detested Obama (actually, it was a fairly mundane comment about him being less useful than a bottle opener), her first question was “So what do you think about gay people?” Now I will admit that I don’t care what people do with their genitalia, as long as both are of age, but my response to her was twofold:
        1) I dislike most people in general. Why should gay people get a pass?
        2) If the economy is in the toilet and the world is going up in flames and your biggest priority is how someone feels about homosexuals, you have failed to grow into anything resembling a responsible adult.

        My guess is that she still loves President Pants Crease because he now finally came clean and admitted what everyone knew back in 2008. The foreign policy debacles? The high unemployment and inflation with no end in sight? Piffle. That stuff isn’t what’s really important. Because caring or something.

        1. That’s a pretty good answer.

          I’ve had a young girl question me about my opinion of gays too as some kind of a litmus test. You kind of wonder who is ordering their priorities.

        2. In the times we’re going to, gay people will suffer. So will I’m afraid people like me who tan moderately well. And people like a lot of the readers here who tan REALLY well. THIS is what I’m afraid of, because me and my friends we ain’t done nothing to deserve that backlash.
          Yeah, I know, life isn’t fair.

          1. I would hope your wrong. About the backlash, the need for a backlash, or that innocent folks get caught up in it.

            Life’s not fair, but it’s not simple either. There are an awful lot of people that “tan well”, or are, maybe a bit amber toned that wouldn’t deserve to get caught in a backlash.

            A friend of mine, ethnically Chinese, has the same fear. He’s stocked up on firearms and ammo. And he’s very, very conservative.

                1. Finally, a mayor with enough sense to clean their… umm sorry, this is a PG-13 blog, right?

          2. I must hang my head, for with the context of the first part of your comment, I read “backlash” as “blacklash”. I’m such a racist. 😛

            1. Seriously, though, maybe it’s a good thing I don’t get out in the sun more often…

        3. The primaries in Connecticut were today. My parents live there, and when I was talking with them this evening they reported that the polling place was empty of other voters about an hour before the polls closed. When they asked the poll-worker if things had been so “busy” all day he reported that only about 90 people had been in earlier in the day.

    2. How old is she? I said stupid things, too, when I was a callow youth. The wisdom taught by experience has a way of leavening such intemperate thoughts. Also, sage advice from honored elders…

      1. I’ve said stupid things today. Everyone is allowed to do so. What’s problematic is a mind that allows nothing to alter its narrow preconceptions.

        Oh, and I forgot to mention that her dad and stepmom live in Illinois in Barry’s old district. That’ll really help counteract the poison she’s ingested while living in CT. Right ::head desk::

        1. Well, I think we all believed stupid things when we were young. If she’s still spouting things like that when she’s 30, I’d worry.

    3. About thirty years ago, I was taking martial arts lessons from a survivalist. During a (non-lesson) group discussion at his home one day, the topic of concern was what would be the most likely form for society to take after a total collapse of civilization.

      There was a lesbian couple participating (nice people, but a bit blinded by their beliefs) whose argument against my belief that strong men would set up their own territories, hoarding resources and women through use of henchmen and/or private armies, was, “That won’t happen, because it’s wrong!”

      1. Yep, and Hitler never sent gays and Jews to the ovens either, because that would have been wrong.

        1. Ayup — and no government (except maybe when Republicans are in charge) would ever do anything that is wrong.

  16. “I believe not in isolationism but in overkill. I believe that when attacked a country should do only one thing: retaliate hard enough to make the other guy afraid to do it again.

    I don’t believe in bombing aspirin factories. I believe in bombing to the stone age.”

    Preach on, Rev! Makes perfect sense to me, but then I’m a Jacksonian. My reaction to 911 was to turn Baghdad into a glass lined crater.

    The problem I see is that IMHO the country doesn’t have the will to do what is becoming increasingly necessary.

    1. *shrug* You have to kill enough people and destroy enough infrastructure that the survivors, and the generations they raise thereafter, shit their pants in abject terror at the mere mention of our name. Won’t happen though. No one as the stomach for it, let alone the will.

      1. Oderint Dum Metuant.

        Yes, it’s Little Boots, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

      2. If this goes on, Tom Kratman’s President Buckman is going to be a pale imitation of how things are really going to go and most of the world is going to look back, fondly, to the days of Timur the Gentle by comparison.

    2. Why would you turn Baghdad–the capital of a country that had little or nothing to do with 911–into a source of cancer and other illness for generations?

      We went (back) into Iraq in 2003 not because Saddam had anything (directly) with 9/11, but to attempt a “fundamental transformation” of the middle east from a land of tyranny and oppression into something vaguely resembling a modern “liberal democracy”. It wasn’t just about regime change, or killing Saddam.

      We couldn’t go into Saudi Arabia because (which funded and support the taliban) because something like 15% of Europe’s oil is sourced there, and if we’d have gone in it would have caused a major depression for several of our “allies”. We couldn’t go into Iran because as bad as Iraq is for fighting, Iran is worse. Also Iran is slowly eating itself–it’s spending it’s oil money on buying support (aka “social programs”) instead of doing maintenance on it’s oil infrastructure.

      So Iraq it was.

      Also (and we couldn’t admit this) it was about creating a “fly paper” to suck in wanna be terrorists and kill them in the Middle East rather than in Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis and Houston.

      1. We went (back) into Iraq in 2003 not because Saddam had anything (directly) with 9/11, but to attempt a “fundamental transformation” of the middle east from a land of tyranny and oppression into something vaguely resembling a modern “liberal democracy”. It wasn’t just about regime change, or killing Saddam.

        Also, look at Iran (the biggest supporter of terrorism out there). Look at a map. Look at the countries around it.

        Iraq was a very shrewd move in a much larger strategic game, one that the current administration has, well, I’d say “frittered away” but that implies incompetence rather than malice.

        And the only saw says adequately explained by incompetence.

      2. IMO there’s another aspect about going into Iraq.

        In the minds (such as they have minds) of the Muslims, Saddam was a Hero.

        He had “challenged” the US and was still around to crow about it.

        George H W defeated Saddam’s army but Saddam was left unharmed.

        Saddam played games with Clinton and Clinton left him in power.

        Saddam’s survival was prime evidence for the “The US is a paper tiger” idea.

        After George W took down Saddam, the other “thorn in the US’s flesh”, Gaddafi of Libya, became very interested in getting his name off of the “US’s sh*t list”.

        Then Obama became President and wiped out all the good that George W had done.

        Then, with or without voter fraud, we reelected that idiot Obama. [Frown]

    3. Eh, I read Doc Smith as a youngster. You don’t get much more overkill than that.

      1. I am imagining Doc Smith rewritten by John Scalzi. DuQuesne would still be a corporate collaborator but the Fenachrone would receive therapy instead of deletion.

        Incidentally, Google prompted a Skylark of Space movie, but none of the links indicated as much.

        1. Your imagination is a bad, bad person.

          I can imagine a Fenachrone going to therapy:
          Therapist: “Now, let’s talk about your anger issues.”
          Fenachrone: (Rips head off therapist) “I have no anger issues.”

  17. You are being too nice. I’ll grant that there are people who hate war sincerely but the John Kerrys and Hillary Clintons who supported the Iraq action initially then turned against it are not in that category. They are opportunists. If something is popular that can empower them personally they support it. If something is unpopular but right they will oppose it as opposing it will be what empowers them.

    Obama is a prime example and even worse. He opposed the war initially and now supports it. I don’t believe for a second his opposition was sincere. If the war was popular among his constituency his position would have certainly reflected that.

  18. Your post reminded me of this from John Stuart Mill:

    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

  19. I think I told here the story of a beginning writer at an impromptu workshop at a local con reading a story of a dead Iraq (female) soldier watching her own funeral.

    I really hope that she was writing a story about an American soldier who died in Iraq, because if not she’s too f*king stupid to be allowed out of the house without a minder.

  20. I’ll be curious to see who gets blamed when the dam north of Mosul goes and takes the others out with it. It appears that ISIS doesn’t have the knowledge or willingness to maintain the safety measures necessary to keep it in place (daily injections of concrete under the foundation). Will it be 1) ISIS fault for not maintaining it? 2) Obama’s fault for letting ISIS capture it? 3) The Kurds/Iraqi Army for ditto? 4) Bush’s fault because Bush? 5) The original engineers and contractors who built it in a place that requires constant grouting? 6) Anthropogenic climate change/the patriarchy/cismale gendernormative fascists and the Evil League of Evil?

  21. I work with a Cambodian who is here because his father left just ahead of the reds. It is now a few years old so it is probably much higher but A little factoid: Over 3/4 of the population is too young to remember Pol Pot and the rule of the Khmer Rouge.
    They lost that much of the population.

    And the Kurds …. Why the love us is beyond me, We have screwed them over numerous times.

      1. point, but heck, all we need to do is give them some ammo and stand back, yet we are not even doing that much. Unless someone has given them some.
        They get back stabbed by the U.S. regularly, so I guess we should be thankful they still like us instead of working against us.

        1. My understanding was that we gave Baghdad ammo and weapons, and then they were supposed to pass some of that ammo and weaponry along to the Kurds. However, Iraq being Iraq, the Kurds never received any of it.

          1. Listened to Bryan Suits this morning, apparently someone noticed that pattern and finally said screw it– we’re directly giving them stuff, now. Bypassing Baghdad. Which won’t make them any happier…..

      2. Exactly. I was about to type that.
        The sad thing is that we, even now, are the hope of every oppressed minority in the world. We’d best put on our white armor because there’s no one else to help them.

        1. The last reports I read say that our planes are running into all the problems involved in parachuting supplies to someone on a mountain top.

  22. Oh, and as I’m sure you know, there is no overkill.

    There is only “Open Fire” and “Reloading”.

    1. Related item: A post in Toni’s Table said that Jerry Pournelle posted that he’s working on the last chapters of Mamelukes (Janissaries #4) and Toni said that she has a large chunk of the first draft.

      And how is anybody supposed to vote on that list? Other than a couple I haven’t read (yet), that’s a solid list of awesomeness!

      1. tehehehehehehehehehehehe. . . .

        I will observe that while the theme can’t be reused for a year, any of the nominated works could be renominated under a different theme.

        1. I voted, but honestly, I’ll willingly reread any of those and now I have to hunt down the ones I haven’t read whether they get picked or not.

      1. Oh, yes. Slept most of Saturday, lounged about on Sunday, was well enough for work Monday. Also, the fever’s gone and the appetite’s recovering.

        Mind you a cough has set in but the cough’s always better than the headaches.

  23. They blame Cambodia on the US. “If only the US hadn’t interfered with the Ho Chi Minh trail in Cambodia, then the Khmer Rouge wouldn’t have been able to overthrow the government!” Or something to that effect. North Korea is where celebrities go for photo ops and vacations. And the Soviet Union? EVERYONE knows that we were just like the Soviets! Why do you insist on trying to paint everything in black and white!?

  24. My thoughts on the proper way to wage war were shaped at a young age by an elderly friend. When she was a young lady she lived in one of FDR’s concentration camps while her brother fought over in the Western Theater. I asked her what she thought about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki because her family had immigrated from Nagasaki before WWII. She told me that many, many more civilian Japanese would have died had the USA invaded on the ground than had died from the atomic bombs, because there really isn’t such a thing as a civilian in a ground invasion. Her brother didn’t say anything, just stood by nodding his head in agreement.
    I always figured they knew more about when it was morally appropriate to use WMD than any text book or teacher–they’d lost cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, after all.

    1. If she was in the camps, and he was in Europe, then he obviously fought in the 442nd RCT. That was a unit that understood fighting. Hats off to him.

    2. Somewhat related– my dad grew up talking to some of the folks in the camp near them.

      It sucked, yeah, but the ones that talked to him thought it was needful. Japan would have killed any family still on the island, and been nasty about it.

  25. Read this thread a little bit ago, and it stirred a few emotions. Not necessarily good ones. Got back to work, makin’ stuff.

    I had to move my car later, and when I parked it in the stall, “Born in the USA” started. I know it wasn’t really intended to be a patriotic song, but it catches me every time. I’ve never gotten the words right, just certain phrases, and of course the beat and the “Born in the USA”.

    But certain parts of it grab me. When I don’t catch the words I’ll ….

    “Got in a little home town jam.”

    Yeah that was pretty common back then. Get in a bit of trouble and have a judge suggest to you that you enlist, and you won’t have a record.

    “Goin’ to kill the Yellow Man.”

    I’m surprised the modern libprogs haven’t jumped all over that. For me, it brings back some rather unpleasant emo’s, as well as one’s I can’t help.

    “Had a brother, …. Viet Cong. They’re still there, He’s all gone.”

    For a while, I was in an honor funeral detail. Got to see a lot of families up close and personal while they’re dealing with their grief.

    “He had a woman … Saigon. Have a picture of her in his arms…”

    That one gets me too. I’m sure that I have some of the words wrong…..

    Don’t know why I like that song. It gets me every time. Now of course, it seems that the “tension” of the homeland is as heavy as it was then. It’s a bit different, different things causing the stress. But it’s strong…….

    If we’re lucky, the tension will fade after a couple of elections and disgrace of a couple of politicians. If we’re not, then it could get interesting. Reading stuff today, you wouldn’t realize how close we came to rebellion back then…….

    1. The hippies were ready for rebellion (I were one), but we were a small fraction – it took Walter Cronkeit defecting to do anything. Now I think basic Americans are just getting tired of being bossed around. Too many of my contemporaries still don’t know their history and don’t know how disarming the populace and gunning up the police ends.

  26. He thought we could retreat, because the country was stable, and because ending the war looked so good on his resume. He didn’t get that the only way to wage war without massive casualties and destroying the place was to stay long. Stay long enough for a couple of generations to grow up. Create a tradition of democracy. Build the culture from the inside out.

    It’s a philosophical thing.

    He doesn’t recognize culture. He thinks the stuff we have that makes the US possible is just human nature.

    He looks at the stabilized structure and says “Hey, nothing is falling! Let’s take our support beams and leave, no disaster here.”

  27. As I see it, and I admit that other views are reasonable, the problem isn’t that we didn’t do enough, but that we did too much.

    We were never going to make Iraq a colony. That was what fostering democracy would have required, and it simply wash’t in the cards. The Progressive Intellectuals, rightly or wrongly, put the stink on colonialism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and it hasn’t worn off. Won’t for w while, except for historically minded Cranks like yours truly.

    So, granting that we weren’t going to make Iraq a colony, we had no business staying once Saddam’s government fell. Certainly none once the silly bastard had danced the hemp fandango.

    What needs to happen to curb terrorism, religious extremism, and various other poisoned fruit of Islam, is to make it absolutely clear that it is much more pleasant to trade with us in peace than to fight with us in war. We took “the fourth largest army in the world” down in a matter of weeks, with an all volunteer military, while splitting our attention. An army much admired in the region. Now, there’s an object lesson for you. If we had struck, packed, and left it would be a stark lesson, un-blunted by political shuck-and-jive.

    Would we be back? Certainly; these pest holes seldom really develop until there are serious civil rights, something that the current widespread interpretation of Islam doesn’t seem to encourage. But until we decide it’s time to give Colonialism another chance, we have no business staying.

    1. Ann Coulter had the right idea, pretty much kick their ass, take their oil, convert them to Christianity and kill anyone that didn’t get with the program.
      Bush was too nice and then got stabbed in the back by the liberals. Now it’s going to take carpet bombing or nukes and our current rulers don’t have the guts. Vietnam all over again only these are muslims, not just communists.

  28. As Iowahawk says, “Want to lose a war? Get your strategy from a Cambridge faculty lounge. Want to win a war? Get your strategy from a Tulsa barroom.”

    1. Yeah, but Pearl Harbor to the west, and German U-Boats sinking freighters off the East Coast got even the libs onboard.

      1. And from what I’ve heard, people were already starting to get weary of the war in 1945. If Japan hadn’t surrendered as a result of the bombs, it’s possible that a sizeable peace movement might have built itself up – no doubt encouraged by the massive casualties that would have resulted from an invasion of the Japanese Islands.

        1. This is just an opinion, but I don’t think there would have been time to build up a sizeable peace movement. The leadership then weren’t going to go slow to save casualties. In fact they had already proven they were willing to take heavy casualties.

          I think what would have happened instead would have been millions of Japanese casualties. Racism really did exist then, and we were afraid of them. When I talk about millions of casualties, I’m talking about civilians, the women and kids that were living in the villages, towns, and cities that would have been demolished or burnt.

          What actually happened probably saved a million US casualties, and 10 million or more Japanese casualties. Probably more. People whine about the use of the A bomb, but it ended the war.

          1. I’m skeptical about how quickly the Allies would have been able to win. In order to subjugate the country, the Allies would have been forced to carry out multiple landings (Japan has four islands, after all). Resistance would have been brutal. And even the rear areas wouldn’t have been truly safe (unlike the other campaigns). At the very least, the logistics required for four separate landings would have dragged out the time table as such things don’t happen without a lot of planning and preparation (particularly on the scale that would have been required for each of the landings).

            1. There’s room to disagree. But they would have used incendiary bombs on the villages, towns, and cities, before approaching them. After all, one incendiary bombing of Tokyo killed more people than Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined.

              When you moved forward, you wouldn’t leave much behind. Kill or burn everything.

              We’ve had nearly seventy years of soft living since then. The Japanese Americans, a lot of them anyways, were interred in camps. They didn’t do that because the Japanese were thought of as harmless. That was done because the Japanese scared us. The old “Yellow Peril” thing.

              Fear and racism is a fearsome mix. It would have been brutal, as you say, but I don’t think the rear areas would have been a problem, because their wouldn’t have been much living there.

              A lot of the planning and preparation was already done. The B29s were already in place for the heavy bombing campaign. The Army Air Force was already moving vets from Europe to the Pacific.

              Anyway, I’m glad it didn’t have to happen. My father had already gotten acquainted with New Guinea and the Philippines.

              1. Imagine the !@#$ storm that would have occurred if we had taken Japan as planned, taken the million casualties (and inflicted as many more) and then word got out that we had a “super weapon” which could have ended the war at the cost of a couple Japanese cities.

                Truman would not have been impeached, he’d have been lynched.

              2. The Japanese Americans, a lot of them anyways, were interred in camps. They didn’t do that because the Japanese were thought of as harmless. That was done because the Japanese scared us. The old “Yellow Peril” thing.

                That’s what we were told in school, but if that’s so…why didn’t they do it to the ones in Hawaii?

                The explanation I was given by a guy who largely grew up there is that those Japanese didn’t have family back in Japan. The folks who were put in camps did. (And that family was often still alive at the end of the war, rather than being killed because their American children, cousins, grandkids hadn’t attacked the US.)

                1. I didn’t bring that up because I don’t know. I suspect it has more to do with the Japanese descended being part of the fabric of Hawaiian society and culture. Logistics might have had something to do with it too. Bringing them all to the continent might have been more costly than the administration wanted to invest, considering how much was being invested in the war effort.

                  Folks that lived in areas with a large concentration of Japanese residents weren’t real happy when their neighbors were rounded up to send off to the hinterlands. In some cases, on Bainbridge {I think, memory’s foggy} Island folks bought up their Japanese neighbors land when it was auctioned off, so that they would have it when they came back. I understand {but can’t prove} that happened to some degree here in the Kent Valley too.

                  Anyway, not the greatest historical event in America’s past.

                  1. That certainly didn’t happen everywhere – here in CA, a friend of mine’s folks were both (separately) interred, and when they got back, their families had nothing – no compensation, no property, nada. They had to completely start from scratch.

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