Sunday, July 10, 2005

War: What is it good for?

We respectfully ask that you read the entire post before commenting the first time, but for your convenience we have put a jump to the comments section right here, so that you can easily find them.

We've all heard the song. My favorite version is Bruce Springsteen's, but you may have heard it done by the Temptations, or more likely by Edwin Starr himself. The driving beat, the power of this 60's anti-war hymn is beyond compare, and represents the music of a generation.
But is the song true? Are all wars good for "absolutely nothing?"

There are many on the left who would cheer and say war was always bad, and should never, ever be fought.

History speaks against those folks. It speaks with the voices of those who gave their lives in WWII, Korea, and yes, to help the Vietnamese people too.

I would ask the folks who voted in Iraq in January, or the thousands joining the Iraqi Defense Forces in spite of the terrorist bombs if the US invasion was good for nothing. I would ask the free peoples of Afghanistan if they want to go back to life under the Taliban.

I would ask you, in the minutes after you watched the 2nd plane crash in to the World Trade Center, if war was good for something. In those minutes, when war had come to our shores, your answer may have been different from what it is now, almost 5 years later. Why is that? What has changed?

As a nation, we've been here before. Doubting what the war is really all about, wondering if all this bloodshed was really worth it, and beginning to question our purpose as we see the dead come home in body bags.

The time I'm describing is not 1970.

It was 1943, as Japan won victory after victory, and Hitler stood astride Europe. Things didn't look hopeful for The United States and her few allies. France was gone, Japan appeared to be in control of the Pacific, and the bombs continued to fall every night in London. From our perspective decades in the future, we have trouble grasping the very real fact that an Allied victory was not a foregone conclusion. The people of that time, our grandparents, understood clearly that we could lose the war if we lost our purpose.

It was at that time that then Maj. Frank Capra began releasing Why We Fight, a series of films explaining exactly why we were fighting WWII. Hard to believe they needed it, having gone through Pearl Harbor so recently. But they did. The men on the front, and the people back home needed those reminders of what was at stake if they quit fighting.

We had another "Why We Fight" moment this week. Bombs were once again going off in London. War had come to the British Isles, just as it came to our shores on September 11th. And the war is most assuredly not over.

We've had numerous arguments about the current war, most especially the Iraqi Front of this war. I believe the time has come to put those debates to an end, and prosecute the War. We are reaching a place where the Left's insistence on protest is detrimental to the war effort, to the ability of this nation to fight.

"Bush lied, people died", Downing Street Memos, and all the rest need to be put aside. The War is against Islamo-Fascism, in all its forms. It is not against George W. Bush, or Conservatives, or Christian Fundamentalist or any of the other demons the Left has decided to fight instead of the terrorists. And this war is not against oriental men in black pajamas across an ocean. That war, for better or worse, is over. Let it go.

I'm not calling for censorship. I'm not calling for any rights to free speech to be taken away. I'm calling for a ceasefire while the War continues. I'm calling, as they did in those dark days of World War II, for sacrifice.

We are in World War IV. We can't back away from Iraq, or Afghanistan. You may not have agreed with going in to one or the other of those countries, but we are there. And the reality is that we we will likely be in other countries before this war ends. Iran, Syria, and North Korea are all likely targets. Anything that detracts from winning is harmful to the War effort.

And we must win. Look at the faces of the victims of London. Those could just as easily be New Yorkers, Chicagoans, or Oklahomans. If you need another reminder, click on the link in the Title of my post, and understand why we can't cry hard enough to bring back the victims of terrorism. We can work together, left and right, to ensure there are no more victims in the future.

Mark - Liberty Just In Case

Mark, my friend; I'm going to be "un-liberal" here, and just say... I agree. 100%.

It is partially, because of my pro-Military stance on Iraq, that I find myself in almost more "right-wing" blogrolls than "left-wing" blogrolls these days.

In Iraq, we have created a SCUMBAG MAGNET. The jerks who hate freedom and our nation's wealth are attracted to Iraq, vs. New York City. Better on their desert than in our own backyard.

But forget logistics, and look at the other facts involved. MILLIONS of Iraqis have been freed from tyranny. It is the "liberal" in me that cheers this fact. ANYBODY who rejoices over the freedom of the oppressed has a "liberal" side to them, PERIOD.

We need to stay the course in Iraq, and we need to look toward helping our brothers and sisters in Iran, and North Korea, as well as China, and other communist states achieve their freedom and liberty. It is the very fact that I *am* a "liberal" that helps me to be willing to fight, and DIE (if necessary) for such causes. After all, the root of "liberal" is "libre", which means to liberate.

I'm all FOR it, and I'm ready for the game. Blog ON.

Carl -The Gun-Toting Liberal

I really can't say it any better than Mark did. Appeasment is just something that has been proven over and over to not work. World peace is for some highly evolved alien race on planet utopia. We are human, and we have evil in the world. I would like to add however that this war we are fighting right now is more than just a physical war against is a jihad. It is a spiritual war. What we are fighting is pure evil. I want to ask everyone to continue to pray. Prayer is THE most powerful weapon we have to fight evil.

Jay - Stop the ACLU

I took the time to really read through Mark’s article on War today and to consider carefully the implications therein. There is much here that bears looking at with a careful eye.

It is in our nature as humans, to timeline things by events that stick out to us. Those things that draw our attention, stir emotion are those “highlights” on the timeline that gives us a base for where we “were” and where we “are” and where we are “going to”.

In the timeline such as what Mark has given we see just a few of those “highlights”: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, 9/11 and with these highlights we are expected to draw a timeline of “Reasons Why war is Right—Reasons Why Americans fight”. I however, do not see the timeline as the same, nor the events as coalescing to a common reason of why War is “right”.

War, is at times an unavoidable necessity. War is an unfortunate event in which diplomacy has failed us. But that does not, in my opinion make war “right”, nor will it ever do so.

WWII and Propaganda
In World War II, propaganda was a great tool that was used to rally persons to a common cause. Before we go about eulogizing Frank Capra’s work on Propaganda Films in WW II, let us remember a few things:

1. For all the hard work of the members of Hollywood, a great many of them became fall guys in the later part of the 40’s and into the 50’s to the ‘red scare’ and communism hunt of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) that took a huge toll on members of Hollywood and this nation at large. Even Hollywood’s greats were called to testify in committee: Walt Disney, Ronald Reagan. (
2. Hitler used the same propaganda tools to amass his forces and to rally his subjects to arms as well. Same tool, same methods, same agenda, different country.
3. The Propaganda films, posters, handbills etc of the 1940’s were the cause of a great lot of racial hatred both here and abroad. They were designed to strip away the humanity of those that they portrayed and in so doing , we (and our military) were expected to no longer look at the Japanese or German peoples as human but as nearly “sub-human”. It makes it easy to make strangers your enemies, with hate speech and propaganda in your face all the time. (

Really, IMHO and with all due respect, this article could be construed as a tool of propaganda. It is designed by its onset, to lead us to the one conclusion that “war is right—war was justified” in Iraq. However, by virtue of the fact that this position is supported by a great amount of documentation of WWII would indicate that it is an attempt to connect the emotions and patriotism of a time gone by with the current military action. We have here connected unrelated events (9/11 and World War II) in an attempt to rally emotion and patriotism for the current military action. What do Iraq and 9/11 have in common? Answer: Nothing. What do Iraq and World War II have in common? Answer: Nothing. We were directly attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor and we answered that call with what was necessary. Though, even now the questions remain of was there more we could do to preempt the strike on Pearl Harbor. Iraq had nothing to do with the events of September 11, therefore they cannot be seen as connected.

By the same token, I do see something incredibly important here and quite inspiring too! Not ALL propaganda is bad propaganda. When it is media used to inspire people to keep faith and to keep working then it is a good tool—it crosses back from the line of propaganda to the side of Inspiration. Which is what I think Mark was trying to convey from the center of a very compassionate heart.

We ARE there now and we must finish the job we began. It is too late now to him-haw about if we were right or wrong in going, that job will be left to the historians in a time that is not ours right now. Right now we DO have an objective: Finish what we started.

To finish what we started in Iraq should not however mean invading other countries and further stretching out an already overwrought military force. We must watch carefully for propagandized connections of why we simply must invade Iran or other nations. We must watch carefully to NOT be propagandized into further actions that are unrelated.

One final comment: We are not in World War IV. The Cold War was not World War III. To use terminology that places either of these on the level of World War I and World War II is yet further a propaganda device that I will not accept and neither should the populace at large. When we are in World War III… I think there will be no denying that we are, the World will know it.

Nariel - Ancient Eyes for Current Times
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