August 8, 2011

"As a people, we're earnest about this war."

"Our enemies have learned that we're deadly earnest. So are our Allies. We don't wail when things go badly, nor blow off steam at every victory. The fight goes on, come good news or bad."

Advice from a 1945 pamphlet that I keep as a memento.


Anonymous said...

How ironic, those words were exactly what I was just thinking about our Libya Kinetic Military Action.

Henry said...

Today is Victory day in Rhode Island.

Bryan C said...

That's good advice. It's awful when we lose 30 of our best, especially all at once, and especially like this.

Still, I can't help but think that if you showed a month's worth of our war casualties to your typical WWII-era civilian, they'd shake their head sadly, and then ask if that number was all day today, or just so far this morning.

The Crack Emcee said...

I feel the same way, but we weren't also battling our own people then.

That's what gets depressing.

Oso Negro said...

As a people, I think we are tired of the bullshit. My son is in the USMC, at an FOB in Afghanistan. This is his third deployment. I am earnest about my fatigue. I am especially tired of political leaders who cannot articulate a clear purpose to their actions.

Hagar said...

"Nichts Neues im Westen,"

so things have not changed that much, but it is just as awful for those it happened to.

Cedarford said...

The difference was WWII was about our American future and our American security...not saving the noble French, the Jews, the persecuted Chinese, the glorious Soviets.
The sacrifice was for America, and that made the buy-in about casualties a lot easier than the Cause of Freedom of the Noble S Vietnamese, the new nation we were spending a trillion on to uplift the ever-greatful purple-fingered Iraqis of the Land of Peace, guided by the Religion of Peace.

Ditto with America putting up with lots of dead so "the freedom of the Afghan barbarian can endure" or "That the Somalis drag our soldiers bodies through the streets is irrelevant to the good we do filling Somali bellies with free dood!"

JFK's line about us "going anywhere, paying any price, accepting any burdern to advance the cause of freedom" was a crock of shit when he said it. We were not willing when he started Vietnam. The do-gooders lines about our absolute moral duty to intervene anywhere at whatever the cost in lives and loans we have to repay China be the World's 9/11 Sevice to prevent all "Munichs" all "humanitarian disasters" is also a crock of shit.
Same with our "grave duty" to accept any 3rd Worlder refugee fleeing their fouled up native land rather than risk something staying and trying to fix it.

The Neocons are dead as a force.
The Human Rights activists based in NYC and Europe are now laughed at in their posturing impotence.
We are not Uncle Sugar Daddy, the world's 9/11 service and most of us think now the 3.8 trillion and 42,000 casualties Iraq and Afghanistan cost was a spectacular waste other than the 1st couple of months of killing Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and giving their Talibani hosts a royal beating.

Urges to exort Americans to treat casualties now as if it was "WWII again" only work if people see it as a WWII situation where America was directly threatened and shedding our sons lives and our treasure (even by the elites who had to send their sons and pay higher taxes in WWII and were rationed in what goodies they could get like everyone else) was seen as an unavoidable grim task that unfortunately had to be done.

Had WWII been just about saving some Europeans, the noble Chinese...the Will would not have been there to sacrifice and accept sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

My son is in the USMC, at an FOB in Afghanistan.

Oso, the absolute lack of earnestness must infuriate to the point of hurt.

Your son is putting his life on the line.

While our vaunted politicians stand in front of American flags and emit gaseous nonsense - nay, worse: blatant lies - then make a hasty exit to the golf course or the cocktail party in Georgetown.

I, for one, see it and despise it, and am thinking of you right now.

Sal said...

Hey, no comments on that post from 2004. How sad. I was tempted to go back in time and tell you that we'd still be fighting in Afghanistan in 2011. Shocking?

I'd also give you a stock tip: Buy Google! (but sell in 2008)

Unknown said...

That was then, this is now.

But God bless those who serve, and their families, always.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

And it was just reported that the "White Mouse", Nancy Wake, died today.

She was an incredible hero during WWII rescuing over a hundred Americans pilots shot down behind enemy lines. Among other efforts with the French Resistance.

If the Gestapo had gotten her they would have literally ripped her apart.

Great lady, just a great one.

David said...

World's Greatest Orator is to speak to the nation at 1 PM EST.

Cedarford said...

Two nephews served in combat in Iraq. One in door-to-door in Ramadi, then out on his 3rd tour when a car bomb blew his eardrums out. Same one also had in inconsequential 2nd tour in Afghanistan. The other nephew was safer in Iraq in the AF. Though their base was hit by Iraqi freedom lover rockets.

Both now think that Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth it, and the only real accomplishment was by the military that got lucky and were in the early phases in Afghanistan wiping out AQ Islamoids. And that few children of Elites fought and both returned to see even less good American jobs available than when they were in.

They envied my Gulf War service.
I in turn told them that the Gulf War was just about slapping Saddam down, preventing a bad economic situation from happening, anchoring the US position as a superpower, and ingratiating ourselves to some loathsome leaders in Kuwait, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.
That the last war that was truly in America's vital interest that those who served lived all their lives generally convinced it was all for the security and betterment of America was my grandfather's WWII. (Grand-dad, a decorated officer in the Navy who saw combat in the N Atlantic - had some awful things to say about the stupidity of Vietnam and Reagan being snookered into Lebanon - "but at least Reagan had the brains to avoid his own Vietnam in the ME")

traditionalguy said...

The 1945 mindset was for unconditional surrender. Having the only Fission devices made us undefeatable.

But we needed Iwo Jima and Okinawa to get the War over in case it did not defeat the Japs.

We lost that mindset in 1953. The other side having fission devices and fusion devices made us see that a pyrrhic victory was not worth it anymore.

Afghanistan has never been worth it.

Oso Negro said...

Quayle - Thanks for your kind thoughts, but better send them to the 31 new Gold Star families. As of yesterday morning, the possibility existed that my son will get home alive and unhurt next month. That option is lost for them, and I cannot begin to get my mind around why. I could go for killing all of the Taliban or none of them. I cannot go for our young men serving as targets whenever the enemy is in the mood to shoot or bomb.

Carol_Herman said...

Yes, WW2 was earnest. Stated simply hitler got an early start, in Europe.

At first europe agreed to let him have Czechoslovakia as "his" without a fight. hitler said it was Jutland. (Stalin tried something similar with Finland. But got cloged down. As the Finns put up a fight. And, hitler (like Napolieon) judged russia would be an easy prize to grab.

hitler also went to africa. On a plan that inovled taking africa for it's wealth of minerals. Then, shooting across the atlantic. to South America. Where he'd work his way up into our "underbelly" ... through Texas.

Before we began fighting ... and, we're not really "in it" until July of 1942. We were in the business of making war materials. We built tanks, ships, and aircraft. Before Pearl Harbor.

Japan signed onto Hitler's plan. And, we got attacked December 7, 1941. At Pearl Harbor.

Fierce fighting in the Pacific Ocean, and with army troops under MacArthur's command, we were the ones that met the fiercest enemy in the Japanese. You bet we were serious.

The caveat? During the 3 wees i Demember, when CHurchill on a secret mission, was here at the WHite House. FDR came to him and suggested the UN plan. Even giving it its name. United Nations.

MacArthur was sent to Korea. He saw not Korean soldiers, but Chinese ones. In huge numbers.

MacArthur did brilliantly at Inchon. With something like marines in rubber rafts. Waiting for the tide to throw them on shore and inflicting losses on the enemy of mostly chinese soldiers.

Foreigners always stand back to let our troops get killed.

And, the UN played "stalemate." MacArthur's strategy went in diplomatic pouches to Truman. But by a route that let Nehru open each pouch. Read the contents. And, talk it over with the russians and the chinese.

What MacArthur said should have been written in stone: FIGHT TO WIN.

Truman fired MacArthur. George C. Marshall was no longer chief of staff. This role went to Omar Bradley. Who sent in Ridgeway.

Ridgeway publicly rebuked MacArthur: Telling him that Korea was: THE WRONG WAR. IN THE WRONG PLACE. AT THE WRONG TIME.

MacArthur went to Cngress, and to a Joint Session, delivered his "OLD SOLDIERS NEVER DIE" speech. THEY JUST FADE AWAY.

Truman, who won the race in 1948, understood he'd never win a race against Eisenhower. (Who had once been MacArthur's second in command in the Philippines.)

Eisenhower drew Korea to a close. Through the UN. Where unfortunately the diplomats chose Paris. As their location. And, for two years these bastards argued about the shape of the table.

Abraham Lincoln had a gold to save the Union. All following presidents thought bigger thoughts. Which is why the soldiers bleed on battlefields far away ... But don't really bring home victories.

WW2 gave us the UN.

Defeat instead of victory. Generosity to foreign countries. Instead of holding others accountable. And, testing them out for possibilities that wouldn't hurt us, when we give them the disguises that they can call themselves friends.

Others blame the payoffs the saud's bought with oil wealth.

When you get to the "complex" with numbers ... there's an ifnit numer for them. Not really to be found in our world. Just coming out of square-root boxes.

While Disney handled the end where selling myths professionally are very, very profitable techniques.

Irene said...

In 1945, people didn't have Vietnam in their memory.

m stone said...

Someone will be claiming Victory in Wisconsin tomorrow night.

Carol_Herman said...

Korea gave us MASH.

You thought it was about Vietnam?

The BIG MUDDY was written in Louisiana. At a boot camp. By Pete Seeger. The song shows ya that a captain can lead men to certain death. (The Big Muddy is about drowning soldiers who are told they are walking "through" water that should only slosh around their boots.) "KEEP WALKING." Finally the water is at their chins. And, the order doesn't change. But the moon passes through a cloud. Does a shot ring out? I don't remember.

I just think the captain drowned because his footing hit quicksand.

Then, the sargent was able to call out "turn around and let's go home."

Perhaps pacifists speak before their time?

Perhaps, following George C. Marshall ... the guy that got to put his ass in the Joint Chief's chair ... wasn't one of our best or brightest?

Why shouldn't the military reflect how we vote in less than stellar men into office?

Today, our wonderful volunteer army ... are given the crappiest orders imaginable that could be given to patriotic Americans on this planet earth.

And, ya know what? By losing obama can gain the smidgen over 50% that will keep him in business?

Disney still gets customers when each ticket to the park costs each person $150. And, they'll check your bags coming in the door. Forbidding you to carry in sandwiches.

Barnum said running the circus was profitable. Running Disney? Even more so. It makes us dream of clean main streets. While we don't see HOW this gets accomplished.

Well, Abraham Lincoln had to deal with that incompetent General McLellan. So bad, it forced Lincoln to learn strategy to overcome the General's inertia.

Cedarford said...

Irene said...
In 1945, people didn't have Vietnam in their memory.
No, they had a far, far worse and equally as futile war just 20 years in their past. The Great War.

Vietnam was pissant compared to that.

Vietnam was just a war that came up when the Elites of privilege and the Sons of privilege themselves "at risk" of losing the la dolce vida - if they were drafted - was rejected. And those Elites controlled the levers of power, the media & entertainment.

Now they were at root selfish - but those selfish Elites were basically right. America had drawn the wrong message about Munich and "our duty to go anywhere and make any sacrifice for the cause of freedom".

Hagar said...

"-- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

This is a big part of the United States, so, no, I do not agree that it is not worth it.

Irene said...

Vietnam = It's okay to lose.

Paul said...

President downgrade is NOT interested in this war.

He nickled and dimed the 'surge'. His own commanders say 50,000 troups, but of course prez. downgrade downgraded that to 40,000. And so our 'surge' was not enough.

And VICE-PREZIDENT downgrade, Biden, ratted out Seal Team 6, and thus they were targted. Thanks a bunch Buffoon Biden.

Prez. Downgrade is only in earnest as for his own reelection, that and golf.

Fred4Pres said...

That is fortunately how al Qaeda sees it post 9/11. We did not pull a cowardly Spain. No thanks to the left's BS here in the states, but thanks very much to the U.S. Military and the men and women sacrificing on our behalf.

virgil xenophon said...

BryanC nails it in the nuts. Previous societies seem to have collectively been made of sterner stuff. We lost 17,000 dead in one day during the Civil War at Cold Harbor. The British took 12,000 casualties IN THE FIRST HOUR at the Battle of the Somme and 45,000 for the entire day to gain but 100 yards. True enough there were draft riots in NY during the Civil War and the massive casualties WW I led many to turn against war altogether, nevertheless, both the North and the Allies persevered. The only thing worse than suffering large casualties is suffering them and yet losing the war. (unless you surrender to the US, of course, then you get the Marshall Plan)

virgil xenophon said...

Well, Cedarford has a good point. If one looks thru old west-coast newspaper morgues for the spring of 1945 post Iwo Jima and the massive casualties we took there, one will find LOTS of letters-to-the-editor calling for the use of poison-gas on islands occupied in the main by naught but Japanese soldiers in order to hold down US casualties by a public by then sick/tiring of the war. And this was the "Good" war..

Carol_Herman said...

This is a question:

Didn't Iwo Jima's carnage bring about flamethrowers?

Since I can only depend on memory. And, back in 1945 I was only 5. I'm left with a belief that soldiers were given "gasoline in a can." And out of the tube, came a grip ... that let them shoot fire into caves. Where the Japanese were hiding.

Sure. I'm not claiming this detail to be correct.

What I do know is that Trinity was dropped on July 1945. In the desert. Outside of Las Alamos. And, only Richard Feynman said "I told you so." The theory and the math proved correct.

Korea? That's MASH. That's the story of the physician Hawkeye Pierce. Who thought Korea wasn't such a carnival. Because it was disgusting. But ever since then there's really nothing to applaud that has come out of America's military.

Except how brave our volunteers are ... They deserve better management on top!

Okay. So do we. But look at the crap that's offered to us ... to select how we want our political crap sandwich served.

Did Disney, himself, invent the menu? Was he the one who said American's will buy the myth of Main Street (being so clean), if they never see the security behind the scenes?

Disney sold us a talking mouse.

While Main Street now gets all frothy ... if opinions to their own differ in any significant way.

Politics, as far as my eyes can see ... remains on the 50-yard line. Neither side cares much if the ball moves. (While one side really cheats. And, the other goes ballistic ... as if religion has anything to do with politics at all.)

Nichevo said...

And, speaking, of crap sandwiches, Yenta Carol. You're, still posting. Here. And, ...that's okay. Like ... I told, you.

But, you're not posting, on Belmont, Club. Anymore! And, what happened? Did you shut up, like everybody asked you, to? Or, did PM, block your, IP or, login, or. Something?

Just, curious. And, I asked, Cedarford, the, racist, anti-Semite, liar and, jackass. And, was, also, a troll on, Belmont, Club, but, who, also. Stopped. Posting ... there.

How, they got. Rid of, him. And, wondering, if they ... did, the same, to you.

He hasn't, answered, me ... yet. And, I didn't, expect, him to. Because, he's a ... chickenshit. And, ... so, I have to, ask ... you.

Why did you stop, crapping. On Wretchard's, site? And, inquiring minds ... want to, know.

And, don't, ... worry. Because, mocking your style, will bore me, eventually, ... And, but, not yet.

And, meanwhile ... , . You could, . Learn, something. Like, how to imitate, the sane. And,.

TW too good to ignore: coboors. You and your coboor C4 have a lot. In, common!

Nichevo said...


If you've been thinking of that as a good point, I've been advocating biowar in the AfPak region since October 2001. Not worth the bones of one Marine grenadier.

ricpic said...

Propaganda about wars, good wars and bad, is neverending. The fact is that for the poor saps who have to fight them wars are a miserable business. My Dad volunteered in WW II, because it was necessary. But every letter back to my Mom was about getting the job over with and coming home. No rah rah. Millions fed into the machines set in motion by the power mad. That's wars. And it's always been that way and always will be that way.