Alex writes: “But if it is wrong to compare the Iraqi situation with Vietnam, it is equally wrong to attempt to equate it with the German or Japanese occupations. I am quite sure that we would have either withdrawn or nuked either of the two defeated Axis nations had we taken as many casualties in the post-WWII occupation as we did in the conquest.” You say it is wrong to equate, then you do just that.
Okay, think about it for a second. I said something should not be done… and then I demonstrated why. How is this difficult to grasp? Those who swiftly dismiss the Iraq-Vietnam analogy are quick to turn to the post-WWII occupations as a model, but that analogy fails as being even less apropos to the present situation, as I showed easily in my previous post. Still, the fact that the four occupations cannot be equated does not mean that nothing can be learned from the past.
The reason that Bush has sunk in my already low estimation is that he is neither fish nor fowl. He has neither the courage to abjure the UN, abandon the failed vision of Pax Americana and bring home our soldiers from 100 countries around the world, nor the steel to declare war and embrace the clash of civilizations. If I had written a novel postulating a president whose battle cry was “we are at war, so support your country by going to the malls and shopping,” it would have been dismissed as a laughable absurdity.
I don’t hate Bush, but I have a very low regard for a Republican who sells out republican principles in order to wage an incompetent, half-hearted ur-war. FDR, for all that he was the worst president in American history, at least did not attempt to argue that we were only at war with extremists who hijacked National Socialism. This is somewhat ironic considering that FDR had far more in common with the national socialists than Bush does with Islam.