WWII - 3 1/2 years; Iraq - 2 1/2 and counting

When is Bush gonna “win” this war and get out?

The only reason we are still there is because he screwed things up so bad that leaving will result in civil war, or years of bloody insurgent conflict.

One year from now (the 3 1/2 year point) I dont see things being any better. Are they better than they were one year ago?

Great article by Frank Rich…


I especially agree with his point of how Bush doesnt even follow his own “lessons” from Vietnam.

Last I checked, WWII lasted for roughly 5 1/2 years.

Unless you are Manchurian Chinese.

FWIW, I thought this was a pretty good piece. I especially liked his concluding paragraph

I agree that the majority of Americans have already decided that enough is enough; we’re outta there. The problem is going to be finding someone who can get us out of there. My thought is that the Republicans will gladly lose the next election(s), knowing that there’s no way in hell anyone can get us out of Iraq without the situation there becoming more unstable, thus allowing them to point fingers in the following election(s) and say “look how bad they screwed that up! We can do better than that; after all, we’re the party that got us into the war in the first place!” And the American sheeple will say “hmmm, that sounds good” and we’ll have another 8-12 years of Republican dominance, with more of the same BS taking place.

my $.02, FWIW


The OP is little better than baiting.

That said, the article posted was one that I found interesting and worth commenting on.

Honestly, did anyone expect otherwise? I’m sure a few Republicans will contend otherwise, but it was obvious to everyone why we’d plan to bring home troops just before the mid-term elections.

Beyond that, I have little comment as I believe this will end up pit-worthy.

As badly as things are being handled by the president concerning Iraq the comparison with the length the US was directly involved in WWII is meaningless. We’re trying to maintain some kind of stability and that can sometimes be far more difficult to do than waging a full on war.

They are not comparable- they are different kinds of wars.

If you want us to fight Iraq like we fought WWII we could have Iraq won (and by won, I mean really won- total pacification) in a week. I don’t tink that you would like how we’d have to do it, though. Total war is not exactly acceptable anymore.

Right. If you count all of our Marshall Plan involvement in Germany, for example, with occupation troops, military government types, etc. then our presence was a lot longer than 3-1/2 years.

IMHO, if the OP wants to compare apples (Iraq) to oranges (WWII) it would be more useful to compare the occupation of Iraq to that of postwar Germany (11 years, according to a quick Google check) and Japan (7 years). I couldn’t find info on the average length of stay of an occupying force for all wars, but I suspect overall the time periods are more like those of the post-WWII era than of Iraq.

I’m also rather blase about the linked article; Mr. Rich doesn’t seem to say much that anyone who follows the news at all didn’t already know, and much of it seems to be more like partisan crowing over the well-known failures of the Bush administration than actual analysis.

That said, I’ve always agreed with those who have said that Iraq was no significant threat to US interests at the time of invasion, and it seems pretty clear at this point that neither the US as a whole, nor Iraq, have benefited significantly from the invasion. Effectively, the situation was lost at the decision to invade; both a continued occupation at current troop levels and a rapid pullout appear destined to lead to continued death and misery for the Iraqi people in the near future. I suppose the only meaningful question is, which is likely to be worse?

Which WWII opponents were totally pacified in a week?

Which WWII opponents were as militarily inferior? None.

If we did right now what we did in WWII, war without regard for anything or anyone, Iraq would be pacified in short order.

WWII was also vastly different on the home front. We had rationing, scrap drives, the draft… The entire population was mobilized in a way that has not happened in any of our military adventures since.

I think you’re making a good point about the dfferent tactics used during WWII, but the idea that Iraq could be totally pacified by WWII methods (even atom bomb dropping) is highly suspicious. And given the fact that some of the insurgency is manned by non-Iraqis coming into the country, even if we killed every Sunni Arab in Iraq, there would still be an insurgency.

I’ve heard it said that an insurgency like that in Iraq typically takes a minimum of 10 years to subdue. Of course, the whole idea that Iraq will exists as a single country for 10 years is a shaky proposition, too.

At any rate, comparing WWII and the Iraq war makes little sense. After all, it created a “cold war” that went on for 50 years. As to when the Iraq war is officially over, that’s a matter of definition. Getting Saddam out of power and installing a new government is as good as any definition. The fact that we have troops in Iraq is not a good definiton at all. By that measure, the Korean War is not over. (Yeah, I know that no armistace was ever signed, but we can look at a point in time and say that War was, for all practical purposes, over).

Has Iraq ever existed as a single country without a repressive central government authority?

Yeah, but the thing is that there was little to no insurgency after WWII because we so completely demoralized the populations of the countries we beat. If we were to answer a roadside bomb with a city strike or a sniper with a Fallujah-type action (like we did in WWII), we would not win the “hearts and minds”, but we would cow the Iraqis thoroughly. Back then it was enough to win at all costs. Now we have to take into account civilians and their sensibilities, and that has never been a formula for victory in any war. It’s callous, yes, but it’s true.

It seems to me that this would severly restrict the times in which we could use military means to solve problems-and maybe that would be a good thing. Especially so if we have a leader whose emotional development seems to have ended at age 18.

Every military intervention would immediately trigger total war. Carpet bomb the city if there was a sniper shot. Napalm the countryside for miles around in case of a roadside bomb.

Interesting idea.

But such tactics would severely damage the near universal love and approval we currently enjoy amongst the wildly enthusiastic Iraqi people! Really, Dave, you’ve got to be more pragmatic about these things!

And then, of course, there are fine points of international law to consider, whether or not the Coalition has the right to dissolve the Iraqi population if that population should fail to respond to our gently avuncular guidance. Its a fine point, but one that certain fuzzy-thinking one-worlders will no doubt exploit! And those lefty peaceniks at the UN will soil their panties for sure!

An intriguing suggestion, Dave, but simply not practical. On the other hand, maybe one, perhaps two, discreet nukes…

Discreet, Hell! Let’s drop the big one! Ain’t you guys ever studied Political Science?

No. I hope you didn’t think I was implying that it had. Of course, that’s hardly a unique situation in the world. And we’ve seen lots of situations where the countries break up (with varrying dehrees of violence) once that authority is gone.

Really? This is a completely different situation. We didn’t have to nation build in either Germany or Japan-- those nations already exsited. The process of nation builidng itself creates an insurgency. Even your example of Fallujah doesn’t support your thesis, as the insurgents in that city largely just relocated to other areas.

Boy, the OP’s logic proves Lincoln sucked; five years for the civil war. And George Washington … Seven? What a maroon!

On the other hand, it definitively establishes Reagan as our greatest president, what with taking Grenada in 72 hours and all.