Thursday, December 7, 2006

Bad Second World War analogies we will have with us always

The American Forces Press Service (AFPS), the fountain of unquestionable truth for the conservative "milbloggers", reports on the 65th anniversary of Pearl Harbor with Pearl Harbor Parallels 9-11 by Donna Miles 12/07/06.

Sixty-five years ago today, the United States endured an attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, that for the next 60 years - until Sept. 11, 2001 - stood as the most devastating enemy attack on U.S. soil.

Like the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor has been called a defining moment in U.S. history. It caught the country by surprise, rallied its people against their attackers and thrust the nation into a long, difficult war against tyranny.

I also saw the 9/11 attacks as a kind of "Pearl Harbor" experience.  In retrospect, this was one of the most disastrous misjudgments we Americans could have made.  The 9/11 attacks weren't "Pearl Harbor"; they were a larger version of "Oklahoma City", the murderous attack by homegrown Christian terrorists against the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.

Ironically, the AFPS article quotes from a speech given in Oklahoma City making the most facile anologies between the Second World War and the so-called global war on terror (GWOT), or is it the Long War Against Violent Extremism (Long WAVE)?  AFPS reports:

Despite different challenges in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters, [Adm. Mike] Mullen said, they ultimately boiled down to a common denominator. “There were clearly two competing visions of the world: one of freedom, the other of tyranny,” he said. “And tyranny appeared to have the upper hand.” ...

“If the attack on the destroyer Cole, the treachery of 9-11, if events across the globe from London to Lebanon, Baghdad to Bali, from Pyongyang to Tehran, have taught us anything,” he said, “it is that the struggle we currently face is also about two competing visions of the future and our vision of hope and prosperity and a secure future for our children (and) all children."

In his National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 2006 proclamation, Bush noted similar challenges facing the United States today.

"In the 21st century, freedom is again under attack, and young Americans have stepped forward to serve in a global war on terror that will secure our liberty and determine the destiny of millions around the world," he said. "Like generations before, we will answer history's call with confidence, confront threats to our way of life, and build a more peaceful world for our children and grandchildren."

By what?  Staying in the Iraqi civil war for another two years so that our Dear Leader Bush can pass off his Iraq War disaster to the next President?

Does that really do anything to further the fight against Islamo-communo-nazi-japano-defeatocrat-ism?

As I've said before, the road into the Iraq War was paved with bad Second World War analogies.  And so far, the road out is being paved with bad Vietnam War analogies.

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