June 6, 1944

Back when you could call a ‘crusade’ a ‘crusade’.

I wonder what this headline would say today?

UPDATE: Whoa! Somehow scored an Instalanche off of this post. Thanks to Mr. Reynolds for the link, and welcome to all of you Instapundit readers.

Several commenters (and readers via email) have criticized the comparison of D-Day to the invasion of Iraq. I wasn’t comparing the two, though, except to wonder how the media’s coverage of the major military operation of this generation would compare to the media’s coverage of the major military operation of that generation.

(That doesn’t mean that I don’t find some of the snarkier fake headlines quite humorous, though…)

What I’m referring to has been called the “No Right Answer” game. The rules of the game are simple: Anything the military does or says is wrong.

Fun for the whole family.

The game gets kicked up a notch when you can criticize the President of the United States at the same time. Double points if it’s a Republican. Triple word score if he’s from Texas.

Comparing headlines from June 6th, 1944 to those in 1991 or 2003 can be an interesting exercise, but I’d suggest that the media (big and small) today is as different as it was in 1991 as the 1991 media was from the 1944 media. And it’s the coverage during and after the campaign, not just the headlines on day one, that matter.

I don’t expect that we’d have seen stories about Mein Kampf mishandling, for instance. (Never mind that we didn’t issue Mein Kampf to Nazi prisoners.) Media criticism, especially when deserved and constructive, is a critical component of freedom. But lately we’re seeing much that isn’t at all constructive and often not deserved at all, let alone worthy of around-the-clock updates. Too much of what we see lately is simply unpatriotic in my book, and that we wouldn’t have seen in 1944. Not in the headlines, at any rate.

Speaking of 1944, I’ve also wondered why one man’s Battle of the Bulge is another man’s Tet Offensive. I believe that Legacy Media covers the military in two different manners: 1) The search for the next Pentagon Papers, and 2) The search for the next Tet Offensive.

That’s too bad. This is a large war with many fronts, and Iraq is simply one campaign in what’s going to be a long, hard struggle.

Comments

  1. Today it might read: Roosevelt, with only his poodle Churchill backing him up, escalates total war in Europe; rather than finding work for them Roosevelt sends thousands of underprivileged Americans to their certain deaths. Civilian casualties expected to be in the unacceptable range. This is too heavy a price to pay; bring the troops home now!

  2. ‘Mistakes and miscalculations lead to hundreds of unnecessary American deaths on Omaha beach.’ ‘Risky airborne operation ordered by Eisenhower’ ‘Thousands of paratroopers missing and feared dead after disorganized jumps’ ‘Allied troops untrained and unprepared for combat is Hedgerow country’ ‘Ike ignores advice of de Gaulle and orders risky invasion of France anyway’ ‘Culturally insensitive language used to describe attack against Europe – 10 dead in demonstrations in Pakistan. – Saudi ambassador demands apology – Al Qaida vows revenge for crusades – even though Muslims eventually defeated Middle Eastern Crusaders’ I should write for Newsweek.

  3. Please. There are important lessons to remember from what happened 61 years ago, and it’s very good to be reminded of them. (Thanks, Murdoc.) But, to paraphrase a friend of mine that read the above talkbacks in disgust, let’s not trivialize the events of both the past and the present by trying to equate them. (His words weren’t quite so diplomatic.) They simply don’t equate that way. At all.

  4. KTLA, I hope your friend did not misunderstand me. I am not trivializing these events at all. The D-Day landing was perhaps the greatest feat of military organization in history. The soldiers who hit the beach or parachuted into France were our very best and bravest. I’m a soldier who has to try to live up to their example. What I am making fun of is our present day media that is congenitally hostile to the American military and any operation we embark on. They constantly second guess and harp on any mistake. Boldness becomes rash and reckless behavior; necessary sacrifice made by brave men is not celebrated but treated with contempt. All military commanders are either idiots or bloodthirsty killers. All front-line soldiers are poor white trash or minorities being exploited by their leaders. You get the idea. We are just theorizing how today’s media would have handled the great events of 60 years ago as information slowly tricked in.

  5. Interesting how the principal forces that invaded Normandy in 1944 (U.S., British, Canadian, Polish and a few others) were similar to the forces that invaded Iraq in 2003 (except for the absence of Canada). And here’s a question related to ‘Never again.’ Did we know more of Hitler’s mass murders in 1941 than we knew of Saddam’s mass murders in 2003? Or vice versa?

  6. You MUST be kidding. Comparing Saddam and Hitler? Comparing Iraq to WWII? Whether or not you are for or against the war in Iraq, lets have some perspective. Germany invaded and occupied most of Europe while systematically exterminating 6 million people from those countries. Granted, we didn’t know about the holocaust prior to war, but come on! Don’t trivialize WWII by comparing it to Iraq. Saddam is evil, no doubt. But it bears saying once again…’no one is Hitler, not Bush, not Saddam, not activist judges’.

  7. Roosevelt Still Hasn’t Invaded Germany! After the ‘Day of Infamy’, Roosevelt still hasn’t invaded Japan. While concentrating his forces against Germany (which has not attack the US by the way) Roosevelt still misses the mark. After attacking Morroco, Tunisia and Algeria, Roosevelt and Marshall then attack Italy. Now they are attacking France. What’s next, Belgium? Holland? The Netherlands? Well, eventually we suppose Roosevelt will finally find Germany. Lets just hope that at the last minute, out side of Berlin, that he doesn’t go attack Czechoslovakia.

  8. Katinula, true. Saddam was not Hitler, and I’m totally aware of the risks of comparing anything to Nazi Germany. But that is not the point of ‘Never again.’ ‘Never again’ means stopping fascists before they become a Hitler. It means we should have stopped Hitler before he built his death machine. As Sen. Joe Lieberman, a real liberal, said last year: ‘Every war is different. ‘Some people say to me, Saddam wasn’t Hitler. Somebody said that to me. I said, you know, Hitler wasn’t Hitler until the world let him become Hitler. ‘Saddam Hussein was responsible for the deaths of a million people. This man was brutal, a homicidal maniac. Most of them his own people, a lot of them Kurdish Iraqis and Iranians. ‘You let someone like this go, you let evil like this go in the world, there’s no question that he would have ended up being the cause of the deaths of thousands and thousands of Americans. That’s why we’re all safer with this tyrant in prison.’ Which is why I ask, did we know of more atrocities by Saddam in 2003 than we knew of Hitler’s atrocities in 1941? If so, why didn’t we liberate Iraq earlier? What is ‘Never again’ supposed to mean?

  9. From the more recent history of the New York Times; Thursday, January 17, 1991 ‘U.S. and Allies Open Air War On Iraq; Bomb Baghdad And Kuwati Targets; ‘No Choice’ But Force, Bush Declares’ Thursday, February 28, 1991 ‘Bush Halts Offensive Combat; Kuwait Freed; Iraqis Crushed’ One barely knows where to begin in pointing out the treason above.

  10. Headlines: US Soldiers Desecrate French Church by Killing Sniper in Tower D-Day Protesters in New York: No Blood for Brie! Sanctions Would Have Worked, Says League of Nations

  11. If that monkey idiot Roosevelt had plowed the billions wasted on the illegal war in Europe into domestic priorities, we could have focused on real priorities such as boosting teacher salaries and funding a ‘Manhattan Project’ for modern art that would have revolutionized soup cans and public radio broadcasting for generations to come. Our children (us?) are still paying the price for this folly today.

  12. It is of course absurd to compare everything you disagree with to Hitler. It is usually just evidence of a small mind trying to say something inflamatory. But it is also absurd to assert that no one can ever be compared to Hitler. Lest we forget, Hitler was mere mortal. To declare Hitler an anomolous, incomparable evil is to intentionally ignore the history we swore not to forget or repeat. Hitler believed himself to be righteous and believed he was leading Germany toward its utopian destiny. He sought to eliminate the feeble and allegedly ‘inferior’ races so that ‘Aryans’ could expand throughout Europe. Not much different in its imanginative scope, I would hazard, than the Pan-Arab dream, which would call for the eradication of infidels, homosexuals, and non-Arabs. Saddam’s failure to accomplish that goal is not for lack of bona fide Hitler-grade evil. It’s rather his relative weakness compared to U.S. military power.

  13. Scoop from Life Magazine–‘German prisoners protest that copies of ‘Mein Kampf’ are being flushed down toilets

  14. Experts concerned that Allied troop advance will not stop at German border, push advance into heartland.’ Respected military experts, speaking anonomously, are concerned that the Allied advance will extend the perilous military incursion beyond the area authorized by their international mandate and push deep into the heart of Germany, resulting in unimaginable allied casualties as insurgents defend their homeland to the death. This action could result in deep divisions within the Allied camps, with the French provisional government raising strong objections.

  15. We need to start calling people who actively campaign against the military and national interest of our country ‘traitors.’ Newsweek, Amnesty International, AP, the ACLU, etc, have U.S citizens who consistently print stories which embolden and give aid & comfort to our enemies. The constant bashing of our military is nothing but propaganda for our enemies. The 1st Amendment protects their right to print these stories, so I am not advocating the passage of any laws to prosecute them. However, we need to shame these people back into their Hate-America holes. These people are so stuck in their hippie mentality, they fail to realize that the Islamic Fundamentalists will use whatever tools at their disposal to destory ‘The Great Satan’. 3,000 people killed in NYC, and these naive baby-boomers think if we make nice, evil will go away. Their stupidity would be amusing if it wasn’t so dangerous.

  16. Lest we forget, Western leftists pooh-poohed comparisons of Stalin and Mao to Hitler. Indeed, there was a real moral equivalence during Mao’s reign (We weren’t reading much about Chinese gulags, some of which are still around I believe). As for Stalin, some lefties wouldn’t concede his evil till the Soviets denounced him! And however unique Hitler’s case may have been we did cooperate with a murderous regime (USSR) that helped Hitler start WWII with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the Russian takeover of Eastern Poland during the German attack on Poland. People have gotten down on the US for cooperating with much milder tyrants in this war, than our cooperation with Stalin. And remember, the Left went out of their way to defend genunine traitors like Alger Hiss and Julius Rosenberg. Yes, nothing is comparable, but where is the evidence that the major newspapers have been fair and willing to concede that our abuses and errors are miniscule compared to those of our enemies today. Or for that matter compared to the errors and abuses of the US during WWII.

  17. Allies invade Normandy; Critics fear inciting Nazi Retaliation’ As the allies invaded Normandy this morning, peace groups feared that operation Overlord would increase Nazi attacks on London. ‘Clearly, this invasion will just cause Hitler to launch more V2 rockets against us. The invasion will make it difficult to come to a lasting peace in the region through mutual understanding and tolerance.’ said Neville Snogbottom, who supported the distinguished statesman Neville Chamberlain in the last election. Others believe that the recent reports of brutality by the occupying Allied troops are a sign of a government run amok, and tens of thousands rallied around the world for the impeachment of American President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. ‘Ze Vormongors Churchill and Roosevelt, ze must be hanged. Zey have commited ze crimes against ze peace’ said Nazi minister of Press Relations Joseph Goebbels. Others in Berlin concurred. ‘We will never allow ourselves to be occupied by the American Pigs. We will fight to the death and we will break their resolve’ said Horch Wurrfl, president of the Hitler Youth association, a political group opposed to Allied war plans.

  18. U.S. LIVES SQUANDERED BY BLOODY ASSAULT IN FRANCE. BEACHES TAKE ON ‘COLOR OF SPILLED BURGUNDY,’ ONE REPORTER NOTES.’ ‘In yet another move by the administration to deflect attention from the intelligence failures that directly caused the 12/7 attacks, a desperate FDR today unleashed the ‘Allied Coalition’ — a largely American Force with token British troops — in a mindless invasion of French beaches, halfway around the world from the real start of the present tragic conflict in the Far East. ‘Protestations that the purpose of the assault is to ‘restore democracy’ to Europe are beside the point. This totally unnecessary war for America could have been avoided in 1940 if the FDR administration had only pursued a peaceful dipolmatic solution with ‘Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.’ Now, millions of Americans will have to pay FDR’s ‘butcher’s bill’ in a conflict fundamentally at odds with basic American values.’

  19. Gah, Iraq was sold to us by our own administration in a mile-long list of lies. Puh-lease! The war of having us involved in WWII was much more honest. History will certainly met this out.

  20. There’s no comparison between WWII and the Iraq War. Hitler invaded other European countrys and killed a lot of people, most of them white. That endangered the entire civilized world. We didn’t care about the Japs as long as they were killing the Chinese. Gooks killing gooks, who cares? But when they started attacking white people in places like Hawaii and Singapore that changed things. Whe had to teach those little yellow monkeys a lesson, and did. Saddam may have killed a lot of people and invaded other countries, but they were all Arabs. Killing white Europeans is a crime against humanity, but slaughtering a bunch of towel-heads? Come on, get over it. It’s not like they mattered. Remember the lessons of Vietnam, Cambodia and Rwanda. There’s no murder of towel-heads, gooks or niggers that is worth inconveniencing a single American Liberal Arts major.

  21. WWII was much more honest.’ Roosevelt: October 30,1940: ‘I have said this before, but I will say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent to any foreign wars.’ Despite his bold statements to the American people, Roosevelt was making secret commitments to England to help maintain the British Empire in the Far East. He was doing his best to goad German submarines into attacking American vessels. And he ultimately found the ‘back door’ to war by goading the Japanese in the Pacific. He was then swept back into office because you ‘don’t switch horses in the middle of the stream.’ What happened to Russian POWs, including those imprisoned on American soil at Fort Dix, New Jersey? They were drugged and returned to the Soviet Union, where they were delivered to Roosevelt’s friend, ‘Uncle Joe,’ only to be immediately executed or sent to gulags for treason against the Soviet Union. Repatriation–the Allied holocaust. Bloody Roosevelt lied, millions and millions died. Worst. President. Ever. http://www.fff.org/freedom/0295a.asp

  22. What a load of racist garbage! Be careful you don’t miss your next KKK meeting by dallying too long on the internet.

  23. Background: http://cghs.dade.k12.fl.us/normandy/deception/normandy_deceptions.htm http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1997/Wendell.htm Let’s set aside any issue of anti-military bias in the media for now. Let’s assume that the mainstream media wants a (hypothetical) 2005 America and its allies to defeat a (hypothetical) 2005 Axis (Germany, Japan, et al). The media’s inability to supress a scoop would doom an operation such as BODYGUARD. Mike Wallace said it himself; he wouldn’t pass up a story, even if it cost the lives of Americans. There is no way that Mike Wallace desires to live under a fascist, totalitarian, nazi, or jihadist regime. Like the scorpion however, he cannot help his nature, and he would pump that poison into the back of those who carry him to safely across the waters. Loose lips sink ships, but loose lips (read: anonymous sources) make for great headlines. jp

  24. In partial defense of ‘WPMG,’ I think he’s doing a facetious, though crass, exposition on the left’s current anti-war logic.

  25. Roosevelt exaggerates US Army strength before invasion Despite claims to the contrary from the War Department, there are indications that the US Army is undermanned prior to the invasion of German occupied Europe, expected later this month. While the official propaganda from the administration and the War Department’s new headquarters at the Pentagon has been voluminous in the description of the First US Army Group, commanded by the controversial General George S. Patton Jr. The order of battle for the FUSAG includes the US 14th Army and the British 4th Army, and while there is continual shuffling of units, the Army group is by far the biggest allied unit in existence. With 5 airborne divisions, 1 armored division and up to 14 infantry divisions, the FUSAG should be in evidence everywhere. Yet, this reporter has personally travelled throughout the English countryside where the alleged First US Army Group (FUSAG) is located and there is hardly a sign that such a force even exists anywhere but on paper. One analyst we spoke to even went so far as to speculate that the adminstration has been exaggerating the forces available to them in order to allay domestic fears of the chances of success, and that this could be yet another sign of what has been called ‘the warmongering of the jew Roosevelt.’

  26. Slaughter At Normandy Triggers Probe Into Sherman Tank’ By Julius Streicher, NY Times Staff Writer, June 20 1944 Berlin: In the last letter home before his death, Private Jose Alvarez told his parents how unsafe he felt going into battle against the far superior Nazi Panther in his thinly armored, and under-gunned Sherman death-trap. Derivisely known among the GI’s as the ‘Ronson’, the gasoline fueled Sherman was known to light up first time, every time it was struck. ‘Why are young latinos being drafted from the barrios to serve as cannon fodder in President Roosevelt’s white man’s war?’ asked Private Alvarez’s father as he emerged from a screening of the new Leni Moore film Farenheit 6/4. The film documented the numerous financial ties between the Roosevelt family investment firm, the Campobello Group, and the wealthy industrialists producing the Sherman. ‘President Roosevelt is getting rich by sending barrio kids off to die in these rolling death traps’ added Mr. Alvarez. Contacted at his home during his morning horse ride, Secretary Marshall defensively commented that ‘you go to war with the tank you have, not the tank you wish you had.’ This remark was roundly condemned by Republican Congressional leaders. After voting for, but then voting against funds for a successor tank with improved armor and larger gun, Senate Minority leader and Presidential candidate Wallace H. White slammed Marshall. ‘Secretary Marshall has once again shown his callous disregard for the American GI.’ Senator White, who developed an affinity for European sophistication and an extensive Rolodex of future Nazi leaders while attending a Swiss boarding school, added ‘It is too early to reveal the details, but I have recently met in Paris with French resistance leaders and disgruntled Vichy and Nazi officials. Together we have developed a plan to start a multi-lateral planning committe that will plan prosecutions of Nazi leaders who will then plan their withdrawl from occupied Europe. If President Roosevelt had my superor diplomatic skills, the whole Normandy quagmire could have been avoided.’ Senator White declined comment regarding his votes against funding the Sherman, the P-51 Mustang, the Libery Ship program, the Lend-Lease program, and the Office of Strategic Services. However, a high-level White staffer noted that none of these programs would have been necessary if President Roosevelt would adopt his plan.

  27. It’s hard to know what WPMG is trying to say with: ‘We didn’t care about the Japs as long as they were killing the Chinese. Gooks killing gooks, who cares?’ In fact, FDR was responsible for the oil and ‘scrap iron’ boycott of Japan in protest of its invaison of China. This created a war material crisis for Japan that served as its justification for the Pearl Harbor attack.

  28. ‘Unified Europe faces threat from US-led Assault’ ———————————————– ‘Eco-Disaster: The Normandy Coastline Will it ever recover?’ ————————————————

  29. Marshall was Army Chief of Staff during WWII. After the war he became Secretary of State.

  30. Thousands of Muslims in Iraq, Iran, Palestine Take to Streets, Protest American Aggression in France. Adolf Eichmann Threatens Lawsuit Over Prof’s ‘Little Eichmanns’ Remark; Ramsay Clark Offers to Represent Both Sides Amnesty International Calls American P.O.W. Camps ‘Gulag of Our Time’; Stalin Orders A.I. Officials Arrested

  31. Thousands riot in Paris after Gourmet magazine reports abuse of Maxim’s menu by U.S. troops. American officials claim spatterings were foi gras and not fried Spam as Sorbonne chefs allege.

  32. Some of you do apparently cannot comprehend the gist of this theme. It is not a point-by-point comparison of WW2 with the Iraq campaign, it’s judging the Second World War with the same sort of ‘balanced’ reporting we see today. D-Day was pretty disastrous, a LOT of things went wrong. Of course, we still held the beach and got a foothold so it worked out. To make things worse: try to figure out what today’s press would have done in reaction to the Battle of the Bulge.

  33. Sure, Saddam was no Hitler. Perspective IS important. But what is so overlooked by critics of the war in Iraq is that Hitler didn’t become the huge threat and monster he ultimately was ALL OF A SUDDEN. There were many points at which the Allies of WW1 – the US, UK, France, Russia, etc. – could have stopped Hitler. Instead, in the hope of ‘peace in our time’ and ‘peace at any cost’, they relentlessly appeased his increasingly aggressive actions. By their refusal to ‘nip the problem in the bud’, they ALLOWED Hitler’s power and influence to grow, and they allowed the stage to be set for the horrors he would ultimately inflict on Europe, the USSR, and the US. 1) Had the Allies done more to stop Hitler’s re-armament, he would not have become a military threat. 2) Had the Allies responded with force when Hitler re-occupied the Rhineland in 1936, a relatively small war might have cost 10,000 lives, but would have saved the MILLIONS who died in the concentration camps and in combat during WW2. 2) Had the Allies responded with force when Hitler annexed Austria in 1938, a relatively small war might have cost another 10,000 – 20,000 Allied lives, but might have saved the MILLIONS who later died in WW2. 3) Had the Allies responded in 1938 when Kristall Nacht occurred, MILLIONS of Jews might have been saved from the Holocaust. 4) Had the Allies responded with military force when Hitler marched into the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, instead of their appeasement in Munich in return for Chamberlain’s worthless piece of paper, a relatively small war might have cost 20,000 – 30,000 lives, but would probably have saved MILLIONS who later died in WW2. 5) Had the US, UK, and France responded more aggressively when Hitler and Stalin signed their Non-Aggression Pact, they might have thwarted the invasion of Poland in 1939 and the war itself. A relatively small war might have prevented the ultimate conflagration that cost MILLIONS of civilian lives in Europe. These are but a few examples. Sure, keep things in perspective. But never forget that tyrants and dictators seldom appear suddenly, out of no where. They are allowed to acquire power and influence because of the INACTION of others who can stop them before they become threats to world peace.

  34. Heh. How about, ‘U.S. Begins Belated Invasion in Support of Ongoing Sacrifices of the Glorious Soviet People’? Wait, something tells me that was an actual headline in the NYT back then…

  35. Katinula: ‘You MUST be kidding. Comparing Saddam and Hitler? Comparing Iraq to WWII? Whether or not you are for or against the war in Iraq, lets have some perspective. Germany invaded and occupied most of Europe while systematically exterminating 6 million people from those countries.’ Yeah, Saddam and his armies were just more incompetent than Hitler’s. Saddam attacked Iran, was stopped and lead a bloody stalemate for 8 years. He used poison gas and V2’s on Tehran. I believe 2 million were killed out of a lot smaller population. Saddam invaded and occupied Kuwait. The old-fashioned would call it the ‘Rape of Kuwait’. Saddam slaughter 500,000 plus Iraqis and forced 4 million to leave their country. He committed genocide on the Kurdish Shia and moved Kurds out of their homes and pushed Arabs into Kurdistan. On a population basis, Saddam was at least as good of a killer as Hitler. ‘Granted, we didn’t know about the holocaust prior to war, but come on! Don’t trivialize WWII by comparing it to Iraq. Saddam is evil, no doubt. But it bears saying once again…’no one is Hitler, not Bush, not Saddam, not activist judges’.’ I’ll ask the same, don’t trivialize Saddam: ‘Saddam is evil, no doubt.’ Who said activist judges were Hitler? Saddam and Hitler are peas in a pod.

  36. Frank, while I understand your rational for ‘never again’ and agree with most of your points to me its a problem of inconsistency. While I don’t agree that Saddam is comparable to Hitler, Saddam is very easily comparable to current leaders around the world doing the same thing he did to their citizens. I have a real problem with people using the ‘human rights’ talking points when arguing against Saddam. They are VERY worthy talking points, but if you truly believe them, you should truly believe them about the rest of the world and support intervention in all of those countries. If you don’t, then it can be seen as hyprocritical. While I supported the effort in Afganistan, I was well aware of the Taliban and its human rights abuses towards its citizens, especially women. However, the only high profile person who tried to bring this to American attention was Jay Leno’s wife. No one cared before 9/11 and it strikes me as hollow that people use that arguement now. We actively participate in relationships with countries whose human rights abuses should shame us. Saddam could never be like Hitler because the Middle East is nothing like Europe. Do you really think Saddam could have invaded any neighboring country without a protracted war the way Hitler invaded Poland or France? Middle Eastern countries are too powerful for that. WMD’s was a canard from the beginning. I’m not trying to poo-poo the idea of Iraq…though I don’t support it. I’m just saying, pick a reason and stick with it. Be a consistent moral voice throughout the world. Otherwise, STFU. right?

  37. LOL ‘.. pick a reason and stick with it.’ Before the war, Bush bashers complained that Bush & Co. were providing TOO MANY reasons for the war and couldn’t focus on a single causus belli. Now, the Bush bashers say Bush only gave WMDs as a reason for the war. ‘Be a consistent moral voice throughout the world. Otherwise, STFU.’ Wow. This is such a black/white, us/them/, simplistic, and non-nuanced statement. Where is the vaunted liberal concern for ‘complex’ and ‘multi-faceted’ approaches to problem solving? To avoid the ‘one-size fits all’ approach to conflict resolution? ‘STFU’. LOL Where is the openness to ‘debate’, ‘dialog’, and tolerance for free expression of ideas? LOL ‘Saddam could never be like Hitler because the Middle East is nothing like Europe.’ LOL – Europeans who bash the US consider themselves so ‘sophisticated’ and ‘diplomatic’ and ‘intelligent’, yet they allowed Hitler to become the threat he was. ‘Middle Eastern countries are too powerful for that.’ LOL – Gimme a break. They are not as powerful, in comparison, as Britain, France, and Russia were when Hitler grew in power. ‘ …you should truly believe them about the rest of the world and support intervention in all of those countries.’ I agree that we should be consistent, but just because we can’t cure ALL problems AT ONCE, we should sit back and do NOTHING? When we can? When we SHOULD? The fallacy of this argument is that we don’t necessarily have to do EVERYTHING ourselves. Sometimes, all it takes is a little push or nudge to get the snowball rolling, and then gravity and critical mass will do the rest. We’re seeing democracy movements and hope for freedom throughout the region because we took the risk (at great cost in lives and treasure) to start that ball rolling downhill. Maintenance of the status quo would have kept Saddam in power, and no hope for freedom or democracy would have emerged for anyone. Newton’s 1st Law of Motion: An object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion, unless an external force is applied to it. This applies to people and countries, too. ‘We actively participate in relationships with countries whose human rights abuses should shame us.’ Yes, unfortunately, we do. It’s called ‘pragmatism’ and ‘realpolitik’. Sometimes, in a complex and imperfect world, you have to work with what you can get. Sometimes, the ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’, and you have to deal with people you otherwise would prefer to avoid, in order to accomplish a specific goal at a specific time, with the ultimate intention of trying to effect gradual change (after the snowball gets rolling) in the countries you deal with. Otherwise, again, nothing is accomplished except a maintenance of the status quo.

  38. LACK OF POST-INVASION PLANNING LEADS TO NORMANDY QUAGMIRE The so-called ‘Operation Overlord’ managed to obtain a lodgement on the Continent, at great cost in lives. However, Eisenhower appears to have no idea what to do with this blood-soaked beachhead now that he has it. Assaulting the Cotentin peninsula had the advantage that the Germans could move reinforcements in from only one direction, the base of the peninsula. But now, Allied forces can break out in only one direction, the base of the peninsula. The failure to think even one move ahead has left the Allies with few options. And the breakout must be made through bocage country, naturally superb defensive terrain. The invasion fleet left port with an inadequate understanding of the problems posed by bocage country, and no idea how to overcome them. American enlisted men are adding ‘hillbilly horns’ to their tanks — made from German beach obstacles! — in hopes of penetrating the yards-thick hedgerows that lie between them and escape from the Normandy deathtrap. No one knows what similarly unanticipated obstacles wait beyond. The Allied maps of some areas are a century and more out of date, made by French military cadets in the late 1700s and early 1800s, including one named Napoleon Bonaparte. Only obsession can explain Eisenhower’s insistence on invading, without adequate intelligence, and without thought for the next step after invasion. He has his beachhead, and some pretty sites for military cemeteries. What he doesn’t have is a plan.

  39. One other thing: Before the Iraq war, critics of the UN sanctions who wanted to stop our ‘containment’ efforts of Saddam argued that up to 5,000 Iraqis (mainly children and elderly) per month were being killed by the lack of food and medicine due to the sanctions. At this rate, 120,000 Iraqis would have died since the invasion, had sanctions been kept in force. Funny, how the same opponents of sanctions suddenly embraced sanctions instead of war, despite that death toll.

  40. Jeff Soyer did an outstanding project on this very subject last year. Check it out.

  41. French desperate for help from US, defeat otherwise certain.’ Wait, that’s not a new headline…

  42. Once again, we are comparing the journalists of 1944 to the media of 2005. Not comparing the history or motivations behind the 2 wars. Please, has that not been done to death? In 1944 journalists strove to be factual and objective. At the same time they were also unapologetic in their patriotism. Ernie Pyle did not sugar coat his stories – nor did he hide the admiration and respect he had for our troops. In 2005, they make amateurish mistakes in their rush to be anti-American. Like an earlier post said – imagine what today’s press would do with the Battle of the Bulge or Bloody Tarawa. Roosevelt order the films of Tarawa released so the nation would know that we were in for a long and costly fight. They were shocking and heartbreaking but did not result in outrage – only determination. Better yet, imagine what 1940’s readers and editors would have done to the Michael Isikoffs and Dan Rathers of the world if they had tried publishing anti-administration, anti-American, fake but true stories during WWII. If they were lucky, they would just lose their jobs and get drafted.

  43. The primary reason for the Iraq War was to strengthen the Middle East Shiites relative to the Sunnis…thus forcing the Sunnis to re-ally with the only force that could protect them…the Americans. The primary strategy in WW2 was to strengthen the Soviets relative to the Nazis…thus forcing the Nazis to ally themselves with the only force that could protect them…the Americans. Can anyone out there tell me where else in the history of warfare such a brilliant strategy was devised? It seems the best way to defeat an enemy for good is to force them indirectly to want to be your friend. Now, in 2005, this result still hasn’t happened yet. The Shiite Iraqi government hasn’t taken off the gloves on the Iraqi Sunnis and certainly doesn’t threaten Mecca YET with its army. The Sunni community, worldwide, seems to be slowly catching on…but not yet. It seems Bush wants the Saudi Wahhabites to actually come to him for an alliance like the one they had with his father against communism. This plan is doable. It may also be a reason why Bush has allowed the Iranian Shiite Mullahs to continue to exist…rumors that they control the Iraqi government can only make Sunni Wahhabites nervous. Iraq is not far from Mecca. After Germany was captured, Nazi insurgents killed 45 American soldiers…but the Americans simply executed insurgents immediately upon capture…and the Americans had made sure they’d captured surrounding countries with Nazis in them. The way we have left Syria alone in this war to direct insurgents, money and arms against us…is outrageous. The way we left North Vietnam alone through most of the Vietnam War…was also an outrage…at least for the men who had to fight with their hands tied behind their backs. Debka says today that Syria actually allowed our Marines to launch Operation Matador from Syrian territory last month…but Assad also warned the Baathists to escape in time from our noose. I am surprised that I haven’t seen more people refusing to serve in Iraq because they would prefer to fight and serve in Syria where the insurgency is (largely)financed and organized.

  44. I think this bears repeating: you wouldn’t really have an ‘Abu Graib’ in the occupation of Germany. Insurgents were tied to posts and shot upon capture. If you applied today’s journalism to WW2 then ‘Dachau’ would not refer to a notorious Nazi prison camp…it would refer to a place where Americans committed a war crime: that of executing some prison guards simply because they were angry at what they saw there. There would still be investigations going on and a Senator from Massachusetts would be trying to impeach the President for covering up the awful truth about what happened at ‘Dachau.’

  45. By the way, I live now near the site of Bergen Belsen in Germany. It is currently quite cold and wet for the 7th of June. Kind of like the weather yesterday in 1944. Americans have never left Germany. Hopefully, they will always be welcome in Iraq as well. I am sure they will.

  46. I got to the party late and this may have been addressed already, but I seem to be having touble finding the part of the original post that actually compared Hitler to Saddam or Normandy to Iraq. Was the post edited or are many of the commenters here participating in a ‘holocaust of the strawmen’? Note bene: Under no circumstances does the poster of this post mean to indicate that this holocaust is in any way, shape, matter or form compare in ANY WAY to the REAL Holocaust. Its just a, you know, saying.

  47. Katinula, I reject your problem of inconsistency. You can’t remove all the dictators at once. Going back to World War II, the United States allied itself with one totalitarian dictator, Stalin, to get rid of another, Hitler, who we decided was the more urgent threat. That didn’t mean we supported Stalin’s tyranny, or would never oppose it. It meant this consistent theme: Press ahead for freedom wherever practical. When the Soviet Union acquired nuclear weapons, that made a liberation of Eastern Europe impossible unless or until the Soviet dictatorship someday voluntarily surrendered power. That took over 40 years. The Soviets invaded Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan, threatened to invade other rebellious nations, murdered tens of millions of their own people in gulags, and aided other totalitarians in setting up more police states, as in Cuba and Vietnam. The United States could speak out against the Soviet’s repression, but except in South Korea, the U.S. could not roll back much of the Soviet horror because the Soviets, and then the Chinese, had the atom bomb. We could do something about Saddam Hussein’s totalitarian regime, and Saddam wasn’t some arbitrary choice. At the time of the invasion of Iraq, Saddam Hussein held the world record among living dictators for deaths by genocide, wars and state-ordered murders. It was long past time to arrest that man and shut down his regime. You and much of the conservative ‘Left’ talk much of consistency. But when Jay Leno’s wife was speaking out against totalitarianism in Afghanistan, what did you want to do about it? When George Galloway was pretending to speak out against Saddam, what did you want to do about Saddam? The only consistency about the conservative ‘Left,’ the pseudo-liberal movement, is that they pretend to want things to change, but never want to do anything for change. When you say, ‘I’m not trying to poo-poo the idea of Iraq…though I don’t support it,’ you express the position well. You said, ‘I’m just saying, pick a reason and stick with it. Be a consistent moral voice throughout the world. Otherwise, STFU. right?’ Wrong. If you’ve been consistenty wrong, wake up and help free this world before it’s too late.

  48. Liberal logic: Because the ‘Domino Effect’ only included Cambodia and Laos after 10 years of a war that convinced the Chinese to work with the USA instead of fight against it…the war was never worth fighting. ‘Thailand would have been safe if we had just let South Vietnam fall in 1965’ is what is implied when liberals smirk at the ‘Domino Theory.’ Likewise, in the future when (barring a nuclear exchange beforehand) the Sunnis are friends with an America that protects Mecca from Shiites…loonie lefties will be saying ‘why did we bother with that foreign adventure.’ The lesson of WW2, that you deal with a threat before it gets big enough…seems not to have been learned by more than half of the socalled ‘Greatest Generation’. Many say that our ‘Greatest Generation’ was half populated with red diaper babies who wouldn’t have fought Hitler if he hadn’t attacked the Soviet Union. Hitler was, after all, a national ‘socialist.’ If he had marketed himself as a leftie, he would have won support on that end. I now for sure that our enemies and future enemies learned that one lesson from WW2: that Hitler’s only mistake is that he didn’t enlist the support of the American loonie left by playing the left wing victim card.