mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
The Ugly Reality of War
Features Icon
show comments
  • Pete

    That’s right; that’s the history of WWII.

    And someday, the muslims will go an outrage too far, and they then will get the WWII treatment. And any bleeding heart that bemoans it or any fool who insists that ‘islam is a religion of peace,’ will get a swift kick in the a**.

    So, if you are one of those who cares about muslims, the best way to help them is to give the muslim tough-love now before they overestimate their ability to hurt the modern world. For once they go a step too far, the coddling will end.


    • FriendlyGoat

      The best “tough love” for Muslims is an attractive mental exit ramp proving why Mohammad is not the prophet of anything (except maybe doom). An escape route from a mistaken ethic, so so speak. As hard as it is to smash through the philosophical walls which imprison the minds of 1,300,000,000 people in scores of countries, you really can’t bomb 1,300,000,000 people in scores of countries.

      • Tom of the Missouri

        How do you find a more attractive exit ramp than 100 virgins waiting for you in heaven. That is hard to beat, Offer 200?

        • FriendlyGoat

          You have a point. But most of us here believe that because Mohammad is not really the prophet of anything, the 100 virgins are not FOR REAL as a reward for killing people. It’s baloney from seventh century imaginations. And, most of us here would also believe that we’re not supposed to be messing with random numbers of virgins anyway—-in heaven or anywhere else. We could just ask our Grandmas how “right” that would sound to them.

          So, I get your point, but I don’t think the 200 idea is the ticket.

        • Angel Martin

          i always thought it was weird that jihadi “heaven” was just like hugh hefner in the playboy mansion (ok, maybe not the virgins bit…)

    • fastrackn1

      “And someday, the muslims will go an outrage too far”.

      9/11 was an outrage too far, and look what we did…basically nothing. While I believe we have become far too polite the way we fight wars since WWII, fighting an Asymmetric, Guerrilla war with 1.3 billion people is not possible.
      A big part of the problem is that most of the extremists come from very poor countries and have nothing to lose. They get a little money and recognition for fighting, and they get to carry a big gun. It is a very appealing situation for millions of 20-something boys with nothing else to do.

  • qet

    “War is cruelty and you cannot refine it.” –W.T. Sherman. Sherman (and Grant, but it was mostly Sherman IMO) won the Civil War according to this principle just as did the US in WW2.

    • Boritz

      The current “understanding” of the media is that civilian casualties measured in the single digits as a result of a surgical strike using smart weapons means we are “no different” than those we are fighting against and such a story must be the news lead for at least a week. They do all they can to sell this to the public whenever a Republican is in the White House. WRM has written several times about the avalanche of criticism reserved for a Republican attempting to prosecute a war.

  • Kevin

    I think the utter devastation unleashed upon Japan and Germany was an essential factor in creating the conditions which allowed for the total delegitimization of their prior ideologies.

    Germany lost approximately 10% of its prewar population. In Japan, it was only 3-4% but this number was about to skyrocket had the war gone on. The bombing destroyed immense amounts of property and productive capacity as well as killing around 1% of the population. But it was the starvation brought on by American submarines and mines which was the real killer. (Japan then depended on food imports, and shipping was down by 85% by summer of ’45.) The standard of living in Japan, a poor country in 1941, fell by 50% during the war. The 1945 harvest was the worst in the century. The majority of the population suffered from malnourishment. And by August of 1945 the famine was just getting started – Allied planners estimated 15% of population would starve to death over the coming winter had the war continued. Disease was also breaking out at horrific rates – a million cases of TB a year by the mid 40s. It was in this context that Japan and Germany turned away from the ideologies which led to their ruin and towards one which promised future prosperity.

    The sterile wars targeted only on military targets (and even then trying to avoid excessive casualties) which the U.S. has waged recently has simply not been able inflict enough destruction to utterly discredit the ideologies which our opponents have ruled – thus the conflicts continue for decades.

  • John Tyler

    There are still some who believe the atomic bombs need not have been used on Japan because the Japanese would have surrendered or were preparing to surrender before the atomic bombs were used.
    Well this article exposes that thesis as a bald faced lie.
    The USA killed over 100,000 people – in a single day !!! – in Tokyo in March 1945, a full 5 MONTHS BEFORE the A bombs were dropped, and the samurai fanatics that ruled Japan did not propose surrender very soon after that tragic day. Apparently, the loss of 100,000 civilians was acceptable to the ruling, ELITIST, warlords.

    Of course, the military defeats suffered by the Japanese during 1944 and early 1945 clearly showed that Japan was already going down to defeat.

    In the book “UNBROKEN,” by Laura Hillenbrand, she describes how Louis Zamperini and others, while being transported to and fro work detail outside of their POW camp, observed civilians being trained and instructed how to fight against the expected invasion of the US military. The Japanese ruling samurai were more than willing to see their citizens slaughtered just so that they , the rulers, could save face.

    The broader lesson here is that fanatics who are willing to die for their cause are more than happy to have everyone else die for a cause that they, the fanatics, have determined (all by themselves) to be worth dying for and more importantly, ruling elites – fanatic or otherwise – can ALWAYS find a reason to do something, no matter what it is.

    When you think about it, there were perhaps , say, a group of 20 to 100 influential and politically powerful individuals that took Japan to war. And this very small group of elites caused the deaths of millions of Japanese soldiers and civilians.

    Following the self-anointed elites is almost never a good idea; and that includes the present day USA.

  • f1b0nacc1

    The Japanese are still trying to portray themselves as the victims….we should remember this when listening to their self-serving narratives on anniversaries like this.
    As for the world’s muslim community, perhaps reminding them of what truly unpleasant people Americans can be when sufficiently pissed-off wouldn’t be a bad idea. A demonstration would seem to be in order…

    • LarryD

      After the second bombing, the council of warlords that were the effective leadership of Imperial Japan were evenly divided on surrender. Only in such a tie, did the Mikado ever get a chance to vote, or even express his opinion.

      If two nukes just barely got Japan to surrender, nothing less intimidating would have worked.

      • f1b0nacc1

        Do you think I disagree? The very notion that the Japanese would have surrendered without the bomb is a comforting fantasy for the utterly ignorant who allow their desire to blame the US for all of the world’s ills to overcome any sort of historical perspective.

  • circleglider

    It’s good to remember that at their core, most Americans are Jacksonians.

    Our ruling class would be well-served by recongnizing this truth more often — including Professor Mead.

    • Archimedes

      Tennesseean when Tennesseans were Tennesseans … like Davey Crockett.

  • Dan

    I just learned something new. I wonder why we don’t hear as much about this as we do Dresden.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service