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Iraq, oil, and a WWII link?

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President Bush answered growing antiwar protests yesterday with a fresh reason for US troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country’s vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.

NO! The war, about oil? You’re KIDDING!

What I really like about this article from the Boston Globe is the headline — Bush Gives New Reason for Iraq War. It seems like the administration has a new reason ready every time people start to get a little more restless than they were before. This “new” reason brings us full circle, as many people suspected this was the reason behind the war in the first place.

But what is really shocking about the President’s remarks yesterday is the audacity demonstrated when he compared the current situation to World War II, and himself to President Franklin Roosevelt.

“Once again, war came to our shores with a surprise attack that killed thousands in cold blood,” Bush said. “Once again, we face determined enemies who follow a ruthless ideology that despises everything America stands for. Once again, America and our allies are waging a global campaign with forces deployed on virtually every continent. And once again, we will not rest until victory is America’s and our freedom is secure.”

Here’s the difference. In WWII, we were attacked by Japan. We retaliated against Japan. Beyond that, most of the world was polarized, divided into the Axis and the Allies, and embroiled in a global struggle against fascism and genocide. In the current war, we were attacked by a terrorist group, not a nation, and clear ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda have never been established (in my opinion, at least, and in the opinions of many). We retaliated not directly against those who attacked us, but a nation that may or may not be directly connected. And the world is not standing with us — that is simple fact, and while the administration seems to think that simply stating that we have the support of the world will make it so, it does not change the fact that in the end, we are going this one largely alone.

I won’t make the obvious comparison here, because I think it is as ridiculous as Bush comparing himself to Roosevelt, but I guarantee that in the next few days, others will make similar connections to WWII — but to the other side. Bush clarified nothing we didn’t know already… but he may have opened the door to more criticism than ever with these remarks.

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About Alisha Karabinus

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Bush is to FDR as an outhouse is to a penthouse.

  • http://www.suddennothing.net LegendaryMonkey

    Addendum to the above… anyone else get the feeling that Iraq is only now about oil because the administration thinks that no one will argue when we’re facing potential rations on fuel?

  • Nancy

    Fearless Leader is winding himself up to compare himself to Lincoln as the liberator of enslaved Iraqis; there were murmurs in that direction from an unnamed source recently, but they aren’t quiiiiite ready to bring that one out just yet. I can’t find where I read/heard it, so take it w/a fistful of salt for the moment as apocryphal, but how much anybody want to bet…? After all, when Cindy Sheehan showed up, we did say on this website that it was only a matter of time until War Mothers For Bush cropped up. Smirk is as predictable as clockwork, & as transparent as a plastic baggie. After Lincoln, it’ll be G. Washington, or perhaps Jesus Christ. Or maybe St. Joan of Arc, but she was a catlicker, & that would offend the Pat Robertson League, so maybe not.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Here’s the difference. In WWII, we were attacked by Japan. We retaliated against Japan. <<

    Exactly wrong. In WWII we wanted to attack Germany but needed to convince the isolationist public and look justified because they had left us alone. So we manipulated Japan into attacking us so that Germany would also declare war on us. And then we DID NOT attack Japan. Get your historical sequence of events straight. We more or less ignored Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor because we were not prepared for a huge naval and island war. We attacked Germany first, and once that campaign was well under way and we had built up our sea and air forces we attacked Japan at our convenience.

    So, in fact, the similarity to World War II is far more apt than you realize. Bush may not be FDR, but the strategy here is very similar to what we did in WWII.

    FDR knew that we were not fighting just Japan, but an alliance of multiple countries with ideological similarities. We even had one ideologically suspect country on our side – Stalin’s Russia. When fighting an alliance you don’t necessarily attack the country that attacked you, you attack the weak point in the alliance. In WWII that was Italy. Today it’s Iraq. That country gave us access to and leverage on the more powerful country we wanted to go after, Germany – AKA Iran.

    I could go on like this, but the similarities are obvious to anyone familiar with the history of WWII. I need to go write this up into an actual article now.

    Dave

  • http://www.suddennothing.net LegendaryMonkey

    Please do. I’m not as up on my history as I should be, and I do not pretend to be… which is why I didn’t go into a specific sequence of events, but rather a very general assessment. I do not disagree with your overall statement on the sequence of events, nor even your examination of why we did the things we did in WWII. However, I still don’t see Iraq as being more than the very fringe of the targets at which we should have been aiming. It’s not a matter of weak points or strong points, but rather just points in general.

    So go write up your piece and I’ll be the first to read it. I am always up for learning something new.

    I still stick by the meat of what I said above, however. We WILL be seeing comparisons of the Bush administration to fascism. I’m not the one to say whether or not they’re grounded, but I really do thinks these remarks were a major mistake. And despite any similarities between strategy and the sequence of events that may exist, I still stand firm on the notion that Iraq and WWII are not quite as similar as the President was making them out to be.

    -Miz Monkey, not afraid to admit to being wrong when she’s wrong, but still able to subtract two from four

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>I still don’t see Iraq as being more than the very fringe of the targets at which we should have been aiming. It’s not a matter of weak points or strong points, but rather just points in general.< <

    Geographically and structurally and strategically it's not on the fringe. Look at a map. It's right smack in the middle of all the problem countries in the region.

    >>So go write up your piece and I’ll be the first to read it. I am always up for learning something new.< <

    Got to do something with all that history I studied.

    >>We WILL be seeing comparisons of the Bush administration to fascism.< <

    We already have to a great and tedious extent, with little basis for them.

    >> I’m not the one to say whether or not they’re grounded, but I really do thinks these remarks were a major mistake.<<

    Basic principle. If it came out of the Bush administration it was probably the wrong thing to say even when it’s true.

    Dave

  • http://www.suddennothing.net LegendaryMonkey

    I call shenanigans, Dave. Save that tripe for the people who lambast anything that comes out. I made a very simple statement.

    Are you saying that YOU would compare Bush to FDR?

  • historian

    Here cometh Dave again, rewriting history.

    Dave pontificates…

    “In WWII we wanted to attack Germany but needed to convince the isolationist public and look justified because they had left us alone.. so we manipulated Japan into attacking us…”

    But the reality is — The Empire of Japan attacked us because it had virtually no natural resources of its own and believed it had to control the Far East.

    Our Navy stood in Japan’s way. The final straw for Japan was when the US stopping shipping scrap metal and stopped sending oil to Japan.

    We took these provocative trading measures against Japan because it had invaded Manchuria and China — Remember the “rape of Nanking?”

    Between December 1937 and March 1938 over 350,000 Chinese civilians and prisoners of war were slaughtered by the invading troops. An estimated 80,000 women and girls were raped; many of them were then mutilated or murdered.

    Thousands of victims were beheaded, burned, bayoneted, buried alive, or disemboweled.

    That had nothing to do with our withdrawing trading with Japan?

    Dave then rants on:

    “And then we DID NOT attack Japan.“

    I guess Billy Mitchell’s B-25 bombing raid on Tokyo early in 1942 was just propaganda. Of course, if we had B-29’s and control of an airstrip for them within range of Japan, I strongly suspect that Billy Mitchell would have taken the war to new heights.

    Dave — don’t bore us with simple-minded statements like, “FDR knew that we were not fighting just Japan’

    No kidding!

    Then Dave says: “Get your historical sequence of events straight.“

    No, Dave, get your historical sequence of events straight!

    The worst is yet to come.

    Dave claims: “So, in fact, the similarity to World War II is far more apt than you realize. Bush may not be FDR, but the strategy here is very similar to what we did in WWII.”

    Ho Ho!

    Bush has a strategy?

    Dave winds up with:

    “I could go on like this…”

    Please don’t.

  • Amin

    “FDR knew that we were not fighting just Japan, but an alliance of multiple countries with ideological similarities. We even had one ideologically suspect country on our side – Stalin’s Russia. When fighting an alliance you don’t necessarily attack the country that attacked you, you attack the weak point in the alliance. In WWII that was Italy. Today it’s Iraq. That country gave us access to and leverage on the more powerful country we wanted to go after, Germany – AKA Iran. ”

    Dave you stupid fuk.

    How is the Nazi-German-Imperial Japanese alliance at all similar to IRAN and Sunni Iraq, both poor, isolated countries who fought a brutal war (in which the US supported both sides against each other) in the 1980’s.

    Saddam’s Iraq and Iran were enemies. Japan and Germany were allies.

    How is that attacking the “weak point of the alliance”?

    A non-existant alliance of muslim countries who are simply enemies because they have a different colour skin?

    You stupid fukkin white boy.

  • http://www.suddennothing.net LegendaryMonkey

    Methinks Dave just wants to wax on about how maligned Bush is, when in this case, Bush has done it to himself.

  • MCH

    “Bush has a strategy?”
    – historian

    Very astute, historian.

    Question:
    What’s the difference between the Vietnam War and the invasion of Iraq?

    Answer:
    Well, unlike Iraq, GW Bush had a plan to get out of Vietnam.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Are you saying that YOU would compare Bush to FDR?<<

    No, I’m saying that I would compare the situation in WW2 where we were dealing with multiple enemies to the situation in the middle east where we are also dealing with multiple enemies.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    ‘historian’ commented:

    >>“And then we DID NOT attack Japan.“

    I guess Billy Mitchell’s B-25 bombing raid on Tokyo early in 1942 was just propaganda. Of course, if we had B-29’s and control of an airstrip for them within range of Japan, I strongly suspect that Billy Mitchell would have taken the war to new heights. < <

    Bombing Japan to keep them off balance is hardly the same as what we did in Europe. We clearly put Japan on hold because they were not an immediate threat and put most of our resources on the other front.

    >>Dave winds up with:

    “I could go on like this…”

    Please don’t.<<

    Fear not, I will. You seem to have a basic grasp of the events of WW2, but not their significance or the global strategy. What you seem to lack is any kind of perspective on what’s going on now, and since I can combine the two it seems like something I ough to do.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>How is the Nazi-German-Imperial Japanese alliance at all similar to IRAN and Sunni Iraq, < <

    Actually, my comparison was between the German-Italian alliance and the relationship between Iraq and Iran.

    >>Saddam’s Iraq and Iran were enemies. Japan and Germany were allies.< <

    Iraq and Iran were effectively allies, even if there was no formal alliance. Both provided material support to the same terrorist groups and both shared in the same regional agenda, even if at one point they competed for leadership in that struggle. They also both provided havens for Al Quaeda leaders and allowed Al Quaeda to build training camps in their border regions. Think of terrorism as the mechanism of alliance. Both nations support terrorism with a common enemy. That makes them close enough to allies for me.

    >>How is that attacking the “weak point of the alliance”?< <

    Because after the previous war Iraq was a softer targe than the neighboring countries were.

    >>A non-existant alliance of muslim countries who are simply enemies because they have a different colour skin?< <

    They don't have different color skin. My skin is as dark as any Iraqi's and darker than a lot of Iranians.

    >>You stupid fukkin white boy.<<

    I was born in Lebanon, and ethnically the Persians and Afghans are as ‘white’ as I am, and most Arabs aren’t far behind.

    Dave

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    One slight difference between WWII and the Iraq war is that then we took the trouble to follow the Constitution and actually have Congress debate and declare war before we committed the nation and sacrificed our young people to years of battle. Now, embodying the combined wisdom and judgement of Moe, Larry & Curly, our imperial leaders can’t be bothered with such minor technicalities as following the document they have sworn to preserve, protect and defend.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Odd, I have a distinct recollection of congress voting to authorize the use of force in Iraq.

    Hey, guess what, they did. It’d documented right here.

    Dave

  • historian

    Dave says:

    “Bombing Japan to keep them off balance is hardly the same as what we did in Europe.”?

    We did more than keep Japan “off balance”.

    Our first major victories in WWII were in the Pacific during early 1942. Our first major victory in the European Theater did not come about until much later.

    Dave then rants on:

    “We clearly put Japan on hold because they were not an immediate threat and put most of our resources on the other front.’

    Japan was not put on hold.

    Our allocation of resources was based on geographical considerations and the unique resources needed in each theater of operations.

    Of course, General MacArthur wanted more of everything, but that was his modus operandi.

    Without even considering our naval victories in the Pacific, our first invasion of enemy-held territory was not in Europe.

    First we went into Guadalcanal. We went into North Africa later. We invaded and succeeded in the Pacific Theater first.

    Our heavy bombing campaign in the European Theater did not get underway until 1943. Yet we were bombing Japanese installations in the Pacific Theater the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    By 1942, Europe had fallen so there was nothing we could do to change that until we had established the required force in Britain, which did not occur until 1944. In addition, the Russian Front kept Germany busy and the British kept Rommel busy in North Africa.

    It is clear that in 1942, Japan was more of a threat and the threat was met.

    We had to aggressively pursue naval and ground activities in the Pacific because Japan was more of a threat because of its powerful navy, which if not stopped, could have threatened our West Coast. Germany posed no such threat to our mainland,

    Dave then threatens us:

    “Fear not, I will [continue ranting].”

    There’s no justice.

    Dave’s threat is serious.

    He goes on to say:

    “You have a basic grasp of the events of WW2, but not their significance or the global strategy.”

    It’s obvious Dave has it all.

    “What you seem to lack is any kind of perspective on what’s going on now, and since I can combine the two it seems like something I ought to do.”

    Dave, please spare us!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Your thesis that we fought first in the Pacific and second in Europe may be technically correct, but the key consideration is the allocation of resources, and aside from some very limited actions like bombing raids and missions coordinated by allies like the Australians, the level of US commitment in terms of men and materials in the Pacific in the early part of the war was very low compared to what was brought to bear on Europe once the invasion there started. I can’t believe that you honestly want to tell me that there was any comaprison between the level of manpower and resources in the Pacific and Europe prior to 1944.

    Dave

  • historian

    Dave:

    The level of US commitment in terms of men and materials in the Pacific in the early part of the war was low not because Japan was a lesser threat to us.

    Our strategy of island hopping starting in 1942 could not effectively utilize more of what we didn’t have.

    We didn’t have the resources to commence the D-Day operations until 1944.

    The truth is that until we ramped up our military production, we didn’t have enough for either theater of war.

    But in 1942, the fighting was more fierce in the Pacific and we had more casualties in the Pacific than in Europe,

    You claim –” I can’t believe that you honestly want to tell me that there was any comparison between the level of manpower and resources in the Pacific and Europe prior to 1944.”

    I didn’t make that claim.

    I was responding to what you said.

    You had stated earlier that “We more or less ignored Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor“… and “we attacked Germany first“

    That is not true.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Your last post is pretty much EXACTLY what I said in the first place. Ok, so what were we arguing about? You seem to have conceded that I was correct on the general point I was making. I’ve already admitted that we did bomb Japan before concentrating on the European theatre. Well, this was pointless.

    Dave

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Re Dave’s #16:
    So you think a bunch of “whereas’s”, many of which are specious or highly questionable, is just as good as a Constitutionally-mandated Declaration of War? Why didn’t we just “authorize” WWII? And what is the problem with doing it the way the Founders clearly intended? And here I thought it was only extremists that try to effectively re-invent and radically alter the Constitution to suit themselves by concocting rules, resolutions and legislation!

  • historian

    Dave:

    If you want to measure the validity of a war…

    Consider whether the reasons for the war were concocted…

    And measure the support of the people.

    WWII and Iraq are not in the same league.

  • MCH

    Latest score:

    historian – 3;
    Dave (Know-it-all Military History Expert) Nalle – 0.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Ok, historian just threw away all legitimacy by proving that his argument is entirely subjective and politically motivated. Game over.

    Dave

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    What’s the difference between the Vietnam War and the invasion of Iraq?

    Um, you mean like how you didn’t volunteer for combat duty and now you just complain about people who don’t volunteer for combat duty?

  • JR

    The obvious difference between WWII and the war on terror is that the U.S. won WWII.

    On this date in 1945, Hitler was dead and Japan and Germany had unconditionally surrendered. Today, Osama bin Laden makes Islamofascist infomercials while we are enquagmired in Iraq.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Dave #4: So, in fact, the similarity to World War II is far more apt than you realize. Bush may not be FDR, but the strategy here is very similar to what we did in WWII.

    From here, the neocon strategy vis-a-vis Iraq looks more like what Japan did at Pearl Harbor.

  • http://aqualung@bresnan.net MCH

    “um, you mean how you didn’t volunteer for combat duty, and now you just complain about people who don’t volunteer for combat duty.”
    – Joe

    At least I didn’t desert, ala GW Bush.

    Actually it’s the people who bellicosely “support” the pre-emptive invasion of Iraq from the safety of their keyboards, sending others to die in their place while refusing to enlist, who I complain about.

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    Like I said.

    And I never did see those formal charges on Bush.

  • MCH

    Well somebody’s lying then, Joe. Either GW Bush is not telling the truth, or the guys who said he wasn’t there are lying.

    There have been at least four different rewards for anyone witnessing GW Bush serving at Dannelly or Ellington AFB from May, 1972-Aug 1973:
    1) 10 Vietnam vets, led by John Stewart and Richard Jones…$1,000;
    2) Vets for Real Truth, president Robert A. Rogers…$2,000;
    3) Gary Trudeau of Doonesbury…$10,000;
    and 4) Texans For Truth…$50,000.

    No one has ever collected. Perhaps those 1,200 Guardsmen who were at Dannelly and Ellington and say they didn’t see your boy serving are lying, Joe.

    Col. Turnispeed has testified that Bush did not report for duty at Dannelly in 1972. Col. Killian and Col. Harris both reported that GW was a no-show at Ellington in 1973.

    Now, maybe those three Colonels were/are not telling the truth. Either way, somebody’s lying, Joe…

  • yellowscarf

    2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. [Westmoreland] Approximately 70% of those killed in Vietnam were volunteers. [McCaffrey]

    Argue all you want about GW Bush’s military service, but it was WJ Clinton who was the dodger who didn’t serve. The only service WJ can claim took place under his desk in the oval office.

    Argue all you want about the reason’s for attacking Iraq, but the World Trade Center attack and the fact that terrorists trained in both Afghanistan and Iraq is simply enough. What’s puzzling is why the US hasn’t attacked Syria, Iran, and Pakistan where the terrorists are hiding and receiving support now.

    Pulling US military out of Iraq isn’t going to stop the terrorist threat against Americans. It’s too bad the Iraqi people haven’t taken advantage of US support and the sacrifice of our military men and women have made. The sectarian and terrorist violence in Iraq happens in a place where it’s part of their culture. Just wait for the blood bath if and when US forces do pull out.

    Why do you think we’ve had military forces stationed in Japan, Germany, and Korea since the end of the war’s in those countries? Fact is, the US has military forces stationed in more than 150 countries. Ever wonder why?

    Sitting back and waiting for the next attack isn’t a good plan as we’ve seen at Pearl Harbour, NYC, and multiple other places around the world.

    Terrorism is a worldwide problem for the 21st century. Finding the sources, cells, and training centers for terrorism is essential. It requires having human intelligence capabilities and military reaction forces stationed in areas where the US believes terrorists hide.

    No loss of life (in combat) is acceptable, but terrorists don’t have the moral values to think that way. It’s in the US best interest to go on the offensive and attack terrorism at its source whether it be in Iraq, Afghanistan, or any other place on earth. If we don’t do this, and become isolated, history will repeat itself.

    As we’ve seen thusfar, the process of fighting terrorism won’t be pretty and it won’t go perfect.

    Freedom has always come at a price. Fortunately, the US has military men and women willing to pay the price for our freedom.

    People who wallow in simpleminded political rhetoric just don’t seem to get the big picture.