About Iraq War About To Equal Time U.S. Spent Fighting WWII
|November 24th, 2006||#1|
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Iraq War About To Equal Time U.S. Spent Fighting WWII info
November 24, 2006
'Whole picture is a lot muddier' today
By Oren Dorell
The Iraq war is about to reach a benchmark that puts it on par with World War II by one measure: Sunday, it will have lasted the same number of days — 1,347 —that the United States fought the Axis.
That is where most similarities end, though.
World War II was fought with navies over two oceans and soldiers on three continents. Militaries faced each other in uniform. Cities were destroyed. No attempts were made to foster elections, build schools or repair economies until the war ended.
In Iraq, whose military was destroyed within weeks of the U.S.-led invasion, the conflict is of a much different nature.
“Guerrilla warfare, counterinsurgency and civil war is what we're in the middle of now,” says Nick Mueller, president and CEO of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. “The whole picture is a lot muddier” than trying to defeat Germany, Japan and Italy.
Nathaniel Haynes, 80, fought in World War II on the Pacific Ocean as a cook and gunner in the Navy. “You knew who you were fighting,” Haynes says. “And when you were in an area, you stayed there until you cleared it.”
The United States fielded 16 million men and women to fight that war; 54 million civilians and 405,000 U.S. troops died.
About 1.4 million U.S. troops have served in Iraq. More than 2,800 Americans have died. The Iraqi Health Ministry has estimated that as many as 150,000 Iraqi civilians, police and abductees have died.
“Nothing in world history compares to the level of destruction and death that happened in World War II,” Mueller says.
Still, some things haven't changed. American troops fighting the Japanese encountered kamikaze airplane strikes on their ships and suicide bombers jumping out of caves. American troops in Iraq contend with car bomb attacks on their convoys and suicide bombers on foot attacking them on the street.
Close-quarter fighting is still just as deadly.
“When you're an infantryman down in the trenches, you've got an M-4, he's got an AK-47, and you're still throwing lead at each other, so that hasn't changed,” Mueller says.
|November 24th, 2006||#2|
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This is a specious comparison since troops are rotating home and in WWII they were there until they died, were crippled or the war ended. My grandfather first saw my uncle, his first born, when his son was already three years old.
"The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental." - John Steinbeck
|November 26th, 2006||#3|
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"It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle." - Norman Schwarskopf, Commander of Desert Storm Operations
|November 27th, 2006||#4|
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My point was that you can't really compare wars to one another like this. The sacrifices made by those in each are unique and should stand on their own. WWII was a full war and this is a small war or MOOTW that has a very different texture but is in no way any less of a sacrifice to those involved.
|November 27th, 2006||#5|
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I said it way back in 2003 and I'll say it again, we will have troops in Iraq for ten years because nation building doesn't happen over night.
Please note that 98% of what I say is my opinion and/or my "version" of the facts. Most of what I say is rumor with little to no evidence to back it up, just something I picked up somewhere.
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