Monday, May 27, 2013

Turning Away from War and Exposing Our Rear

If Franklin Roosevelt had announced after the Battle of Midway that core Imperial Japanese Navy had been defeated and so we were on the path to defeat; and we would from now on limit our carrier strikes to cases where Japanese attacks were a continuing and imminent threat--and only if civilian casualties were almost impossible--I would hope that we'd have had the guts to say, "That's just stupid."

But FDR kept at the war until Imperial Japan was absolutely crushed under the weight of Navy- and Army-led offensives, submarine warfare, and aerial bombardment up to and including two atomic strikes; and then took their surrender aboard a battleship anchored in Tokyo Bay.

It was once said that the war on terror would not be won so clearly as to have a formal surrender on the decks of USS Missouri. It was a sign of sophistication to understand that.

Now we won't even pretend to have any type of victory at all. The war is over. We're tired, it's expensive, and we have better things to do.

We were too tired of war to even send a small force to Benghazi on September 11, 2012, despite the tens of thousands of military personnel within range. Yes, our weapons of war will become mere props in security theater (Iowa below).

We want to turn back time and aren't too proud to say we are sorry our 2001 authorization to use force might have hurt the feelings of our enemies.

But our enemies aren't tired. Already that receding tide of war washed up in Boston and London. All wars end, it is true. If our enemies won't surrender, maybe we will.

Maybe we did.

And we're just counting on luck not to face the consequences, or hope only those overseas will endure the attacks that will follow responsibly ending another war.

Oh, and just a note on our continuing fight to crush Japan even after Midway. Today Japan is a prosperous and free nation that is a good friend and ally. But modern definitions of compassion would have led us to end the Pacific War after defeating the immediate threat, and let Imperial Japan survive. It would have been stupid to stop before victory then, you'll have to agree.