World War II and the War on Iraq

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

I was reading someone’s blog the other day (I tried to find the link but couldn’t) and they compared the recent U.S. invasion of Iraq to the U.S.’s involvement in World War II. The parallel being made was that, in both instances, the U.S. was attacked by one country, then invaded (and subsequently defeated) another. In our current war, we were invaded by Afghanis, but ended up invading Iraq. In WWII, we were invaded by the Japanese, but ended up invading Germany.

While this assessment is partially correct, there are three main differences that stick out at me.

First, after Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor, we fought against Japanese forces until they gave up. That is to say, we finished the job. After 9/11, we dicked around in Afghanistan for a little while, then pulled out at the last minute without actually doing what it was we went in to do in the first place (read: Osama and his forces killed American civilians and we let him get away).

Second, Germany had been attacking other countries for a few years before American forces got involved. Iraq wasn’t attacking anyone, they were just sitting around doing whatever the hell it was that Iraq was doing.

If they would have been attacking someone, that would have been a different story. After all, we did go after Saddam and Iraqi forces back in the early 1990s when they attacked Kuwait and other Middle Eastern countries. Another big different between Operation Desert Storm and our current war on Iraq, is that back then we had allied support (including 300 troops from Afghanistan).

Third, Germany declared war on us in December of 1941. One could make the argument that Iraq “unofficially” declared war by refusing to cooperate with U.N. inspectors. Allow me to point out that, not only has North Korea been particularly cold-shouldered to the rest of the world, but they’ve come out and bragged about having weapons of mass destruction in the form of nukes.

And where the hell was military intelligence when Pakistan was selling Uranium to other countries? Why didn’t we put the kibosh on that right away?

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