20.3.06

THAT GRIM CALCULUS. The liberation of Iraq began three years ago. Read and understand "Sacrifice, fear, and hope" at Iraq the Model. It offers a balanced look at the invasion and the aftermath. As a good news, bad news couplet, the invasion can be summarized thusly. "First the good news: Saddam is gone. The bad news: the friends of Israel did it."

The efforts by Jim at the Volokh Conspiracy to compare the total war deaths in Iraq to one bad month in Vietnam (or one bad day in France) are less impressive. I read the biographies of the war dead and wonder what I was doing in my early 20s that was so important, and I deplore the calculus that puts such men and women at risk there in order that we continue to avoid another September 11 here.

A Gateway Pundit post comparing the worst-case scenarios of war opponents with the historical record is more instructive.

For the most part, I have left the war coverage to others. For the record, here is where I stand.

First, I do not want to have to explain to my nephew why he has to pray with his nose pointed at Cudahy and his butt in the air because a few querulous people insisted on standards of evidence far beyond what peer review, or a court of law, would demand.

Second, I have little patience with critics of the war effort who would note that the Second World War was over by December 7, 1945. That comparison leaves out the British, who were in it for two additional years, and the Soviets, who absorbed most of the German fury. Yes, Sgt. Karlson and a lot of other green kids were thrown into the Ardennes with little seasoning. But it also took the pattern-bombing of German and occupied European cities and the nuking of two Japanese cities, with a bluff to deliver more nukes, to expedite the job. John Pina Craven's The Silent War, reviewed here, recalls that in December 1941 the submarine commanders were expecting the Pacific War to go on for at least ten years. And the griping about "the tallest man in Afghanistan" evading capture for four years similarly fails to impress. Al-Qaeda operates in somewhat more hospitable neighborhoods than der Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen did (does? -- yes, there was a movie about it, and it may have arranged a car bombing as recently as 1979.) And "Adolf calibration man" (the real one, not a bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald -- internet translation engines are so cute sometimes) was at large until 1961, with several other prominent Nazis dying at large.

The Superintendent continues to note with respect and regret the deaths of our soldiers, sailors, air forces, Marines, and Coast Guard postponing, if not cancelling, further attacks on the United States.

This site will leave the day-to-day discussions of the war effort and geopolitics to others.

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