6 replies [Last post]
bitmasher's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
The French Will Never Forget

I didn't see this on any mainstream news outlets.

http://www.ambafrance-us.org/news/statmnts/2007/omaha-beach_2007.asp

Quote:
2500 PEOPLE GATHER ON OMAHA BEACH IN NORMANDY TO FORM A “HUMAN CHAIN” OF GRATITUDE AND HONOR THE FALLEN AMERICAN HEROES WHO LIBERATED FRANCE DURING WW II
expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
The French Will Never Forget

The French take a lot of heat for their perceived lack of military will, but their history puts their attitude in perspective. During WWI, they lost roughly 1.4 million military dead and over 4.2 million wounded -- out of a population of 39 million at the start of the war. Include 300K civilian deaths and close to 4.3 percent of their population perished during WWI. 75% of French soldiers mobilized during WWI were KIA, MIA, WIA or POW. WWII numbers were smaller for military deaths (no doubt due to rapid German victory), but overall the French lost another 1.35 percent of their population in that war.

Those numbers are tough to fathom, but to put it in perspective the US lost 0.012 percent of its population in WWI and 0.32 percent of its population in WWII. With our current population, if we were to suffer war deaths on par with the French in WWI, we'd be looking at over 4 million dead.

And yet this country is losing its will and about to tuck tail and run because we've suffered 3,600 dead after more than four years of fighting -- only 600 more than died in 77 minutes on Sept 11th. Now which country doesn't have a backbone?

CVC
CVC's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3586
The French Will Never Forget

The American people do have the will to fight and win. But the question is if Iraq is the hill we want our military people to die on?

I support the war on terrorism, but not committing our troops to police Iraq to perserve a presidency that will topple no matter when we leave. The Iraqi have no will to maintain a democracy.

To me, it is a war on terrorism and Iraq is just one battlefield. We were fighting Japan and Germany on many fronts during WW II. I am not a military scholar, but I am sure there were battles we won and battles we lost. Times when we moved forward and times when we moved back a regrouped.

How we got mired down in this notion that we must work to create a democracy in Iraq is beyond my understanding. Iraq was one of the axis of evils we were fighting. We should destroy them and move on to the next axis of evil. But no, we want to fight a politically correct war with both hands tied behind our backs.

For what purpose I ask? Iran is flexing its muscles and we are impotent to respond because we are stretched too thin fighting other countries' battles. Korea, Bosinia and Iraq.

We should either use our military power and destroy the enemy in Iraq without regard for establishing a democracy or establish a base there that we can use for staging other initiatives (one that we can easily defend) or we should pull out and regroup to continue the war on terrorism.

expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
The French Will Never Forget

"Pull back and regroup" is a term that defeated forces have used throughout history to make themselves feel better about giving the enemy the battlefield. The left is employing it now to somehow convince you that we're not giving up. Here are some things that are going to happen if we leave by some arbitrary date based on lack of political will:

1) Iraq will descend into further chaos, to perhaps include genocide as the long-repressed Shiite majority gets the chance to pay back the Sunnis.

2) Iran will prop up the Shiites even more than they already are, with the goal of establishing an Iranian-friendly government.

3) America's credibility will be crippled, and Iran's proxy victory in this conflict will greatly enhance its standing as a regional power -- another one of its goals.

4) Radical Islam will expand tremendously due to Osama being right -- America is a paper tiger with no will to suffer casualties. Withdrawal will validate strategy voiced by Osama for at least six years, and radical Islam will take this as proof that God is indeed on their side.

5) America's influence throughout the Middle East will be devastated, and moderate regimes will reevaluate their ties to the US as power shifts in favor of the Islamists. Most of those regimes are already living with an Islamist threat -- surrender in Iraq will lead them to question US commitment and damage their ability to maintain western ties and keep Islamism in check.

6) Once they've secured withdrawal from Iraq, the left will focus its sights on Afghanistan, argue that we haven't seen significant results after 6 years, and are wasting our time because Pakistan isn't doing its share. In other words, they'll apply the Iraq model until we pull out of there, too -- abandoning Afghanistan again to chaos. Jerking our support out from under Musharraf could destroy the moderates struggling to keep a lid on the radical Islam itching to explode in Pakistan. And, unlike Iran, Pakistan HAS nukes already.

Our impotence regarding Iran is political, not military. We don't need to invade, we just need to coerce. Military might isn't the problem. The problem is what the Democrats would do if we did anything aggressive. But while we bicker amongst ourselves, a more serious problem is developing -- Israel will NOT stand by and let Iran field nuclear weapons. If that happens, we'll be reminiscing about how good we had it in Iraq.

The problem isn't Iraq. We've barely scratched the surface of this country's capacity to wage war. The problem is that while we're fighting each other, the bad guys are seeing opportunity. They can just sit back, feed the political war in the US, and watch us implode.

An amazing number of our people in uniform have lost someone close to them in this war. They've been mortared. They've been shot at. They're living in tents or tin cans. They've seen friends ripped to pieces by IEDs, and then got into Humvees to pull convoy duty the next day. That's courage. And yet the Democrats are trying to pull us back because people sitting safely at home with their La-Z-Boys and delivery pizza have lost their nerve. What an insult. Our military folks are out there putting their butts on the line every single day. They have a right to ask for some degree of intestinal fortitude from the people they're protecting. This is game 3 of the World Series and we're 1-1. Don't pull the team off the field and go home because game 2 went badly.

As far as the topic goes, one thing I can admire the French for is at least they surrender up front, rather than sending their troops into harms way and then pulling the rug out from under them.

CVC
CVC's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3586
The French Will Never Forget

You make a very good argument on why we should not withdraw from Iraq and I certainly respect your insight and knowledge on this issue.

The issue that I struggle with and perhaps you can help me with, is how is victory defined in Iraq and do you really think the Iraqis will ever be able to maintain their country without it falling into civil war regardless of how long we stay?

expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
The French Will Never Forget

IMO victory would be defined as self-governance. No necessarily an end to violence, but that the Iraqis can deal with it on their own. The challenge is that there are a lot of forces that don't want that to happen. Al Qaeda wants an Islamist government based on Shari'a. Iran wants to prevent a US-friendly government at all costs. The Shiites want full reign to run everything. A lot of areas of Iraq, like the Kurdish north, are actually really quiet. The difficulty is in the middle of the country, where competing religions/ethnicities meet. Some of the military and police forces, for example, are putting ethnic alliances ahead of duty to the country, and looking the other way (or even helping) when it comes to violence. It's tough to get a government to stand up and step forward in a unified manner when there's so much hatred and contention within the government. Look how paralyzed and cannibalistic our own government is, and we don't have a fraction of the problems Iraq has.

If we pull out, I suspect the outcome will be a radical Shiite government with close ties to Iran. The Sunnis will fight it and may get help from Sunni forces, but Syria and Iran will overwhelm that support and the Sunni minority in Iraq will be brutally beaten down into submission. You'll then have Iran, Iraq and Syria all lined up in a row next to Israel. As things now stand, Iraq is the barrier between Iran and Syria. If Iraq falls and supports Iran, Iran will have unimpeded access to Syria and, by extension, Israel. Israel is to Islam what Bush is to Democrats -- the source of every evil in the world. Israel has nukes too, by the way. As an interesting aside, look at a map sometime and follow the roads from Damascus to Tel Aviv. You go right through Meggido, also known as Armageddon. And yet the Democrats are saying we need to ask Syria and Iran for help in Iraq.

Nobody's saying it, but I think this explains a lot about why Saddam ran the country the way he did. He became the unifying force in the country by making it all about him, and was brutal enough to keep a lid on all radicals (like Moqtada al-Sadr's father). The only way this will stop is when clear leadership emerges that takes a stance and clamps down hard. Either we find the will to do that, or someone else will after we leave. But chances are that if it's someone else, after a lot of bloodshed we'll wind up with another Saddam or rabid fanatics like the Taliban.

This is what infuriates me about the left in this country. They're hopelessly naiive about radical Islam, Syria and Iran. They're already staking out a position regarding Pakistan that could undermine a critical ally and risk creation of an Islamist state armed with nukes. They'd knock the legs out from under a tenuous government in Afghanistan. In the end, we could wind up with Islamist governments from Syria to the Indian border. But years from now I'm sure their answer will be that it's all Bush's fault.

I've already lost one son in this war -- I don't want to risk the other four in future wars that arise from stupidity.

expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
The French Will Never Forget

Here's one you won't see get much play in the US media -- Iraqis are getting fed up with Al Qaeda.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article2121006.ece

Related Forum Threads You Might Like