Jun

30

PetraeusGeneral Petraeus' testimony before Congress included this comment:

What impresses the Taliban is not the rules of engagement. It's the precise targeted operations that are designed to give them no rest. The idea is if you can get your teeth into the jugular of the enemy, you don't let go. This word "relentless" is an important word to describe the campaign against the Taliban.

These are the only tactics that win a war, and they are, inevitably, costly. Grant's campaign against Lee from the Wilderness to Appomatox was relentless and bloody and successful; so were the final assaults by the Allied Forces against Germany in both World Wars. Okinawa, which did more than the 2 atomic bombs to end the war against Japan, was by far the bloodiest single battle of the Second World War for the United States. More U.S. Navy sailors died in that battle (sailors!) than all the American KIA so far in the two Iraq Wars and Afghanistan.

It remains a crime against American history that our politicians repeatedly honor the veterans of D-Day but no public acknowledgement is ever made of the even greater sacrifice in the Pacific. (No doubt the explanation is that it is far more pleasant for members of Congress and the Executive to visit Normandy than to fly all the way across the Pacific to the one large island that has never developed a profitable tourist trade.)

Scott Brooks agrees:

Stefan is right. It's almost like those men who fought in the Pacific have been largely forgotten compared to their counterparts in Europe. The war in the Pacific was a horrific expedition in both blood and treasure.

And I'm quite confident that today's politicians and press completely lack the ability to wage that kind of war, which is why (IMHO), the war in the Pacific is largely ignored. We can demonize the Nazis for what they did (and rightly so), but we must ignore the atrocities of war that occured in the Pacific. If we shined the light on them, it would cause too many people to become uncomfortable.


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