Monday, April 13, 2009

Thinking Back on World War II

I hear so much uproar about the idea that we can never stop fascism, pirates, suicide bombing and the culture of terrorism.

They can use human shields and take hostages and threaten everyone, decapitating our citizens or soldiers with impunity. When we kill a pirate or an extremist fighter their martyrdom breeds 20 more, it's said. It's not socially acceptable or even morally right to demonize the religion they exploit to carry out whatever crime they want god to back.

I have a kind of tongue in cheek argument against all that. I would by far prefer a peaceful co-existence of free and diverse societies to war. Though if it must be war...if Islamist, Taliban or other extremist fighters feel emboldened enough to behead their neighbors, then something is deeply out of sync with that peaceful vision.

So I propose, mostly as a thought exercise, an alternative to feeling victimized by terror.

Comparisons can be made of the Word II War Axis powers to the the anti-semitic, anti-western rhetoric of radical Islamic movements of today. In some ways we are even referring to governments in the Muslim world who use propaganda to educate children with rhetoric that demonizes Jews and Westerners, makes suicide bombing an ideal for living and even speaks of the annihilation of Jews, Israel and any other culture or group that aligns with the Jews. They teach children that a god turned Jews and Christians into apes and pigs and other ridiculous rhetoric. Students are shown videos of real and dramatized suicide bombing acts, to glorify these and recruit new bombers. For some reason, one needs a steady stream of new recruits to continue suicide bombing campaigns.

Comparisons can also be made between the rise of racist, anti-semitic fascism in Germany and the rise of anti-western anti-Israeli Fascism in Iran and Pakistan. Many Palestinian, Saudi, Iranian and other Islamic populations believe in the idea of conquering the west and having a world governed by religion, specifically their Muslim Sharia law. The Taliban movement instituted that system in Afghanistan and is now trying to "Talibanize" Pakistan now that Afghanistan is occupied by coalition powers (or Allies of nations standing with the Unites States).

Sharia law is something Muslims are trying to push into government all over the world, including large countries in Africa like Nigeria and even in England.

Some think that the west is idling its way to being conquered, while ignoring these trends on a kind of autopilot of political correctness.

As I promised, I wish to break the politically correct barrier and recall some of the factors that allowed us to win World War II, which was a battle against seemingly all powerful fascist, totalitarian governments that wished to conquer the world and racially targeted millions for murder.

Studying a past victory over fascist, racist enemies should give us a hint as to how to defeat the same kind of culture in our time.

Stalin's soviet regime bore the brunt of the Allied casualties. Stalin apparently killed many of his own people. He also had heavy losses because of Hitlers decision to break promises and breach accords and attack the Soviet Union. These facts were important in the turning of the tide, though when taken in total, the war required other efforts to succeed as well.

There were brave, determined soldiers who simply marched into harms way, landing on beaches and throwing themselves into the fight who turned many occupied areas into reclaimed Allied or liberated lands. An example of this the Americans in North Africa, who learned hard lessons of combat and pushed to defeat the Germans there with the British pushing from the other side.

I could cite the British Commonwealth citizens as examples. These were troops from New Zeeland and India who fought along side Polish, and American troops in Italy to slowly push back Nazi positions. I am sure I have left many nations off the list here.

Also the British, Canadians, Americans and other Allies that pushed up onto the beaches of Normandy to break the German occupation.

I could say that, from an allied perspective, many manufacturers took part in designing, building and deploying the needed hardware for war. Many of these allowed women and minorities to support the war effort by working on weapons or taking on varying degrees of military duty.

Americans grew victory gardens to stem food shortages and did without or rationed many goods so soldiers could have provisions.

Another thing that America and Britain did to push for victory against Germany and Japan was the practice of indiscriminate carpet bombing with incendiary bombs. The Nazi's started the practice during the blitz on Britain. Thermite and White Phosphorus were used to purposely ignite fires, even fire storms. These substances once alight could burn through metal.

At least 25 German cities and many Japanese cities were bombed in this way. Dresden and Tokyo are among the stand out examples where the destruction was the most horrible. More Japanese people lost their lives in the Tokyo firestorms from American incendiary bombing than in the Nuclear strike on Nagasaki (that came after).

Because of the terror associated with this kind of attack, they have been outlawed by the UN.

Our modern high tech weapons try to reduce collateral damage, in what is a seemingly more humane practice of targeting closely what are deemed military assets.

Using firebombing exacts a cost on an entire society for what their fighters are doing. It is a terror weapon, creating the fear of overwhelming, indiscriminate, random destruction. The humanity here is the intended effect that a culture can be freed from oppression for future generations, reducing, in the long run, the suffering of themselves and others under fascist regimes that institutionalize killing and hatred.

Some say there is no terror weapon greater than the suicide bomber. I would disagree with that and insist that the fire-storm method of exacting a social cost for war-like, murderous and other terrorist behavior is an effective weapon even more frightening than suicide bombing.

I can see the arguments people make...that bombing a poor and starving population during war is insanely cruel and it is really the evil dictator and his power structure that should be the true targets.

Yet, pin point bombing of Nazi tanks, gun positions, planes,ships and other military assets may have slowed their war machine but the entire Nazi culture, ideals and spirit were what firebombing suppressed and defeated. It was the Allies way of saying...the cost of your evil ideology is to be paid by all of you until it is brought to an end.

Nothing would bring terrorist warriors to change their ideology faster than the understanding that the cost was indescribably high and poignantly dear for continuing to teach, promote, indoctrinate their own people and carry out such evils.

There are no effective human shields against indiscriminate regional bombing.

The outcome of World War II was not reinvigorated angrier Nazi's with martyrs to inspire them, it was the total defeat of the institution and the culture that supported it. Sure there may be people who still harbor similar pathologies, but they are entirely marginalized and outlawed. Similarly, the attacks on Japan did no lead to more Bonsai charges and angry Kamikaze raids with even more emboldened killers shouting praises to the Imperial emperor. It ended the culture, the ideal and the concept of Japanese Empire. It does not mean there are no longer criminals or evil intentions in Japan, but they are no longer the main stream. A peaceful society is the main stream.

For example, the wars between Israel and Palestine will go on forever because the Fascist palestinian terror gangs desire the complete destruction of Israel (and perhaps western culture in general). The way to end the war is to end the ideology of hatred toward Jews and the West. Then future Palestinian peoples can rejoin the world community and begin to live in peace like Germans and Japanese now do.

Can we end that ingrained, under-educated and brainwashed militancy with peaceful means? I welcome that. I am not sure how well that would have worked against Nation Socialism or Imperial Japan.

As it is, we tend to be apologetic far too often. It is not acceptable for people to teach hatred in their schools and religious gatherings. It is insanity, irrationality and makes such a culture not a moral equivalent for our western culture and freedom.

We know how to defeat the most fearsome, powerful and overwhelmingly indoctrinated fascist regimes. It is was done in WWII against overwhelming odds.

I would think we are in a much better position now to combat ignorance, Fascism, Totalitarianism and religious extremism. We must simply remember the justness of our cause, the value of our freedom and way of life and the reach of the options available to us to counter the vast and deep ignorance, hatred and violent nature of an enemy we surely don't want to have charge of our lives, our lands and our governments.

I think we should stop cradling and apologizing to "the good people" while trying to target "the bad people" and send a message that the price will be shared by all members of an antagonistic culture until the ignorance is eradicated.

Sometimes I am of that mind, that we should use all means to defeat the terrorists. Other times I wonder who can describe the peaceful resolution to the conflict created by radicalism and the huge obstacle of years of ignorance through indoctrination.

Indiscriminate firebombing is a weapon against suicide bombing and terrorism. If there is a peaceful solution, it must involve showing millions of indoctrinated people how wrong they all are before the Religious government is instituted under our feet and therefore over our heads.

I often repeat this example about what makes war so unavoidable. I truly am a peace-loving person. I do not wish to harm or kill anyone. Though, in a symbolic example that applies to nations, someone may come along and put a gun to my head and insist that my way of life is offensive and evil and that they desire to destroy me. Whether or not it can be argued that I could improve my way of life, this situation leaves me with a choice. I can die a pacifist, allowing those who would gladly commit violence to live on, reproduce and occupy the world or I can have enough strength to stand and counter that argument and choose to live on myself and fight so long as my life is threatened.

I'd rather stand up, push back and fight to defend my way over the other way. Then people like me, who do not love war or killing, but who will defend their lives are those that live on in the world.

I would love to be able to conceive of a peaceful, effective tactic or "weapon" against mass-ignorance, suicide bombing and terrorism. Until such time, I think the UN should lift the ban on incendiary weapons and firebomb the hell out of the war lords, perverse militants and murderous movements of the world and stop impotently messing around as if our western society isn't ultimately better, more deserving of preserving and refuse to accept any "inevitability" or purportedly "irreversible" trends.


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