Mao, what do you think of these <a href='http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... loJTA9l6qk
' target='_blank'>two</a> <a href='http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20050824/wl ... NlYwN0bWE-
' target='_blank'>stories</a> involving Australia?
(The first refers to the Aussie PM saying the gov't can/will enter mosques to see if they're teaching terrorism, and the second talks about an Aussie gov't official that said (paraphrasing), "if you want to live under Islamic law, get out of Oz.")
And Reverend, while I happen to almost totally agree with you with regards to the war in Iraq (I think it was poorly "sold", WMDs were one
reason not the only
reason, and I would have probably supported it regardless), two things:
First, you misread what I typed. I didn't compare Saddam to Hitler. I compared the criticism
of Bush's decision
to attack Iraq ("Waaaah! Go after Osama, he's the the one that attacked the WTC and Pentagon!") with the criticism
of FDR's decision
to concentrate the war effort on Germany and not Japan ("Waaaah! Go after the Japs, they're the ones that attacked Pearl Harbor!").
Roosevelt was roundly (and in my view, wrongly) criticized for going after the Germans when the Japanese were the ones who "started the whole thing". But Hitler played into FDR's hands by declaring war on December 11th
, giving FDR the "excuse" to defend his ally Britain and go after Germany. We slogged around in places like North Africa, Sicily, and Italy for over three years (December 1941 until June 1944) before we made it to the beaches of Normandy. Many Americans thought this was absolutely wrong and those resources were squandered when they would have been best spent fighting Japan. But Europe had always been a "mess", much like the Middle East is now, and history shows that the subsequent reduction of Germany (and Italy) and their complete rebuilding in "our image" via the occupation and the Marshall Plan, have produced a Europe that has peacefully coexisted with each other for 60 years.
And I do believe tactical mistakes were made in the war on terror and Iraq. Our successes in post-war Japan and Germany were due to reducing them to the stone age and dictating the terms through which they could reform. Looking back, we probably should have moved in with more troops and occupied the country for a longer period. A modern-day MacArthur should have told them what their constitution would look like instead of letting them go through this ridiculous media circus they're in now. But those are tactical mistakes (battles) not strategic (the war).
Second, when you say Saddam was no Hitler because his autrocities don't compare, you must understand that the US and Allies had an inkling of what he was doing to the Jews and others. We knew they were being mistreated, but we didn't know of the Final Solution. If we would have, incidents like the oceanliner <a href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Saint_Louis' target='_blank'>Saint Louis</a>
wouldn't have happened nor would our soldiers have been so surprised when they came upon the concentration camps. That's why I say we went in for other reasons (kick out a dictator, reform a region) and ended up doing other Good Things (stopping the Holocaust) without that being the original reason we went to war. If we had used "who looks like they are the most evil?" as a reason to fight, we would probably have gone after the <a href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ja ... Atrocities
' target='_blank'>Japanese</a>, not the Germans. We knew
what the Japanese had done in place like <a href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanjing_Massacre
But you are right in that Hitler was a conqueror and Saddam was just a tin-pot despot. But both were dictators that had destabilized their regions. Iraq just happened to be about the easiest place to go in and start cleaning house. Oh, and having troops, bases, ports and airstrips on both
sides of a nuclear-seeking Iran probably doesn't hurt...