Thursday, September 28, 2006

Part book review, part rant

I’ve been reading a book entitled “Flags of our Fathers”. The book is an overview of the battle for Iwo Jima, as well as the other Pacific Islands. Specifically it’s about the 6 men who were immortalized raising the Flag on Mt. Suribachi. The book is written by the Son of one of the men, and goes a little bit into their backgrounds, and their training, at least as much as a book written by a non-military person who wasn’t their could go. It also goes into the mindset of the commanders at the time, and the prevailing wisdom’s in the Pacific battle. I won’t bore you guys with all the details, but there are some interesting things.

Number one. The Pacific battles were fought totally outside the Geneva conventions. From the top down it was decided that since the Japanese didn’t fight by Geneva, we wouldn’t either. It was crazy to hamstring our soldiers when the injured japs would take a hand grenade and blow themselves and whoever was trying to assist them up. Better to just shoot em from a distance and move on. I wonder what FDR would think about all the PC crap going on now, much of it coming from inside the military command? The people now who are oh so worried about Geneva are totally ignoring precedent.

Number two. Folks in the U.S. weren’t worried about terrorism at home. Why? I think #1 was because the Japanese in the U.S. were interred, and our borders were reasonably secure. You didn’t get searched before you got on a train or a bus. It was rightly believed that terrorism and the tactics to defend against it on U.S. soil were a great threat to our liberties and constitution. I think the leaders of that time would find it offensive today to grant the rights of our Constitution to enemies inside the U.S., citizens or no. Enemies outside the U.S.? You must be joking. What would they say about us granting more passports to folks from muslim countries today than we did previous to 9/11?

Number three. It was patriotic to fight for your country. High schools had recruitment drives. They didn’t protest just having recruiters come speak on campus. Reporters that were with the troops(embedding is not a new thing) were looking for the best stories they could find about our fighting men. They weren’t worried about pointing out every deficiency(there were plenty) in either their command or their supplies and equipment. There were nearly 30,000 marine casualties in 36 days on a spit of land in the middle of the Pacific. Of the 22,000 Japanese defenders, none survived. Is it any reason we dropped H-bombs on Japan? But, that is another post for anther day, maybe.