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January 28, 2006

Link of the Day

Where does the War on Terror rank amongst the other great wars of American history?

January 28, 2006 | Permalink

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Ellis makes good points, but his analysis (as published) is very sketchy. First, the 'rightness' of the war needs to be kept very independent of the steps domestically taken - reducing freedom- that were taken in the war's name.

A better way of thinking of our wars is whether they were well motivated by real dangers to our country or to democratic values we uphold for us and our fellow-democratic countries, or for some less obviously necessary or self-serving purposes

Looking at the post civil-war conflicts we have been in, I'd put together these lists of good and bad.

Good:
WWI
WWII
Korea
Cold War against Soviet Union
Bosnia/Kosovo
Iraq I
Afghanistan
War against terror (without Iraq II)

Bad:
Mexican-American War
Spanish-American War
Vietnam
Iraq II

The list of bad wars seems notable for the hype, imperialism, justifying lies, ideological deception, and domestic political maneuvering involved.

I've left out some 'interventions', like Haiti, and Panama, which probably are arguable. I haven't spend hours or days doing this analysis, so I'm open to disagreement, but this description is the basis for a better classification with more analysis and evidence.

Posted by: JimPortandOR | Jan 28, 2006 4:30:00 PM

Ellis is entirely correct in his assertion that the significance of 9/11 diminishes when viewed in a larger historical context. I hope he's prepared to be vilified mercilessly by those for whom 9/11 is an invaluable political tool, to say nothing of those for whom it provides an essential emotional pretext for public displays of outrage, grief, zenophobia, etc. Ellis's piece is like dissing Christmas. Look out! Here comes O'Reilly!

Posted by: Farinata X | Jan 28, 2006 4:58:49 PM

We all realize that the 'War on Terror' doesn't really exist, right?

Posted by: Dadahead | Jan 28, 2006 5:59:59 PM

Oh, oh! "Emperor's New Clothes" becomes the Prez's "War on Terror".
Doesn't he realize the dangers of stating the obvious ?
Can the "War Powers" survive the lack of war and validation by Congress ?

Posted by: opit | Jan 28, 2006 10:25:00 PM

"Sept. 11 does not rise to that level of threat because, while it places lives and lifestyles at risk, it does not threaten the survival of the American republic, even though the terrorists would like us to believe so."

I was struck by the passage quoted above. I don't think Osama Bin Laden believes that his terrorism puts the American Republic's survival at risk. If anyone thinks that, it is George W. Bush. So, was Ellis calling Bush a terrorist?

Posted by: Bruce Wilder | Jan 29, 2006 2:35:37 AM

Only the Civil War can match George's Excellent Iraq Adventure for delivering elections.

You could, in fact, safely call GEIA it the world's most expensive campaign commercial.

2002 was about going in -- remember the timing of the AUMF vote?

2004 was about 'staying the course'.

And it's got two more elections in it -- 2006, after Operation Heroes Homeward, and 2008, which will become a debate on "Who Lost Iraq". The answer will be Cindy Sheehan, Howard Dean, and whomever the Democrats nominate for president.

Thats four elections from one war.

And that's no accident.

If you gave the GOP the choice between a stable, democratic Iraq, and a prostrate and irrelevant Democratic party at home -- as their preferred 'victory', there is no doubt that they would leave the first on the table and take the second in a New York minute.

It looks like facts on the ground is going deny them the first, which is why they are using any means necessary to secure the second.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina | Jan 29, 2006 11:22:06 AM

I was discussing this with antimedia the other day in reference to the NSA wiretap scandal. I making the point that the war on terror does not justify the abandonment of basic principles in the service of expediency.

http://www.politicalbloviation.com/archives/266

Posted by: Sonny | Jan 29, 2006 1:00:41 PM

War on terror?

Kinda like the 'war on drugs' and the 'war on poverty.'

Re: Jim in Portland.

Korea a 'good' war? How? Just because we didn't lose as miserably as in Vietnam? Korea was a waste of the lives of millions of Chinese and Koreans, not to mention 53,000 Americans, simply to protect another one of our pathetic tinpot dictators. And of course paving the way for NSC68. Yup, a truly 'great' war.

Posted by: Darius the Lesser | Jan 29, 2006 11:37:41 PM

Korea a 'good' war? How? Just because we didn't lose as miserably as in Vietnam?

Depends on what you think the goals were. Were they to take over North Korea (already in existence) or were they to maintain the sovereignty of South Korea?

The Chinese did not have to get involved. They chose to start fighting. Of course, MacArthur could have avoided their involvement if he had applied an ounce of diplomacy.

It is true that South Koreans had a dictatorship until the early 90's. However, they did manage to avoid the excesses of misery that currently occur in North Korea, and they also now have a democratically elected government, with a political system that is much more vital than ours. Any country that elects as President a man who spent time in prison under a previous regime has, I believe, come a long way.

Posted by: Stephen | Jan 30, 2006 12:20:55 PM

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Posted by: judy | Sep 29, 2007 9:45:58 AM

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