Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A History Lesson

Newt Gingrich has recently been speaking of the War on Terror evolving into the Third World War. Personally, I have felt that it was World War III when coalition forces went into Afghanistan. We knew it wouldn't end in that country and that we were in a battle for our lives just as we were in WWII. Just because this battle isn't against a specific country, like it was with Germany and Japan, does not make it different. As Newt pointed out, Iran and Syria with their terror group Hezbollah as well as Hamas, have no intention of negotiating and would see Israel and the West destroyed. Then there is North Korea and their missile launches. Why is this then, not considered a World War?

Part of it is attitude. We have many, here in the United States as well as countries in Europe (France), who would negotiate and appease rather than take a stand. There are also many who compare the War on Terrorism and specifically Iraq to Vietnam, that we shouldn't be there and that we are hurting more then helping. But it is only their attitude that is like Vietnam and their belief that we can achieve peace through negotiations, while all of the rest of us believe it is more like World War II and that we must make hard choices and take a stand.

Thomas Sowell speaks of that attitude and the differences and similarities in the way that the United States acted after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and during World War II in his piece "Then and Now". He speaks of how everyone backed the president and the troops. Mr. Sowell also speaks of how appeasing and cease fires never work. Well, they do work but only for the aggressor, not for anyone else.

What if the people, institutions, and attitudes of today were somehow taken back in time to World War II? What would have been the result? Would we have ended up winning or losing that war?

What about the great cry of the hour, a cease fire?

It so happens that World War II had the biggest cease fire in history. It was called "the phony war" because, although France was officially at war with Germany, the French did very little fighting for months, while the bulk of the German army was in Poland and France had overwhelming military superiority on the western front.

Famed correspondent William L. Shirer reported on the "unreal" western front, with soldiers "on both sides looking but not shooting." German soldiers bathed in the Rhine and waved to French soldiers on the other side, who waved back.

During this period Hitler offered to negotiate peace with France and England.

Kofi Anan would have loved it.

On November 19, 1939, Shirer's diary reported: "For almost two months now there has been no military action on land, sea, or in the air." On January 1, 1940, he wrote, "this phony kind of war cannot continue long." But it was now exactly four months since war was declared. How is that for a cease fire?

Did this de facto cease fire lead to peace? No. Like other cease fires, it helped the aggressor.

It gave Hitler time to move his divisions from the eastern front, after they had conquered Poland, to the western front, facing France.

Now that military superiority along the Rhine had shifted in favor of the German armies, the war suddenly went from being phony to being devastatingly real.

Hitler attacked and France collapsed in six weeks.

You would have thought France would have learned something about cease fires and appeasing the aggressors, but no, they want to negotiate with Hezbollah, Hamas, insurgents and they believe that Israel is wrong to protect themselves. They, like others here and across the globe, do not understand that we are in a war for our lives. We are fighting a large group of fanatics, backed by terrorist regimes, who would see our way of life and indeed our very lives destroyed. These people would rule the world, make Islam the only religion and subjugate all women. This is not an outcome that we can abide. We must fight and continue to fight until they can no longer fight. If it comes to it, we need to be able to make the difficult decisions and take a solid stand that could further anger other people and/or other countries. If we don't show that we are serious, if we negotiate, appease, plead with those who would kill us, we are as good as dead.

Crossposted at A Rose By Any Other Name