Other than the Nuclear Bomb.....

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by LadyEagle, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. LadyEagle

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    what are we doing differently in Iraq than we did in Japan? Did we have Kamakazi bombers blowing up Americans in Japan after the US occupation or did the atomic bomb bring them to their knees? Need some history buffs to explain the differences between Iraq and Japan. Curious about this. Would think we would have followed a similar plan for Iraq since it obviously worked so well in Japan.
     
  2. Stratiotes

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    Great question LadyEagle...I wish I had the answer too. I've been thinking also of the anarchist movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as analogous to terrorism - they had no national affiliation but were affiliated by an idea. It was a war on an idea just as the war on terror. How the anarchists were defeated should give us some ideas how to deal with terrorism too.
     
  3. CoachC

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    I believe that we need to continue what we are doing. Building the Iraqi military and security and continue to hand over power as we can. The Iraqi forces have scored a major victory in Samarra over the last few days and even Al Sadr is talking about getting involved in the process as a candidate.

    The biggest difference between this situation and others in the past is the infusion of religion and outside forces that didn't exist at the end of WWII.

    When we occupied Japan we didn't have Chinese or Korean infiltrators sneaking into the country. We also didn't have the influence of religion like we do with these Islamo-Fascists we are fighting.

    Right now the American home front is every bit the battlefield that Iraq is. The terrorist believes that we are an impatient and heartless people. He knows that if Bush is defeated in November that his victory will take place very shortly. Everytime the American media gives these animals air time, he knows he is closer to victory because he believes that America will not stay the course.

    As I listen to the debate in this country I wonder if they aren't right. These people will keep coming at us because we are viewed as the great Satan. Their religion doesn't teach turning the other cheek or forgiveness. It teaches Allah or death. This is just a matter of picking your battlefield.

    Would you prefer to fight them in Najaf or New York, In Baghdad or in Boston. If we can get Iraq and Afghanistan to become democracies then we have won. Even if the candidates that win are anti-American at least the people had an opportunity to pick their own leaders.
     
  4. CoachC

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    I'm sorry lady eagle, I typed a book and didn't answer your question.......

    A couple of differences that I see.

    The United States media establishment of fifty years ago didn't belittle Truman and actually wanted America to win.

    We put enough people into Japan and Germany to do the job that had to be done. You didn't have terrorist elements like Al Qaeda or the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    Prosperity returned very quickly to Japan and Germany. They had, had it before and wanted it again. Under Hussein you have a whole generation of people who have never really known prosperity unless they were Sunni.

    The nations around Germany and Japan were in favor the occupation and knew that it was in their best interests to have Germany rebuilt. Iran, Syria, and even Saudi Arabia will not view a democratic Iraq or Afghanistan as a friend.

    I hope I answered you better with this letter than the first.
     
  5. Roy

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    In Japan, we seriously interfered with their religion. The emperor was forced to admit that he wasn't a deity. New leaders in Japan were no longer allowed to worship at the Shinto temple either, since that religion was considered a source of trouble. Our government also took control of the trials and executions of Japanese war criminals, not the locals.

    Now, I don't know about Japan, but my late father-in-law was in Germany when it fell, and he said that massive POW camps were set up there (50,000 prisoner capacity) and nearly every man in the country was detained and had to be filtered through the system. He said that he witnessed extreme acts of brutality against German prisoners.

    Maybe the trouble is that we aren't acting like conquerors in Iraq.

    Roy
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    We had MUCH MORE PROBLEM in Germany in 1945-50 with attacks, hit-and-run, ambush, back alley stabbing, etc. Werewolfs (German underground) was simply ignored in the press.

    Roy was right. DP camps (displaced persons) and POW camps were strictly enforced. This restriction of freedom for the DEFEATED helped the victors to solidify the new nation.

    We didn't count on that and didn't have the military police ready from day one in Iraq. 20/20 hindsight

    Today it is overblown.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    I wonder if we aren't trying to be too politically correct in Iraq. With the great concern about freedom, I think we are missing a great chance to put a foot down and straighten some things out. In Germany and Japan after the war, it took time for people to get back up to speed on governing. I think we are trying to be too nice perhaps.

    I think a major difference between the post WWII world and now is that time frame ... It took 5+ years to get things going and longer than that in some areas. Now, people are complaining that has been 18 months. The chronological distance has caused many to forget the time necessary to straighten things out in the post WWII world.
     
  8. Daisy

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    Germany and Japan had both declared war on us; Japan actually attacked us on American soil. Iraq did not declare war on us and did not attack us. (Yeah, but he was looking at us funny).

    We are supposedly great liberators of the Iraqis, not conquerors. The Iraqis were supposed to greet us as saviors with flowers and cheers of gratitude, which some actually did do. But when civil disorder ensued, when schools and office buildings were shut, when water became scarce, when jobs became nonexistant, when electricity was shut off, when civilian men, women and children died or were maimed on the streets, when prisoners were tortured, when wedding party celebrants were gunned down, many who cheered became disillusioned and bitter.

    I don't think that any major German or Japanese cities were no-go zones months after the national governments surrendered. Germany was occupied by the US, UK, France and Russia. It split into East and West Germany in 1949 and unsplit in 1990.

    Not until March 15, 1991 did all four occupiers formally relinquished rights to the reunited Germany.

    Japan minded its own business as a strictly isolationist empire until forced by the US to open its borders to trade in 1854. After that, they expanded their borders into China and Russia and occupied Korea and Taiwan as well as several islands. Attacking Pearl Harbor was a big mistake.

    We still to this day supply military protection in exchange for their agreement not to have any standing army or navy.
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    However, there was also a huge difference in the type of activity in post war Japan/Germany and Iraq. That makes a real analogy almost impossible. In WWII and the ensuing days, international standards were adhered to for the most part. In Iraq, they are not. The insurgency in Iraq shows just how much a part of the war on terror this is now. These insurgents are not fighting civilized warfare. They know no boundaries.
     
  10. Daisy

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    Warfare is not civilized.
     
  11. Stratiotes

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    Draconian methods where we acted like conquerors in WWII might have worked - but the same kinds of actions in WWI only led to another world war. The fact that we were able to do something with such methods is no proof to me that it works.

    Take into account what I asked earlier about anarhists - they were defeated without war and without invading any of the hotbeds of anarchism like Spain at the time. The Soviet Union and the Warsaw pact also was not defeated by such methods. The way we did it in one war does not imply it will work again nor does it imply it was the best way.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    My point was that warfare has some recognized standards such as not targeting civilians, not torturing prisoners, not using chemical weapons, etc. That is what I meant by "civilized warfare" ... things such as the Geneva conventions.

    Strat, my point was this: After WWII, it took time and effort to get these countries on their feet. It didn't happen overnight. The same thing is true in Iraq. The establishment of a new democratic type government will take time.
     
  13. Matt Black

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    Two fundamental differences between Germany/ Japan and Iraq:-

    1. Number of troops. At least half a million will be needed in Iraq to make the occupation viable. But I'm sure Congress and the US taxpayer will not stump up the money for that. You also need well-educated civilian administrators and workers to nation-build and I can't see many Ivy League grads applying for jobs there even if the security situation was imroved by ocreasing the number of troops

    2. Length of occupation. In Germany and Japan it lasted decades. But the myopia which afflicts whatever Administration you have after November (only see as far as the next four years)and much of the American public opinion will not permit that.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  14. Stratiotes

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    I agree Matt. I said when the war started that I thought it would be years and take far more troops than they were willing/able to muster. So did several commanders - many of those military men retired when their views were ignored and criticised. I think they are being proven correct now.
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    Matt,

    I don't know that it will take that many foreign troops. By the end of next year, there is supposed to be 250,000 Iraqi forces trained and operating. In addition, there are leadesr who are being trained and given guidance. I don't sense the bleakness of it you do.

    As for the second, I agree and tried to make that point earlier. It took a very long time to get Germany and Japan back on their feet and productive. The same will be true in Iraq. We have to have a long term view that democracy in the middle east is helpful to the whole world and the relatively small investment we are making now will pay off in the long run by the emergence of free and stable nations.
     
  16. Stratiotes

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    Although the pay is substantially more for Iraqi security forces than it is for the general public, I think it is becoming more and more frightening to apply for the job. Seeing as how it makes one a target of the insurgents and there is talk now that they are not meeting their current goals, I will be very surprised if they meet their 250,000 goal.

    And US forces cannot take up the slack at their current levels. A draft or convincing our allies to get us out of the mess are our only alternatives if these things don't change. The republicans can deny it all they want but its just that - denial.
     
  17. LadyEagle

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    Here's something else which the current administration has not considered and which I've seen posted on Iraqi (citizens who live there) blogs. Most of the reconstruction work in Iraq is being farmed out to outside contractors (meaning big international corporations) instead of depending upon the Iraqi people themselves. Some of the Iraqi people are angry and resentful about it - feel perfectly capable of handling a lot of this themselves and their initiative in retaking control of their own country and fighting the terrorist elements is smothered because they aren't fully involved in the reconstruction process.

    In Afghanistan, (which supplies approx. 75% of the world's poppy supply), the crops were never destroyed when we occupied. So what we did was buy off war lords (at $200,000 a pop) for cooperation and who also control local tribes and the poppy production and aren't about to give up such a lucrative cash crop for an alternative that brings less money.

    So many elements of both Afghanistan and Iraq were overlooked by the Administration before our troops were placed in harm's way and committed to these endeavors. One would think world leaders with wisdom and intelligence at their disposal would look to history in these undertakings to see what worked and what didn't work in times past instead of blundering about foolishly wasting lives and resources.

    I also think we have been too polically correct and timid compared to WW2 - our nation is divided and could have been brought together on all of these issues (as in WW2) if we had had the right leadership - which we haven't. :(

    Where did all the Statesmen go?
     
  18. fromtheright

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    From what I understand, a big difference with Japan is that the emperor basically capitulated and the deep loyalty the Japanese had to the emperor was the reason they did not resist. No such influence in Iraq.
     
  19. The Galatian

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    In Japan, we didn't destroy the structure of the state. We cleaned out the militarists, but left the bureaucracy intact. We didn't remove the emperor, just removed the warrior/religious mythology around him. And his public declaration that the war should end, and that the Japanese public should cooperate with the Allies, went a long way to keeping the peace.

    Consequently, the same cops, judges, inspectors, etc. continued on, just with different orders. The extra-judicial secret service, military police, etc. were removed, but that had little effect on the day to day life of the average Japanese.

    Remember, too, that the military government of Japan was a relatively new thing. The militarists had only taken over from a relatively democratic civilian government a few years earlier.
     
  20. Stratiotes

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    The Japanese culture of social cooperation with authority (brought by the geographic necessity of dealing with earthquakes and volcanoes if nothing else) had a lot to do with it too. The idea is "rugged individualism" has never been quite so appealing as it has been in other places. I think those cultural conditions had a lot to do with the success there.

    Interestingly sidenote, the sanctions against them that prevented them from investing extravagantly in military forces meant they had more money for economic development while the rest of the world was spending the majority of their resources on a cold war. While the rest of the world was building weapons and armies to fight each other, Japan was building a global economic powerhouse.
     

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