Tuesday, August 16, 2005

What a difference 60 years makes

Yesterday’s 60th anniversary of VJ Day brought back memories of WWII. Then, I started to list the ways that war differed from today’s Operation Freedom Iraq. I know the following list is far from complete but it is early in the morning here on the Vineyard:

  • We were the attacked, not the attackers.
  • The democracies of the world wanted us to enter the war. Today, most of the leading democracies opposed our invasion of Iraq.
  • We had the Marshall Plan to restore our enemies’ world. Today, we can’t even ensure the Iraqis will have electricity for a full day. Which brings to mind that we had a post-war plan because we were not under illusions about how wonderful the world would be for the defeated nations.
  • Everybody – whether you were 5 or 75 years old - in this country knew we were at war. And everybody sacrificed.
  • We were not afraid that a photo of a casket containing a dead soldier would inflame the populace against the war.
  • Income taxes were not lowered. Our leaders were not convinced that we could have a guns and butter economy.
  • Just about everything was rationed. Roosevelt didn’t urge us to fight the enemy by shopping.
  • We had a President who listened to his generals. Now, we are seeing what happens when you think you know more about war and securing the peace than those who have spent their life at it.
  • Roosevelt told it to us straight. Why can’t Bush have the same faith in the American people?

I’ll stop now. It’s time for breakfast.

If you’re old enough, why don’t you add to the list?

2 comments:

Chimp said...

How do you know Roosevelt told it to you straight? It's pretty clear we don't get straight talk from the current powers that be, since we don't get much talk at all. But back in the day, how would you have known if something like abu ghraib was taking place?

Al DeVito said...

Perhaps, 'straight' was a little over the top. After all, many people did not know that Roosevelt could hardly walk and very few knew of his love affair with Lucy Mercer. What I was trying to see is that Roosevelt did not sugar coat his talks with bullshit about how well things were going when, in fact, they were not going well.