Melani McAlister, assistant prof of american studies at George Mason
"Writing in the _National Review_ this week (Sept. 13),
conservative columnist Ann Coulter called for the United States to just
start bombing, and not to worry too much about who the actual terrorists
are. "Those responsible include anyone anywhere in the world who smiled
in response" to the attacks, she wrote. "We should invade their
countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We
weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top
officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's
war. And this is war." Coulter is a terrifying human being, but she is
not alone. And she is right about the nature of war, which is precisely
what must stop us from supporting it."
First off: I doubt that there are many people in the western world who
would claim that WWII was not a just war.
Secondly, to those who claim we were fighting to 'save the jews', or
because of Nazi anti-semitism: No, we were not fighting for that reason.
Unfortunately, at the time, persecution of jews was not very high on the
list of anyone here in the US or Britain of why we disliked the Nazis.
It became a celebrated raison d'etre after the fact as the truth about
the concentration camps came to light as we occupied and liberated
europe, but it was not a big deal when we jumped in.
Nor did the Nazis attack us like Japan did, yet we put off using our
full force against Japan until after we had helped Britain and the USSR
get finished with Germany. That strategy would be like if we found out
that bin Laden and the Taliban was responsible, we decide to go off and
take care of his buddies in Iraq, and possibly Palestine, before we
dealt with him. Then, after we got rid of all these baddies, we'd
justify it all in rewriting Islam to "Make Islam Safe for Women", or
some such thing.
Sounds like a wierd strategy, huh? On further thought, this isn't such a
bad idea: Kicking Iraqs butt again would be good practice, and get the
war machine mobilized for the long haul. Once the easy target is out of
the way, go on to Afghanistan, allying with the Northern Alliance
against the Taliban, and weeding the innocent Afghanis from the Taliban
wackos. The experience in Iraq would help harden the troops for the
difficulties that are sure to result in chasing the Taliban through the
mountains of Afghanistan. Without it, I doubt that the soft and coddled,
politically correct troops of today's US military could hack it.
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