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Why do I bring this up? Why do I bring these situations up? We'll get to why. First the situations. (and second and third and then the why one).
Back during the Pacific Theater of the 2nd World War, even as Japan had been functionally defeated -- its air force all but nonexistent and its fleet all but sunk . . . . . . how many died in our assaults on the Pacific islands such as Iwo Jima. There were the remnant Japs up in their caves, writing their letters home. And we landed, sometimes from the outset in problems of soft sand and mired manouvers. And we then proceeded to charge uphill with the Japs firing downhill. And how many of ours died, so exposed to observation and aiming of bullets from those above in the labyrinths and concealments of the hilltops? And for what??
What threat those enemies essentially trapped in their holes in the grounds of the isolated islands ??
What a waste of our men who could have just sat offshore in the ships that had brought them while the Japs starved and thirsted and wrote home and then either surrendered or committed "bullet Seppuku" (used to be done by slitting one's belly).
Normandy Beach. A veritable cliff from the beach up to the land. Heavily fortified and manned and weaponed by the enemy. And we choose to launch our landing there???? Bad enough climbing up against the flow of bullets and flame throwers down upon our guys. But consider that prior to our landing on the "beach", the whole swath had been quite comprehensively barriered with various devices to prevent landing craft from getting close enough to shore that a goodly number of soldiers drowned before they even had the glory to be shot down.
For what purpose the sacrifice of so many sent directy into a slaughter paradigm. In that the Germans had so significantly expected and impeded the landing at Normandy, why didn't we suddeny invade elsewhere where there were not cliff-top bunkers and those amassed therein, waiting, aiming, shooting. Why wasn't saturation-striation strafing and bombing done prior to the landing to at least depopulate the cliff-tops?
And what was gained at that point of an essentially defeated, demilitarized Germany whose infiltration of France would have begun to hunger and thirst and head back to what was left of der Vaterland??
Our guys could have just sat offshore crammed in the ships and at least had coffee and cigarettes while the Germans perched atop the precipice waited in vain.
Again to the Pacific and Japan and a country defeated with no military materiel left and a decimated male population and our dropping atomic weapons upon two civilian cities was because (supposedly -- and this has been questioned) the Emperor refused to relinquish his ultimate emperorship and thus we'd have to invade Japan and far more of our soldiers would have died than those incinerated by the bombs and inconvenienced by the lingering deaths by radiation poisoning even after the 3rd degree burns scabbed over the kids and women.
For what purpose would we have had to INVADE JAPAN??? Because Hiro Hito said "I wanna still be Emperor"?
What would have been done -- what would Japan have done . . had we just sat a bunch of ships offshore and waited until the populace hungered and thirsted sufficiently to convince him to step down? Before they tore him down and tore him apart?
SO WHY DO I BRING ALL THIS UP ?
In the latest issue of THE WEEK there's a little article entitled "A looming offensive in Iraq". It concerns retaking "the sprawling city of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. A Central Command official said U. S. advisers will train the 25,000 Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers needed to assault Iraq's second-largest city."
So much for what the Iraq War accomplished and our betraying the trust Saddam had in his continued proxy-vs-Islamic-extremisim-favored position as Our (U. S.) guy in the Middle East. ("our bastard -- the enemy of our enemy is our friend" etc. Rumsfeld making nice with Saddam, virals, bios, conventionals, etc.) supplied (do a little research in to Reagan-era U. S. Iraq relations).
The WEEK article continues, "The Iraqis [supposedly -- until our own boots are on the ground with them and dying with them] will have to fight house to house, just as U. S. forces did in Fallujah in 2004. Nearly 100 Americans died in that battle, and 600 were wounded. The bloodshed in Mosul, five times larger than Fallujah will surely be greater."
For what purpose such carnage even if it doesn't (hah) come to involve our own troop [sic]? A Geneva-oblivious (even humanitarian-oblivious) force of psychotics ensconced in a large city and anyone launches into it a force to drive them out? A bit too late? They're already there!!!! And "built-in". And if we don't drive them out, what's going to be exacerbated in the region? Maybe having them stay put would keep them from proliferating in the region??? Maybe keeping them put in Mosul would make much more sense and cost far less bloodshed than an idiotic attempt to drive them out into a diaspora of Muslim-mania metastases????
There was precedent. Germany's blockade of st. Petersburg, Russia. Starvation and thirst in the swelter of Mosul would be perhaps even less bearable than the sweet ensuing sleep of freezing to death for so many in St. Pete.
Another failed attempt was Russia and E. Germany which we remedied significantly with the Marshall Plan.
And who would attempt a Marshall Plan for ISIS in Mosul? Not even Iran or Syria, for it would "out" them as ISIS enablers (perhaps along with world-scope military-industrial-complex suppliers to whomever pays . . . but also with present drone tech we'd be able to knock down "Iranitarian supply service" planes.
Why have I brought up these situations, these examples of what I see as policy idiocy? Past and proposed?
Because nothing is gained relative to what is lost. Especially in this present situation which differs from Imperial aspirations of actual nations that could be defeated like in the past -- even though they'd functionally already been defeated thus what we did was "overkill" which included our own fatalities.
Because, different now, like AlQaida, ISIS driven from Mosul will change its name and continue as a sectarian infection of the disaffected and disillusioned and just demented.
Perhaps there can be an innoculation against extremism?
Ah, but there would be those who'd refuse it, for their kids might be afficted with autism instead of Jihadism.