July 20, 2007

I'm Tired

Of abusing historic comparisons. Here's Thomas Sowell trying to say that Iraq isn't that bad "historically"

If and when that 4,000th American death in Iraq is reached, we need to recall that more Marines than that were lost taking one island in the Pacific during World War II.

During the Civil War, more than twice as many Union soldiers as that were killed -- in one day -- at the battle of Shiloh, and again at Gettysburg.

Look, WW2 was the worse conflict in the history of the world. It involved total war between all the major industrial powers of the world. It included the only use of nuclear weapons ever and the mass extermination of an entire race of people. There is no comparing it to any other event in history. So yes casualties will be much higher in WW2 than in our little misbegotten Iraq adventure. It doesn't make Iraq any less misbegotten. The American Civil war involved mass mobilizations of huge armies. The tactics of the day called for these armies to line up across from each other and fire volleys of rifle fire at close range. So yes lots more people were killed in the Civil War than in the current slow grinding insurgency. That doesn't make Iraq good or easy or a small mistake.

Lets use some other wars for comparison. Just to pull an example out of my ass - The US lost 1725 killed in action in the Mexican-American War. We've suffered over double that number of casualties in Iraq. And we were able to steal California. What does our 3600 dead buy us in Iraq? Spanish American War - 3,289 U.S. dead (432 from combat) and Cuba got free and we got the Philippines and Puerto Rico .

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