The other night, as I was doing more extensive research (i.e. sitting on the couch watching the History channel, again), I started thinking about how long we were involved in World War II compared to how long we've been fighting the War on Terror (we really need to come up with a better name).
Well, Mark Steyn at National Review was apparently wondering the same thing; but he actually did the math and came up with a date: May 19, 2005. That's next Thursday.
A week and a half after the VE Day anniversary, here's a date that will get a lot less attention: May 19, 2005. On that day, the war on terror will have outlasted America's participation in the Second World War. In other words, the period since 9/11 will be longer than the period of time between Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and the Japanese surrender in August 1945.
That is just incredible. After the thousands of movies made and millions of words written about WWII, our involvement was only about 3-1/2 years. It seems so much bigger than that. And it was.
That so many people made so many sacrifices for that war seems almost unbelievable in light of the American people today.
Back then, everything from gas to food was strictly rationed. Women had to switch from silk stockings to nylons because silk was needed to make parachutes. You couldn't buy a new car back then because all of the factories were busy making war materials. People planted "victory gardens" in any available open space to supplement the food supply. Any little bit of scrap metal was turned in by the people to be recycled into tanks, guns, airplanes, etc. People walked whenever possible so that more gasoline could be sent to the troops.
And, though there was some grumbling, the vast majority of people in this country did it happily enough, because they knew that it was necessary to defeat the very real threat to the American way of life.
Now look at today. People complain loudly and vociferously because they have to stand in line a few extra minutes at airports. Other than that, what sacrifices have we had to make in our daily lives? None.
Because those in power know that we wouldn't stand for it. Because the 1960's generation taught us that having whatever we want and doing whatever we want, when we want to, is our entitlement.
Until very recently I believed that most people weren't taking this war seriously because it lacks a well-defined enemy within well-defined borders who are all dressed in identical uniforms.
After thinking about what the people of the 1940's were willing to do to win the war, I no longer believe that. I believe that most people aren't taking this war seriously because, if they admitted that it was a real war, then they'd feel obligated to do something about it.
Osama may be right in one regard: too many people in this country have become soft and spoiled by the "if it feels good, do it" attitudes that became prevalent during the '60's and '70's.
In some respects, it's also the fault of our leaders (many of whom come directly from the 1960's counter-culture) for not telling us what is needed.
Many of them refuse to do it for fear of losing power by angering people by telling them that they have to change their lifestyles to preserve that same lifestyle for future generations. They are the ones that are so power hungry that they'd rather let the nation burn than lose power.
There are others in power who believe (as I do) that it would be a lost cause to try to get people to sacrifice anything. In the beginning President Bush and his administration tried, briefly, to tell us what we could do to help ourselves. He was rewarded with scorn and ridicule.
Remember when he said that we should keep an eye out for anything suspicious? When he said that mailmen and meter readers could be a great help by reporting anything that didn't seem right?
He was accused of trying to turn everybody into informants for the State.
Remember when he said that it would be a good idea to keep duct tape and plastic sheeting handy to make an airtight room to ward off biological agents in event of attack?
The idea was ridiculed for months, even though it made sense to at least try to protect yourself.
Eventually he just gave up, and I don't blame him. It's sad, really. It's a sign of a country that is in total denial of reality. We are so afraid of losing the smallest of our comforts that we feel we're entitled to, that we deny the very real threat that someone is trying to bring down our country.
Or maybe we've become so used to the Left trying to bring down our country for so long, that we've become numb to the attacks.
The Left is also a huge part of the problem. The country has become so politically correct that we can't say one bad thing about the very people who are attacking us. That, my friends, is insanity.
As I said in a previous post: it's not just some small sliver of "Islamofascists" in the Mideast who are trying to kill us, as the MSM would have you believe. Even right-thinking people in the "alternative" media mouth the words of "tolerance" for fear of bringing the thought-police down on their heads.
The fact is, the vast majority of people in the Mideast agree with the terrorists and are cheering them on just as we cheer our troops on. They may hate the dictators that they live under (i.e. Saddaam), but they have no great love for us and believe that the terrorists are doing the right thing. They look upon them as freedom fighters until the terrorists take over their towns and homes and start killing them. Only then do they run to us and tip us off and beg for our help.
And after we take care of the problem they go right back to bitching about us (see Fallujah). You'd almost think that they were French!
What's needed is an outright campaign to villify these people just as we did with the Germans and the Japanese in WWII. Although the Left would scream otherwise, it isn't racism. It's their attitude and their beliefs. It was hardly racist of us to villify the Germans in the 1940's when so many of us were direct descendants of these (white) Germans. But their attitude and their actions were horrible and evil, just as they are in the Mideast today.
There's nothing wrong with villifying that.