Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Are Americans Really That Brutal in War?

World War I was supposed to be the war to end all wars. World War II was total. Korea ended in a (current) stalemate and Vietnam ended in defeat. There have been numerous smaller wars in between that involve the United States as well as those that do not. Here for example is the list of dozens of wars on Wikipedia from 1945 through 1989. Care to guess how many there have been without US involvement since then?

The reality of the matter is that war will always be with us and there is no escaping it as long as there is no harmony on the planet. Peaceful nations generally do not start wars - they try diplomacy first. We generally believe that the evil start wars for reasons that we classify simply including greed and power.

Now, the United States is being accused of starting the war for oil and for being the most brutal occupiers of Iraq in history and indiscriminately killing civillians and children either on purpose or through collateral damage.

It is time to put this in perspective.

The year is 1258. The month is January. Hulagu, grandson of Genghis Khan has beseiged the city of Baghdad. Yes, that very same Baghdad. He breaches the walls and his army (estimated to number between 100,000 to 850,000 depending on who you choose to believe) proceed to sack the city for 7 days. The Mongols have this habit of murdering as many civillians as they can and then beheading them and piling the skulls in pyramids as large as you care to imagine - or not. Some sources say that in those 7 days they killed 200,000. Other sources claim 800,000. Some claim more than a million were killed in those 7 days. Can you imagine what it must have been like to see 200,000 killed in a week? Or 800,000 or a million? Let me put it this way - there are less than a million seconds in a week.

The Mongols were absolutely brutal in war.
The Japanese were brutal in war.

Please don't make the statement that American behavior in Iraq in this century is at that same level.


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