Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, November 03, 2006

Flashback

The Date: November 7

The Situation: As Americans go to the polls, U.S. troops are bogged down in a meatgrinder battle that will eventually cost 24,000 casualties and another 9,000 lost to fatigue, illness and friendly fire. Division after division is poured into a region that poses no real threat and could easily be avoided. The American war effort appears to have bogged down due to poor decision making and a lack of resources.

The Battle Cry: The party in power adopts the slogan "Never swap horses in the middle of the stream."

The Result: The incumbent president wins with 53.4% of the popular vote and an overwhelming 432 electoral votes

Now, as Paul Harvey would say, "for the rest of the story."

The year was 1944. The battle was the Hurtgenwald in Germany. After the Operation Market Garden debacle in September, the failure to capture a major port resulting in long supply lines, and too few troops, Allied forces would be stalemated on the Western Front for some five months of bloody attrition warfare. The Democrats urged Americans to "stay the course" and Franklin D. Roosevelt was reelected in a landslide.

Lucky for FDR, he didn't have to deal with today's media. They concealed his deteriorating medical condition (he died some six months later) and spared the public nightly tallies of the dead and wounded.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

People overwhelmingly supported FDR and WWII. You can't say the same for Bush and the Iraq war. There was also a purpose for us being in Europe. Remind me again why we're in Iraq? The story changes so often it's hard to keep track.

Tom Forbes said...

You should have asked Senator Cantwell that question a few days ago when she was here in Pullman. She voted to authorize the war in Iraq.

In any case, the American people were dead set against getting involved in the war in Europe in 1940. Roosevelt vowed to keep the U.S. neutral while secretly assisting the British in violation of U.S. and international law and seriously provoking the Germans.

When war did come, Roosevelt pursued a "Germany First" policy even though we had been attacked by the Japanese and Nazi Germany presented no threat to the U.S.

But FDR believed it was a moral imperative to take out a genocidal regime run by a madman dictator who threatened his neighbors and pursued the development of weapons of mass destruction....

Paul E. Zimmerman said...

I've been thinking that if the nightly news would show us the Iraqi mass graves left by Saddam's regime, opinions about the war might be different.

Maybe if we could see all of the innocent people the insurgents kill for having the "wrong ideas," there would be more support for our efforts there.

Perhaps if people remember such things as the bombing of two weddings in Damascus, Jordan, by Zarqawi's orders - that he orchestrated the murders of innocent civilians simply because the government of Jordan assists us in our war on the terrorists - we might hear more criticism where criticism is due: toward the terrorists.

Finally, if we could see our troops mowing down the terrorists in droves, which they are, and not only hear a one-sided, daily tally of just our casualties, our morale would be higher.

But all we get is the opposite of these things. Little wonder support seems so hard to garner, but what else can one expect when we're constantly being told lies of omission?

Tom Forbes said...

Every Commander-in-Chief in every American war has made mistakes, from George Washington to George Bush.

I don't deny that errors have been made in Iraq. But the goal of war is victory, not perfection. You correct the mistakes and move on to win.

Paul E. Zimmerman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul E. Zimmerman said...

Correction to my previous comment: Damascus is in Syria, Amman is in Jordan and that is where the wedding bombings happened.