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The sacrifices of American soldiers is detailed about halfway down the page http://www.japanorama.com/prj.html.

Well spoken!
As a German I also would like to express my gratitude to all soldiers who liberated my homeland and the whole of Europe from a horrible totalitarian regime - and showed us blockheaded Germans (hopefully) once and for all the power of democracy!

Thank you for showing us Americans that the sacrifices our families made was not forgotten, and is still appreciated by some in your country. It isn't often seen, except when searching the internet.

Malte Lehming, US-Korrespondent des Tagesspiegel, bringt zum Ausdruck, was nicht einmal George W. Bush hätte besser ausdrücken können. Slowly but surely, Freedom, Democracy and Prosperity are on the way - through the whole world.


Wahlen, zum Glück

Kabul, Bagdad, Ramallah, Kiew - die Demokraten kommen. Ein Grund für Euphorie.

"Viele Pessimisten tarnen sich gern als Realisten. Was ihre Haltung zum Irak motiviert, ist jedoch eine Mischung aus Kalkül und Ressentiment: Weil der Krieg falsch war, soll auch die Wahl zum Debakel werden. Sie befürchten, dass die gute Folge von etwas Bösem das Böse nachträglich gut macht. Solcher Räsoneure gibt’s leider zu viel. Sie haben ein Gefühl erstickt, auf das Europäer nach 1989 stolz sein konnten. Afghanistan ist nicht die Ukraine, die Ukraine nicht Palästina, Palästina nicht der Irak. Was in Kiew bloß ein Hügel, ist in Bagdad ein Gebirge von Problemen. Doch ein leise gemurmeltes »Wahnsinn« sollte erlaubt sein - und ein Quentchen mehr Euphorie."

http://www.henryk-broder.de/html/fremd.html?a=1

I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, Ca. Every father on the block was a veteran of WWII. Chuck's dad parachuted into Normandy. Mark's dad served on a destroyer in the Pacific. My father was a phamacists mate in the Navy after enlisting at 17. These men are all heros, having given so much in the defense of liberty. My father-in-law was asked once why he didn't go to school reunions, his repy still chills my soul,"My buddies all enlisted in the Navy as pilots before the war even started for us. After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor their veteran pilots tore into our young men who didn't have the same experience. None of my fiends was alive after Midway." Thank you for remembering that these young men were not statistics. We can only hope that the world today remembers the reasons they sacrified their lives. Freedom is not free.

To date, just over 1,000 US

1,304 is "just over" 1,000??? You've got quite a way with words for someone who wants to "honor" people in uniform.

Ray, an excellent post. My father would have appreciated the logic and concern involved. Their generation is leaving, but the military of to-day is taking the reins in a professional manner.

Thank yourselves. The Allies gave Germany a fresh slate to write upon. What has been written thereafter, for good or ill, reflects the voices of the german people.

Regards, Tom Hazlewood

@ Visitor,

Actually, when I mentioned the "just over 1,000," I was referring to soldiers killed in combat, which just crossed the 1,000 mark. You may want to go back and check your figures. I chose to mention combat losses because I wanted to accurately compare that figure to the corresponding figure of US troops killed in combat during the battle of the Bulge.

The number you refer to includes both combat and non-combat losses and I believe it also includes non-American losses.

Look, we are thankful to all those who are sacrificing in Iraq in every capacity regardless of nationality or whether they are hurt in combat or not. Let's also not forget all of the Iraqis fighting and dying for a free nation. We honor their sacrifices just as we honor those who gave so much in World War II.

---Ray D.

Comparing the war in Iraq to the sacrifice of WWII is dishonest. The correct analogy is VietNam. Then, as now, support from Americans began to wane is it became apparent that there was no clear mission. The majority of Americans now feel the same was about the misadventure in Iraq. (another 48 killed, 100 wounded today in Iraq)

Note from David: Condi's IP nbr is identical with those of commentors "Mike Moore" and "Vic", who btw runs his own blog at http://dialoginternational.typepad.com. Have a look (and leave a comment - you might be the first to do so). Some of the stuff he presents is quite interesting, others is plain-vanilla anti-Bush litany.

"and showed us blockheaded Germans (hopefully) once and for all the power of democracy!"

The problem is that Germany did not evolve into a democracy but that democracy was forced upon the German people. As long as WWII will be remembered in Germany, for most Germans the democratic model introduced by the US will always remain inextricably linked with the humilitation Germany suffered with her defeat. German democracy was not the result of Germany's love of freedom. It was a consequence of Germany's horrendous crimes, the complete failure of German society, its tradition, values and German civilization - and of Germany's defeat. It is no suprise that for most Germans democracy is not something to love, to be proud of, or even fight for. It is something to feel uncomfortable about because the history of German democracy will forever be linked with the collapse of German civilization. Most Germans today would consider themselves democrats but this is only superficial. We have no love of freedom, we feel no passion about democracy like the American people. For us, democracy is "das kleinste Übel", a lesser evil. In our hearts, we Germans will probably never love democracy and freedom. We are democrats not because we love freedom but because we have learned that anything else but democracy will ultimately result in bombs raining on Dresden. And we don't want that happening to our beautiful cities again. It is true, they showed us blockhead Germans the power of democracy. We are not stupid. We go along, play by the rules. We have experienced the power of democracy - but will we ever believe in it or even love it the way Americans do? Will we ever learn to at least appreciate what the Americans have done for us and for mankind as a whole?

As long as the history of Nazi Germany and WWII is remembered, our democracy will symbolize our unparalleled crimes and the utter failure of our civilization. But as soon as Germany disposes of her unpleasant past, democracy in Germany will be dead already. I have little hope that the Germans will ever become true democrats (present company excepted), and I am saying that as a German who has spend most of his life in this country.

Condi,

It is more like being at war with Germans and Germany... the same form of leadership, the same attitudes of many of the people to continue to fight and kill their fellow citizens...

Looks pretty much the same... actually..


@M.K.,

Nothing is written in stone regarding civilizations, how would one develop a society that valued those concepts? You postulate a society that can't learn, yet the US has been on a Liberal path for years and turned back from the precipice (so to speak). Are you sure that the situation is as bad as your presentation suggests?

Dear Dave/Ray,
I have to 'gimme' all that have posted before. They are right, both for the Americans and English, and all those who liberated not only Europe, but the 'free World' in WWII. With that said, Bless those who see that we are in the 1939 phase of WWIV. It's very scary and very important.

M.K.

Very interesting, however I have to disagree. The Germans have a problem with freedom not with democracy. Yes one could argue that democracy is the base for freedom, that might be true but you can have a democracy without having real freedom. All what it takes are 51 % of the people in this democracy voting against freedom.
Germany might not have a very long democratic tradition, but it was a democracy before 1933, Hitler was elected and I would doubt that the majority of his voters voted against democracy when they voted for the NSDAP or that they were aware that this would be the last election for the next 12 years. The Germans knew what a democracy is and it seemed reasonable for them to go back to a democratic government after WW II. I don't think, like you say, that democracy was forced upon them by somebody else or that America had to teach them what a democracy is.

But as I've said democracy is not the problem in Germany, it is freedom. Europeans in general and Germans in particular don't admire freedom the same way Americans do, they don't believe in individual liberties and personal responsibilities the same way Americans do. They want a strong government, a government that tells them how to live, a government that provides them with welfare and healthcare and regulates the economy.
Because Freedom as a core value is much less important in Germany one can not draw the conclusion that democracy is less important, in fact I think democracy is at least as important in Germany as it is in the US. The differnce is the Americans view democracy as the base for freedom, while the Germans ( and other Europeans) view democracy as a system that promises equality at the cost of freedom. The cost of this system is the loss of self-reliance and an ever increasing dependence on government.

The british intellectual Alexander Tyler once said "Under a Democracy, government is directed by the desire of a majority of citizens, inevitably leading to its downfall when the majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury."

This describes the problem of the German democracy, it is not that the Germans don't like democracy, they admire democracy, democracy is their protection against any form of change. The problem is that they misuse democracy because they don't understand the value of freedom.

Christian ( Proud to be German )

Christian,
Perhaps the problem is that Germans are not allowed to get past the fact that something happened in tne last century. The 1800's the US fought a bloody and protracted war in which an enslaved group of people were freed. The consequences of that war lasted for a long time but we didn't really start moving until we accepted that slavery had existed, and we were not the people that had done the enslaving. That dishonor belonged to our great-great-grandparents. We made sure that it wouldn't happen again, and went on from there. We are now responsible for our own faults, not theirs. We are responsible only for making sure that the situation doesn't happen again. My two cents.

@christian
RIght on!
Hey I live in Germany (I am an American).
I have major problems with German society, but you know what?
I would still be proud to be a German.
That in my opinion is a major German problem..
normal healthy self esteem (on a society level)
Don't always agree with what you write, but don't
let anyone tell you that you have no right to say that.. (I am proud to be a German)
steve

Thanks for your kind words about my father's generation. They did sacrifice a lot, but the world got back a lot in return, with a free Europe. Let's hope it stays that way.

As to Iraq, here's an interesting statistic to consider. Population of Israel = 4.5 million
Populartion of Iraq = 25 million
about 5 times as many Iraqis as Israelis.

As a very general observation, there are maybe five times the numbers of suicide bombers and car bombers attacking Iraqi civilians today, as were attacking the Israelis during the height of the Intifada launched by Chairman Arafat. So we might view the current situation in Iraq as roughly parallel to what Israel suffered through at the hands of similar groups of cut-throat suicidal maniacs. Only this time, it's not "the Jews" who they are going after, but other "insufficiently subordinated" Muslims and Christians. If Israel could survive such madness, so can the Iraqis. Israel went through its elections in spite of all the bombs going off, and so will the Iraqis. A terrible situation, but they will get through it, assuming America does not prematurely withdraw. I also note, the tone of the international news media is far more sympathetic towards the Iraqi civilians being massacred than they were towards the Jews who were massacred by Chairman Arafat's thugs. Except of course for Michael Moore, who has informed us the throat-cutters of Fallujah, who make car bombs attacking women and children on the street, for daring to express interest in democracy, are no different from the early American Revolutionary War soldiers...

As an American with some historical memory, and a good knowledge of WWII, including the Battle of the B., I have one central question: why, always, us? So we are now the HyperPower. That means we could, if we choose, pretty much ignore the rest of the world and pursue our own happiness (as prescribed in our founding documents). Yes, I know we might be somewhat impoverished by such isolationism -- economic, intellectual, and cultural intercourse with the ROW (Rest of the World) being, in general, a positive contribution to our society and culture. But how positive? Just what contributions have the ROW made to America in, say, the last 50 years? At some point, many Americans will simply say: We have to always do the heavy lifting (pay the costs, suffer the casualties, whatever). The ROW gets a free ride, at our expense. (Here I would be quick to add that this is most definitely not true of some, such as Britain and Australia -- they have carried their share of the burden -- and more!). The point of this is simply that American isolationism is a realistic option -- not the best, in an ideal world, but possibly the best in the world we actually inhabit. It is realistic because America really is a (potentially) self-contained entity: there is nothing, absolutely nothing, we need from the ROW to be a vibrant, successful society. You may think we need the ROW's oil. True, temporarily. But that dependence could be overcome, technologically, rather quickly. Moreover, whoever/whatever controls world oil supplies will be eager to sell to us. It is just not a serious concern, long-term.

So why do we put up with the continuing crap we get from the ROW? Because of a universalist idealism -- most Americans think the world can actually be made better! But idealisms are fragile, long-term, when reality is hostile. The odds are, IMHO, no better than 50-50 that by mid-century the US will be totally isolationist, completely self-contained and self-sufficient, able to protect itself from external threats, and absolutely unwilling to engage in anything serious beyond its borders, the ROW be damned.

@Christian

Interesting points. Thanks for that. You are right, one ought to be more precise when speaking about such concepts as democracy, liberty and freedom. I would also agree that it is freedom and liberty most Germans have a greater problem with. Democracy in itself does not hurt. But can there really be democracy without freedom and liberty? You say that the cost of the German/European system is the loss of self-reliance and an ever increasing dependence on government and that they want a government that tells them how to live. Isn't that just the problem? Isn't democracy supposed to work the other way 'round?

But you have made yet another point I would to subscribe to: this contrast in values might not just exist between the US and Germany but between also between the US and Europe in general. I know very little about the state of democracy in Portugal or Finland. But it certainly seems that many Europeans are only too happy to put up with a lack of accountability and democracy on EU level.


@ Mike H.
„Are you sure that the situation is as bad as your presentation suggests?“

I am not sure, just somewhat frustrated and a bit of a pessimist. We Germans were given a chance to learn from our mistakes (thank you, US) but more than 50 years later we somehow still keep ending up on the side of dictators und murderous regimes. How long will it take us?

As a soldier who is about to go down range, I have no problem, serving where we are needed. Most troops feel the same way. My wife does, but that is how the cookie crumbles. We serve to cover each others back.

Surprising to find anyone in Germany who both remembers and cares.

Never forget Malmedy! During the Battle of the Bulge, 125 soldiers were captured and then machine gunned rather then be held a POWs. 86 names of those who died are found on a memorial at the crossroads of Baugnez where the atrocity occurred. Autopsies carried out on the remains found showed that after being shot, about 40 soldiers had been shot in the head at short range with powder burns present. While others showed severe blunt trauma to their heads, from being clubbed to death with the butts of rifles. The order for this war crime came from Lt. Col. Pieper, a Waffen SS Panzer Commander. He was responsible for many atrocites in Russia prior to being transferred to the Western Front. Those who participated in this crime were brought to justice at the end of the war.

The story continues. From that point to the end of the war not a single member of the Waffen SS was ever captured alive by the American forces. One could say they all died fighting for Germany.

In the Netherlands there is an American Cemetery near Maastricht, in which ±8000 American soldiers, engaged in the liberation of the Netherlands during the winter '44-'45, were buried. I was particularly impressed by an inscription on the tower in the Court of Honor, the words of Perikles as reported by Thucidydes:
"Each for his own memorial
earned praise that will never die
and with it
the grandest of all sepulchres
not that in which
his mortal bones are laid
but a home
in the minds of men."
In one of the discussion threads in this blog there was a poster who wrote: "forget about gratitude" and another who asked rhetorically: "how long should gratitude last?".
I think forgetting is for the mindless.

I know people like to compare the current WOT with WWII, but in terms of size and the rest, it is different.

In WWII the US and its allies were fighting an enemy that at least at first was stronger. Today, in Afghanistan and Iraq, the enemy is actually weaker. So the war is not to be won by huge armies and fleets of aircraft.

That said, I do wonder how today's press would have covered WWII. Imagine how the press might have covered the D-Day rehersal disaster, or the fact that the German atomic bomb program was not very advanced. Or that the allies did not have enough troops in the European theater. What about the battles on the Pacific islands, were an enemy was willing to engage in suicide attacks on US troops after main resistance was thought crushed and the Island's pacified?

Or the big question -- the massive intelligence failure that was 12/7?

You could go on and on.

ARTIKEL AUS DEM DEUTSCHEN STERN FORUM:

1974

Beiträge: 253 20 US-Terroristen eliminiert
22/12/04 08:37:40

Gestern wurden mindestens 20 US Terroristen beim Kampf gegen den internationalen Terrorismus eliminiert.

Die Opfer der Terroranschläge, die ständig durch US-Terroristen im Irak oder Afghanistan oder durch jüdische Terroristen in den brutal besetzten Gebieten verübt werden, werteten diese Eliminierung als ein Erfolg beim Kampf gegen den Terror!


Quelle: http://www.stern.de/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=995037&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1#995037

Es zeigt erneut das die Redaktion des STERN keinesfalls gewillt ist ihre Aufsichtspflicht in diesen Foren walten zu lassen.

Not a good comparison. Germany was trying to and could have taken over Europe and the rest of the world; Iraq was not and could not, even with those weapons of mass distraction er destruction. For those whose knowledge of history is limited, the US was not the only country to fight Germany. There are a lot of Canadian graves scattered throughout Europe as well. The US was, thanks to Japan dragged kicking and screaming into W.W.II long after the other Allies were fighting for freedom in Europe.

Not a good comparison. Germany was trying to and could have taken over Europe and the rest of the world; Iraq was not and could not, even with those weapons of mass distraction er destruction. For those whose knowledge of history is limited, the US was not the only country to fight Germany. There are a lot of Canadian graves scattered throughout Europe as well. The US was, thanks to Japan dragged kicking and screaming into W.W.II long after the other Allies were fighting for freedom in Europe.

Dear Larry,

Thank you so much for enlightening us. You write: "For those whose knowledge of history is limited, the US was not the only country to fight Germany."

The US is also not fighting alone in Iraq or Afghanistan. In both nations, dozens of other nations have people on the ground helping the war effort.

"There are a lot of Canadian graves scattered throughout Europe as well. The US was, thanks to Japan dragged kicking and screaming into W.W.II long after the other Allies were fighting for freedom in Europe."

Just as in Iraq Brits, Spaniards and Japanese have died in the struggle.

Your point about the US entering the WWII late is well-taken. That was because a movement of 'Isolationists' had significant influence in the USA in those days. They didn't think what was going on in the rest of the world mattered...even if Facist dictators were murdering innocent people and violating arms treaties. Sound familiar?

I guess it takes a Pearl Harbor or a 9/11 for people to finally get it. And hey, why did we go after Germany? It was the Japanese who attacked us Larry...just like it was Al-Qaeda and not Iraq that attacked us on 9/11...

Let me ask you something Larry. No one I know on the Angry Left has given me an answer to this so far. If Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction or intentions to build them after the removal of sanctions, why didn't he just comply with the UN and the 17 resolutions he was violating? Why would he risk his own neck in a war and suffer terrible sanctions for no reason?

50 million people are free today and two Fascist governments are gone for good. I know you are disappointed Larry, you probably are motivated by hate of Bush, but the fact is that no where in history can you find a similar situation. The US lost 19,000 killed in the Battle of the Bulge. Again, was that a disaster? No. Yet the hard left and the MSM are calling Iraq a disaster. A disaster by what standard and in what historic context? Calling something a disaster 1,000 times doesn't make it so. And why doesn't the MSM ever show us pictures of schools and hospitals opening in Iraq? I guess good news doesn't sell...or suit the political goals of the hard left media.

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