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Have We Lost WWII Generation’s “Deep Knowledge?”
The Illinois leader ^ | 6/4/04 | Daniel K. Proft

Posted on 06/04/2004 5:14:01 PM PDT by qam1

OPINION - 20 years ago Sunday, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of D-Day, President Ronald Reagan concluded his speech at Omaha Beach saying, “We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.”

This Sunday it will be 60 years since the Allied Forces stormed the beaches and took the cliffs at Normandy in what was the defining moment of the 20th century in the battle against tyranny.

Each 10-year anniversary of that day grows more important as it becomes more distant. In fact, it grows more important because of its increasing distance in time.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, World War II veterans are dying at the rate of more than 1,000 each day. Some 16.5 million men and women served in the “Big One” but only slightly more than 4 million are still alive today.

Let me repeat for emphasis, today we lost another 1,000 World War II veterans.

I thought about this a little bit last year when my grandfather, a World War II Navy man, passed away. I thought about it again this weekend while watching the Memorial Day remembrances and, most particularly, the dedication of the long overdue World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

My generation, “Generation X” as it has been so dubbed by the arbiters of pop culture, got a pass. There was not a credible concern about the possibility of conscription.

I was 17 when the Berlin Wall came down signaling the effective end of communism and the rebirth of freedom in Eastern Europe, or “new” Europe as Defense Secretary Rumsfeld aptly terms it today.

Since Vietnam and the end of the Cold War going forward to our present War on Terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq, our military force has been a voluntary one.

9/11 certainly brought home the fact that there is nothing inexorable about freedom, security or even America as we know it. There are people out there who are at war with our ideals and we ignore that reality at our own peril.

Nevertheless, I’m left wondering whether or not my generation and subsequent ones dismiss the axiom that “freedom isn’t free” as just old an platitude trotted out on national holidays to honor old people who fought in some wars over some things some time ago?

The answer is probably mixed. Certainly there are those in every generation that answer the call to give of themselves to provide for the freedom of another.

The more than 800 American soldiers that have perished (31 from Illinois) and the 4,600-plus that have been wounded fighting to successfully free 26 million people from the clutches of a murderous dictatorial regime in Iraq are testament to this fact.

But compare those numbers to the World War II figures: More than 405,000 soldiers died in World War II, another 671,846 were wounded in action.

Any wonder why they call them the “greatest generation?” Not just for the staggering sacrifice in terms of lives lost and lives forever changed but because that generation literally saved the world from tyranny and an entire race of people from extinction.

Would my generation be willing to make such a sacrifice if the stakes were similarly high today? And, quite frankly, aren’t they?

The tenor of the public discourse about President Bush’s handling of the War on Terrorism since 9/11 leaves me wondering.

No speculation is needed about our men and women in uniform. There is an amazing fortitude to their spirit. I watched the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS on Monday and one of the segments was a tribute to those who had been wounded, who had lost limbs, while serving our country in Iraq.

The moral clarity and the sense of purpose of the young men profiled at the concert was chilling and awe-inspiring. How else to describe a 20-year old who has to learn to walk with two prosthetic legs?

When I was 20, my biggest concern was getting into the classes I wanted in college. Some of these young men, whose lives have been changed forever by a mortar shell at the age of 20, as concert host Ossie Davis said, wonder if a woman will ever find them attractive, if they will ever have a families?

That same indomitable spirit that was on display in the Mall in Washington, D.C. on Monday night defeated Nazism and ushered in a period of prosperity, even during the Cold War period, for America unlike any the world has ever seen 60 years ago this Sunday.

Where does that spirit come from?

I turn again to the Great Communicator. From President Reagan’s memorable remarks at Point De Hoc in 1984,

“The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.”

In reflecting on the upcoming 60th Anniversary of D-day, I wonder if we, the civilian population, have lost that “deep knowledge” of which President Reagan spoke and that commitment to a higher purpose embodied by our armed forces then and now?


TOPICS: Extended News; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: dday; genx; greatestgeneration; ronaldreagan; veterans; wwii

1 posted on 06/04/2004 5:14:02 PM PDT by qam1
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; malakhi; m18436572; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details.  

2 posted on 06/04/2004 5:16:59 PM PDT by qam1 (Tommy Thompson is a Fat-tubby, Fascist)
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To: qam1

Marines have never forgotten HONOR, INTEGRITY, COURAGE, FREEDOM, PATRIOTISM


It's a shame that most of this country has no idea of the meaning of those words.


3 posted on 06/04/2004 5:23:03 PM PDT by steplock (http://www.gohotsprings.com)
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To: steplock

Honor, Integrity, Courage, Freedom, Patriotism
"It's a shame that most of this country has no idea of the meaning of those words."


It's also a shame that the greatest generation are the grandfathers of these wussies.


4 posted on 06/04/2004 5:32:00 PM PDT by AngieGOP (I never met a woman who became a stripper because she played with Barbie dolls as a kid)
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To: qam1

A real quagmire and one that isn't

The dedication of the World War II monument in Washington D.C. provides us with more than just an opportunity to express gratitude to one of the greatest generations in American history for their valor, sacrifice, and devotion to duty has they defeated one of the gravest threats to enlightened civilization in history. It also provides us with an opportunity to examine the historical record of World War II and contextualize it in relation to the current situation in Iraq.

If one wishes to adopt the outlook of the contemporary critics of the Iraq enterprise, than World War II could have been characterized as an endless quagmire that we could never win. Relatively few people are aware that the strategic bombing campaign in 1943 nearly ground to a halt when the deep penetration raids into Germany were called off after the catastrophic heavy bomber losses of the Schweinfurt and Regensberg missions. (So brilliantly characterized in the great World War II movie "12 o'clock High") No one was whining loudly and publicly about the fact that the self defending bomber formation concept was flawed and had revealed itself to be so by not having a long-range fighter escort ready at the time. We are so used to the Air Force sustaining almost no casualties in current day operations that we often forget that the 8th Air Force based in England suffered more dead (26,000) than the entire Marine Corps did in World War II (less than 20,000) There were no loudly public howls of quagmire, quagmire we can't win this.

How about the night naval battle off Savo Island, Guadalcanal in August of 1942 in which the United States Navy, defeated by a Japanese navy far better versed in night fighting tactics, sailed away and left the Marines stranded on Guadalcanal with no immediate hope of supply? There weren't any howls of quagmire, quagmire we can't win.

How about the slaughter off the Eastern Seaboard of the United States in 1942 in which the U-boats of the German Kreigsmarine during Operation Drumbeat sunk 500 allied merchant and navy ships in a six-month period in the greatest naval disaster in United States history? There was an almost incomprehensible failure to develop an efficient convoy escort system despite the lessons of World War I. Again no howls of quagmire, quagmire we can't win, let's make the Secretary of War and Chief of Naval Operations resign.

How about the Kasserine pass in Tunisia in February of 1943? The tough veterans of Rommel's Afrika Corps soundly defeated and routed green American troops, sending them into pell mell retreat. Again no howls of quagmire, quagmire these Germans are just too battle hardened and ruthless to beat.

Relatively little is known of the bloody check inflicted on units of the 1st, 4th, 28th, and 9th infantry divisions by the Germans during the battle of Huertegen Forest during Sep- Nov of 1944 as a prelude to the Battle of the Bulge? The men of these units were attrited horribly in one the most soul destroying campaigns in American history, comparable to the Wilderness and Cold Harbor campaigns of the Civil War. Winston Churchill called it "Passchendale with tree bursts." Or the Battle of the Bulge's disastrous opening on the Schnee Eifel in Belgium where intelligence failures allowed a totally surprised American Army to lose to captivity two whole infantry regiments of the 106th division in the opening rounds of the battle? Again no howls of quagmire, quagmire we just can't win.

Or how about the defeat inflicted on the allies during Operation Market Garden (a Bridge Too Far) in 1944 when everyone knew that the Germans were already beaten? Or the horrendous losses off Okinawa? Or the failure to ensure sufficient numbers of tracked landing craft at Tarawa due to a misinterpretation of the meteorological conditions affecting the tides around Betio atoll? Nearly 1,000 Marines died in a 76 hour battle for an atoll smaller than Manhattan's Central Park, many because they had to wade hundreds of yards to shore from Betio's lagoon after their landing craft hung up on the reef. Or the largely unnecessary Pelielu campaign in which 1,800 were killed and 8,500 wounded? Or the bloody repulse at the Rapido River in January of 1944, or the grinding stalemate at Anzio or the entire checkmated Italian campaign, hopelessly bogged down in the Liri Valley before Monte Cassino? Even though the Rapido River attack generated enormous controversy, culminating in a congressional inquiry, it did not commence until the war was over. Or, due to logistical failures, the inability to maintain the pressure on a retreating German Army, shattered in Normandy, which allowed it to refit and regroup behind the Westwall, lengthening the war and costing thousands of lives. Again no howls of quagmire, quagmire we can't win.

We often forget that World War II was no unrelieved string of victories until the final triumph. We often suffered defeat on the battlefield, sometimes catastrophic, but we prevailed because we knew that we had to, since the alternative to victory was just too bitter to contemplate.

Nothing even remotely resembling any of these historical disasters of World War II has occurred in Iraq, but these infantile naysayers who try to pose the situation has an absolute defeat are either hopelessly naïve or determined to demoralize our soldiers and willfully undermine this effort. Despite the setbacks that have occurred in Iraq, there is nothing here that cannot be remedied to this country's favor.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...

... The first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty.
... Over 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens.
... Nearly all of Iraq's 400 courts are functioning.
... The Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.
.. On Monday, October 6, power generation hit 4,518 megawatts, exceeding the prewar average.
... All 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.
... By October 1, Coalition forces had rehab-ed over 1,500 schools - 500 more than scheduled.
... Teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.
... All 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.
... Doctor's salaries are at least eight times what they were under Saddam.
... Pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons.
... The Coalition has helped administer over 22 million vaccination doses to Iraq's children.
... A Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraq's 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals which now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.
... We have restored over three-quarters of prewar telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production.
... There are 4,900 full-service telephone connections. We expect 50,000 by year-end.
... The wheels of commerce are turning. From bicycles to satellite dishes to cars and trucks, businesses are coming to life in all major cities and towns.
... 95 percent of all prewar bank customers have service and first-time customers are opening accounts daily.
... Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses.
... The central bank is fully independent.
... Iraq has one of the world's most growth-oriented investment and banking laws.
... Iraq has a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years.
... Satellite TV dishes are legal.
... Foreign journalists aren't on 10-day visas paying mandatory and extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for minders and other government spies.
... There is no Ministry of Information.
... There are more than 170 newspapers.
... You can buy satellite dishes on what seems like every street corner.
... Foreign journalists (and everyone else) are free to come and go.
... A nation that had not one single element -- legislative, judicial or executive -- of a representative government now does.
... In Baghdad alone residents have selected 88 advisory councils. Baghdad's first democratic transfer of power in 35 years happened when the city council elected its new chairman.
... Today in Iraq chambers of commerce, business, school and professional organizations are electing their leaders all over the country.
... 25 ministers, selected by the most representative governing body in Iraq's history, run the day-to-day business of government.
... The Iraqi government regularly participates in international events. Since July the Iraqi government has been represented in over two dozen international meetings, including those of the UN General Assembly, the Arab League, the World Bank and IMF and, today, the Islamic Conference Summit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that it is reopening over 30 Iraqi embassies around the world.
... Shiva religious festivals that were all but banned, aren't.
... For the first time in 35 years, in Karbala thousands of Shiites celebrate the pilgrimage of the 12th Imam.
... The Coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects, large and small, as part of a strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq.
... Uday and Queasy are dead - and no longer feeding innocent Iraqis to the zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force cooperation, torturing Iraq's soccer players for losing games, or murdering critics.
... Children aren't imprisoned or murdered when their parents disagree with the government.
... Political opponents aren't imprisoned, tortured, executed, maimed, or forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam.
... Millions of long-suffering Iraqis no longer live in perpetual terror.
... Saudis will hold municipal elections.
... Qatar is reforming education to give more choices to parents.
... Jordan is accelerating market economic reforms.
... The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for the first time to an Iranian
-- A Muslim woman who speaks out with courage for human rights, for democracy and for peace.
.. Saddam is gone.
... Iraq is free.
....The handover of power is on schedule.
….Terrorists are being drawn to an arena in which our military can kill or capture them

Our magnificent soldiers, sailors and airmen still have more tough work to do which will undoubtedly be done with the same mix of courage, humanitarianism, innovation, and competence that has characterized our effort in Iraq to date, Abu Ghraib notwithstanding. But when you compare this effort to that other great effort of World War II that we are presently commemorating, this one looks to be comparatively well in hand. All this was accomplished at almost no cost in strictly military terms, and yes, I am aware that the brutal calculus of war is soulless and necessarily heedless of the irreplaceability of individual human beings. But we must also realize that wars in the national interest, as I believe this one to be, require that we be prepared to accept this as a condition of our national security.

Again, I wish to express my undying gratitude to a generation of Americans who showed us how to prevail in a REAL quagmire. And to the Americans who are now getting it done despite those who say they can't or shouldn't. As the ever brilliant Mark Steyn said best in his 30 May editorial:

But that's the difference between then and now: the loss of proportion. They had victims galore back in 1863, but they weren't a victim culture. They had a lot of crummy decisions and bureaucratic screwups worth re-examining, but they weren't a nation that prioritized retroactive pseudo-legalistic self-flagellating vaudeville over all else. They had hellish setbacks but they didn't lose sight of the forest in order to obsess week after week on one tiny twig of one weedy little tree.
There is something not just ridiculous but unbecoming about a hyperpower 300 million strong whose elites -- from the deranged former vice president down -- want the outcome of a war, and the fate of a nation, to hinge on one freaky jailhouse; elites who are willing to pay any price, bear any burden, as long as it's pain-free, squeaky clean and over in a week. The sheer silliness dishonors the memory of all those we're supposed to be remembering this Memorial Day.

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. - John Stuart Mill ~ (1868)


5 posted on 06/04/2004 5:34:22 PM PDT by DMZFrank
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To: steplock

I'll drink to that. U.S.M.C. 1965-1969... About two months ago I had the PRIVILEDGE of buying a few beers for a young Marine heading back to Iraq for his second trip.

First trip was as a scout in a L.A.V. unit going into Bagdad. His second trip was with Force Recon. He said they weren't going to be police men, but to kick some serious @ss. Semper Fi y'all


6 posted on 06/04/2004 5:35:31 PM PDT by stumpy
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To: AngieGOP
It's also a shame that the greatest generation are the grandfathers of these wussies.

HUH? Which Generation won 3 wars and which generation can't let go of one that happened 30 years ago and sees it in every little skirmish?

I think you meant, It's a shame that the greatest generation are the Fathers of the worst generation.

7 posted on 06/04/2004 5:43:34 PM PDT by qam1 (Tommy Thompson is a Fat-tubby, Fascist)
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To: DMZFrank
Awesome Read!!!!!!

Thunderous Applause!!!!!

8 posted on 06/04/2004 5:46:50 PM PDT by qam1 (Tommy Thompson is a Fat-tubby, Fascist)
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To: qam1

I have been waiting for someone to say that. I don't like the fact that you did only because it's true. The only thing I can think of is these brave men who couldn't wait to go back to their real jobs put too much time and effort into it. They forgot that their primary jobs were to raise their children to adulthood. Sad.


9 posted on 06/04/2004 5:54:28 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (Vote a Straight Republican Ballot. Rid the country of dems.)
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To: qam1

I have a friend from Serbia, she is 81 yrs old. She had lost her parents when she was about 5 yrs old. She was raised in an orphanage. She had two older brothers who she had lost all contact. I had lunch with her today, and I ask her about her life as a young woman. Her story brought tears to my eyes. She loved American soldiers. They had saved her life more than once .(just trying to make a long story short.) She said she will never forget the kindness of American soldiers. And still thanks God for America.


10 posted on 06/04/2004 5:56:15 PM PDT by just me
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To: qam1

For their actions in the war, they deserve the "Greatest Generation" moniker.

However, a thought occurs to me: if the "greatest generation" had not coddled, spoiled and otherwise allowed their baby boomer off-spring to turn into a bunch of self-indulgent liberal brats, would America be such a screwed up place today?

Were the "greatest generation" the "worst parents" when they came home?

Something to think about...


11 posted on 06/04/2004 6:09:27 PM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: qam1

That's what I meant.


12 posted on 06/04/2004 6:18:09 PM PDT by AngieGOP (I never met a woman who became a stripper because she played with Barbie dolls as a kid)
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To: DMZFrank
One of the best posts that I've read in four years on the FreeRepublic!

Semper Fi

13 posted on 06/04/2004 6:19:49 PM PDT by USMCVet
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To: qam1

I think that since WWII, the quality of public education from K-12 through undergrad has declined astonishingly.

Whereas the "GI Bill" was intended to give lower-middle-class veterans the benefits of collegiate studies in all fields, today the humanities departments would be unrecognizable to those heroes.

As usual, we must "Blame the Baby Boomers."


14 posted on 06/04/2004 6:34:31 PM PDT by Unknowing (Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.)
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To: qam1; AngieGOP; Shooter 2.5
Just to add a little truth to your history.....in Viet Nam the mid to senior level officers and the DOD and the politicians were "Greatest Generation". The grunts were boomers. The oldest boomer was two years shy of thirty in the year that the VN war ended (the oldest boomer now is not yet sixty, there are no Senior boomers). For almost the entire war boomers could be drafted but could not vote. (Avg EM age, 19---voting age, 21)

In the three wars you cite as being won the majority of mid to senior level officers and the DOD and the politicians were boomers.

The "Greatest Generation" post-war brought us Viet Nam (and the resultant damage to the military), school bussing, the immigration changes that have led us to where we are, the Great Society (aka the welfare state), Roe v. Wade (how many boomers on the bench for that one?), the decisions in media (movies, TV, music) that led to the MTV morality (or are you too unaware of the changes of the late 60s, eg via Norman Lear?) and so much more.

you seem obsessed with consigning all that is vile, weak, ugly to boomers (your mommy and daddy) and all that is noble, strong and wise to the "GG" (Grandma and Grandpa). Whatever mommy and daddy did to you, I suggest you deal with it with them or on the couch, your blanket (and factually inaccurate) condemnation of anyone born from 1946 to 1965 is tiresome and frankly, makes you appear to be whining.

15 posted on 06/04/2004 6:34:56 PM PDT by wtc911 (I saw what I saw when I saw it....)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Good point on the offspring of the GG. The ones I'm related to are some of the most self-absorbed, greediest people on the planet. My in-laws vote for Democrats because they're terrified their gravy train of hand-outs (which they DO NOT NEED!) is going to take a hit. You should hear them bitching about the Medicare RX plan. It's not GOOD enough! I can't even stand to be in the same room with them.


16 posted on 06/04/2004 6:39:21 PM PDT by Trust but Verify (Charter member Broken Glass Republicans (2000))
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To: Behind Liberal Lines; Shooter 2.5
Were the "greatest generation" the "worst parents" when they came home?

Just looking at the divorce rates, latch key kids, etc. the boomers were the worst.

While I think spoiling the baby boomers was a problem I think the WWII's biggest problem with parenting is the fact they are set in their ways and not good at reacting to change and at that time the world was changing rapidly with T.V., The suburban lifestyle, college life, drugs and such and they were unable to cope and the baby boomers just ran wild on them.

17 posted on 06/04/2004 6:42:07 PM PDT by qam1 (Tommy Thompson is a Fat-tubby, Fascist)
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To: DMZFrank

What a workmanlike and soaringly excellent report you have compiled!

There is one little turnstile in Iraq's developing freedom: the Right to Keep and Bear (fire-) Arms may be deliberately excluded from their Constitution. Even still, America has donated the rule of law to these newly-liberated people.


18 posted on 06/04/2004 6:44:39 PM PDT by Unknowing (Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.)
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To: wtc911

I blame the Baby Boomers, too.

I am Gen X, a member of the 13th American generation born since the Revolutionary War, and I was born after the Baby Boom.

My wonderful Father served in the U.S. Army in World War Two, in the Pacific Theater of War. He was a better man than any other whom I have met.

Grandpa was once a cowboy, and served in the U.S. Army during World War One.


19 posted on 06/04/2004 6:53:50 PM PDT by Unknowing (Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.)
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To: wtc911
Go ahead and check the crime statistics for those years. Check for drug use and dropout rates. Take your time. The spoiled rotten generation elected clintoon and is trying to elect kerry. The damage is continuing.

Side note: I'm not the one with the childish insults. I'm also none to happy to admit the problems that the boomer generation has caused.
20 posted on 06/04/2004 7:03:46 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (Vote a Straight Republican Ballot. Rid the country of dems.)
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To: USMCVet; DMZFrank
One of the best posts that I've read in four years on the FreeRepublic!

I was thinking the same thing: one of the best posts I have ever read on Free Republic. I hope a lot of Freepers have the pleasure and honor of reading it.

21 posted on 06/04/2004 7:05:01 PM PDT by gg188
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To: just me
She loved American soldiers. They had saved her life more than once .(just trying to
make a long story short.) She said she will never forget the kindness of American
soldiers. And still thanks God for America.


Hans Brisch, who was chancellor of higher education for Oklahoma, often
said that it was the kindness of Allied soldiers that kept him and his
mother from starving in post-war Germany.
22 posted on 06/04/2004 7:09:29 PM PDT by VOA
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To: DMZFrank

...and Uday and Quesay are dead-ay..!


23 posted on 06/04/2004 7:10:24 PM PDT by gg188
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To: qam1

American Chopper.


24 posted on 06/04/2004 7:12:01 PM PDT by IonInsights
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To: DMZFrank

"For us the Hurtgen was one of the most costly, most unproductive, and most ill-advised battles that our army has ever fought."

-Gen. James Gavin, Commander, 82nd Airborne Division, 1944-1945


25 posted on 06/04/2004 7:37:57 PM PDT by wolficatZ (___><))))*>__(( CHOMP ))__)
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To: wtc911

Well said! Not to take anything away from the great sacrifices of the Greatest Generation and all they went through during the Depression and then again WWII.

However, in addition to what you posted they were also the generation who voted in J.F.K. and L.B.J. Go figure.


26 posted on 06/04/2004 7:38:52 PM PDT by Lakeside
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To: DMZFrank

Wake Island inspired some. As the Marines aboard ships coming to reinforce were set on swimmming the last 100 miles or so when the ships were recalled. The Marines on Wake island stood their ground. It was also later an Island hopped by MacArthur.

It was used as a traget range for bombers. Later it was taken. There are only 5 or 6 of those men left alive today.

In every instance though as in Iraq, for every Marine killed or wounded, there were 10 "Japs" killed. On Okinawa 12,000 Marines became casualties. 120,000 Japs were killed.

A reporter with the Marines after a battle said 70 marines were casualties, We counted 700 dead "japs"

In Market Garden the American Airborne Units took all their objectives. The British Airborne Units took theirs. They were supported by British Armor that would not drive as would have Patton's 3rd to hell to support their troops. 101 and 82 men were outraged by the Brits who actually stopped for tea while their guys were being overrun at Arnheim.

Those in the Huertegen and the attrition that occured saw morale drop and saw combat vets, the old men finally break down, were used for one purpose to avoid an attack so the Germans could open the dams and flood the valley. Yet the plan to take the dams was cancelled.

We had Operation Cobra, "The Breakout" a plan that worked to get us out of the attrition of the Bocage. But in all the instances US Soldiers, Marines, and Sailors made the difference. In a free thinking Army, Navy, and Marine Corps the lowly private with a good idea is not hindered from making it up on the run.

Freedom allows for good ideas as with new tactics to take the hedgerows. Tactics in the Huertegen, In the Pacific...

The best of us did their jobs. Stood between tyranny and evil, not for themselves not for their country but for their buddy and so their kids would not have to.

There were battles lost, but freedom allowed those on the battlefield to learn from that and change. The tactics of the Germans and Japs was too rigid.

As Patton said, to Omar Bradley when told to hold off taking Trier because Ike thought Patton would need three armored divisions to take it, Patton replied,

"Well Brad I already took it with two, what do you want me to do? Give it back?"

It was the Commanders, the Generals like Patton, Bradley, Rose, Abrahms, and the Company Commanders, and Platoon leaders who let the conditions determine the course, and it was the Soldiers, the Marines, the Sailors, the Airmen who got the job done.

I salute those before, and those now who serve. Those in Iraq and Afghanistan know the truth. They know what it means. I would say with all they were not taught in schools, with the media the way it is, with liberalism and the lack of morals, these young men and women today in the US Military are the "Greatest Generation"

Not because during WWII there were 16 million men under arms, but because today I doubt we could ever reach that number. So those who wear the uniforms today must take up the slack.


27 posted on 06/04/2004 8:22:04 PM PDT by Michael121 (An old soldier knows truth. Only a Dead Soldier knows peace.)
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: Behind Liberal Lines

No, I think the commies were rightly afraid of such a large demographic boom of offspring of veterans. So, they pulled out all the stops to essentially destroy a generation in a lot of ways, with sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Just a theory, but it kind of fits.


29 posted on 06/04/2004 9:33:37 PM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: Lakeside

JFK was a conservative by today's standards! Read his first inaugural sometime (well, his only inaugural) and tell me it doesn't bring tears to your eyes.

LBJ might have been a SOB, but he didn't take any $%&^t, either, something that I have to respect. The 60's were something else, that much we can agree on I'm sure, at least.


30 posted on 06/04/2004 9:37:20 PM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: steplock; qam1; ALOHA RONNIE; Grampa Dave; Squantos; archy; Alamo-Girl; Cincinatus' Wife

I think many from the greatest generation would agree: our new moral leadership comes from among those who served honorably in Vietnam. We can now look to our vets, men like Rick Rescorla and Aloha Ronnie, for the kind of guidance we once could only find from those who had served in WWII and Korea.

They've learned from their parents' mistakes, and they're ready to pilot our ship of state through the dangers presented by the left. The greatest generation failed to recognize the threat to our sovereignty and moral clarity that the left presented. The Vietnam vets know better...


31 posted on 06/05/2004 4:11:35 AM PDT by risk (Communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism--by vote. --Ayn Rand quote from highwheeler)
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To: qam1
"Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for."


As a parent of a Generation-X I offer you some unsolicited advice.

Generation-X might want to approach this subject with a bit more "respect". There is a great difference in having and keeping what one has earned and being given things not earned.

This generation seems to be focused upon what price in $$$$ you will be required to pay, because of what previous generations have laid upon you. Your generation has the advantage of knowing what is ahead of you while the previous generation did not.

Knowledge is your gift and the approach of appearing to dump "grandma" out on the street will not gain you the support you are going to need to change the "socialistic" system entrenched by the vast government bureaucracy.

Change is necessary, however, does the Generation X'ers have the wisdom required to bring about that change. I would suggest that your Generation start with the education system that promotes "free" education, "free" healthcare, etc., for all that breath oxygen.
32 posted on 06/05/2004 4:30:34 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: qam1
msnbc.com on their main site today has a poll that one half of all French do not think they owe any moral debt to American due to D-Day or their liberation.

On this D-day I honor our war dead and give France the finger!

33 posted on 06/05/2004 4:33:13 AM PDT by lawgirl (God to womankind: "Here's Cary Grant. Now don't tell me I never gave you anything.")
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To: Freedom4US
My dear Freedom, I don't need to read J.F.K.'s inaugural address---I *listened* to it! Yeah I'm that old :-)

Yes he was very eloquent but an immoral womanizer. He cannot be compared by today's standards re liberal/conservative. Though a few of his ideas could be labeled "conservative" trust me, he was liberal to the core.
His foreign policy was disastrous (Bay of Pigs fiasco just to name one) and he was totally clueless when it came to fighting a war just like most good liberals.

Now, does that remind you of a certain recent President? Two peas in a pod. The only difference is one came from wealth the other is white trash.

L.B.J. who was a fellow Texan to my eternal embarrassment. He was more than just an SOB he was a ruthless, crooked SOB. He deserves NO respect. Read the books "A Choice Not an Echo" and "None Dare Call it Treason" if they are still in print. He also didn't know how a war was to be successfully fought either sending thousands of our good, decent young men to their deaths.

Not all the Boomers were low-life protesters. There were a lot of honorable men who fought and died in Viet Nam. And I never understood why the GG didn't stand up for them against the media/communist incited protesters.

The GG elected J.F.K. largely because he looked pretty on t.v. That was deep reasoning. Not

The GG elected L.B.J. partly by sympathy vote but mostly by a propaganda t.v. add with a little girl picking daisies while an atom bomb exploded in the background. He successfully painted Goldwater as an out of control warmonger whose finger was itching to press THE button. All that was a bunch of hooey that even a child could see through but not the GG. They elected that monster L.B.J. in a landslide. Deep knowledge?

The 60's WERE something else and very painful to look back on. It was when I lost all respect for the GG. While they *should* be put on a pedestal and lauded for their sacrifices in living through the Depression and winning WWII against all odds, their naivete in certain very important arenas was astounding.

All this was to point out that every generation has had its fubar moments (yes, even yours) and none are immune to stupid actions/reactions and we all have to live with the repercussions. Don't blame the Boomers exclusively for the problems of today. The problems are an accumulation of ALL generations not just one.
34 posted on 06/05/2004 5:27:07 AM PDT by Lakeside
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To: risk; LindaSOG; PhilDragoo; campfollower; Boston; VOA; 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub; Jeff Head

.

Perspective is as Perspecitive does..?


JOHN KERRY = Enemy of Vietnam Vets

http://www.TheAlamoFILM.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1320



Signed:.."ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer / Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965

(Photos)
http://www.lzxray.com/guyer_set1.htm
http://www.lzxray.com/guyer_collection.htm

(Book)
'MODERN DAY HEROES: In Defense of America' - Contributing Author
http://www.ModernDayHeroes.com

.


35 posted on 06/05/2004 6:26:22 AM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE (Vet-Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.LZXRAY.com)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Those are excellent points you and qaml have, my wife and I have often discussed those very things, we thought we were the only ones to think that!

Isn't it strange that there is a segment of the coming-of-age late 50s, early 60s bunch, which I'm a part of, who served, raised families, stayed married. I believe you are right in pin-pointing the disconnect.

We have a heck of a generation now sacrifcing so much. My son told me of a fellow soldier, seriously wounded by RPG shrapnel in the legs and ankle during the original push to Baghdad with the 3ID. He volunteered to return when they deploy again, said that the job isn't finished yet--how 'bout that for duty, honor, country??


36 posted on 06/05/2004 6:45:56 AM PDT by brushcop (Dad of an Army Infantryman and busy prayer life...)
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To: Unknowing; Lakeside
Unknowing (how honest)...Blame the boomers for what? Almost all the legislation that shoved this country down and to the left was written, passed and signed for by GG folks. The VN war was started, run by and given up by GG politicians and generals. All the boomers did was die.

No boomers are collecting any SS retirement or medicare benefits, those are going to GGers.

Left off my earlier list of Post WW2 GG accomplishments: Castro's reign over Cuba and the Marxist warfare he sponsored in Central America, South America and Africa, the abandonment of the Iranians to the ayatollahs after decades of propping up a fascist ruler, the death of the US automobile industry and along with it the steel industry and the surrender of our supremacy in this arena to Japan (there were no Toyotas, Hondas, Datsuns, in American garages until the GG took control in Detroit), PolPot and the millions he killed, Idi amin and the millions he killed, the United Nations, hundreds of thousands of our former "allies" killed in VN after the GG politicians cut and ran.

There is such a lack of historical truth on these boomer-hating threads. The GG grew-up during the depression and experienced it as children, it was their parents who had to deal with its realities. The idol worship comes from kids who lack first hand knowledge and historical perspective. The image they worship is one gilded by both the media and the desire for what people believe to be simpler, more dignified times.

Among me and my nine siblings we have thirty children, most of them GXers. I am proud to say that there is not a whiner in the bunch.

A lot of parents from my generation messed up their kids, but guess what, these parents were raised by GGers so, since you are so eager to play the blame game, who failed whom? All those Xers in uniform, (and I know many of them through my work) were all raised by boomers. How did that happen? Cosmic accident?

I suggest that you focus on taking care of your own house without looking to throw a blanket of blame without the necessary facts, Unknowing. Maybe by the time your kids, if you ever have any, are grown no a-holes from their generation will blame you for Rap, MTV, obscene levels of teen-age pregnancies, internet kiddie porn, muslim call to prayer broadcasts in their towns, the loss of literature, the dearth of church going, the morning after pill as birth control, crack, hooking-up instead of relationships, gay families, gay studies in HS, the death of any civilized culture in America.....

Good luck kid.

37 posted on 06/05/2004 10:17:34 AM PDT by wtc911 (I saw what I saw when I saw it....)
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To: wtc911

"No [Baby] [B]oomers are collecting any SS retirement or medicare benefits."

No, probably not. I'm sorry, you get nothing.

There really is a cross-generational antagonism which has already gone beyond any historical basis.

It would not be right to hate the Baby Boomers, we just have to respond appropriately to their aggressions and vanities. Yea, they have already received their reward.


38 posted on 06/05/2004 10:49:17 AM PDT by Unknowing (Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.)
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To: Unknowing
"There really is a cross-generational antagonism which has already gone beyond any historical basis."

No, what there is is a % of kids who don't like the way the world looks and are seeking to lay the blame (like that's a new phenomenon). As I said earlier, I will brag that my kids and their twenty-five cousins, most of whom are your contemporaries, are achievers not whiners.

"I'm sorry, you get nothing."

Don't count on it. The generation that built the strongest, fastest growing economy out of the ashes left to us in the 70's/80s (19% prime rate courtesy of the GG, what is it now?) is not about to be trampled by a gaggle of whiners who wish they were their own grandparents.

As for me, I don't and won't need it. I retired before fifty. But when the dough I put in for 36 years and counting comes trickling back I will use it to travel some more, buy another car, take tango lessons or give it to my grandkids but, I will spend it, thank you.

As for you, you can spend your time hating folks who don't care enough about it to return the emotion but where's that going to get you?

To quote a great boomer scribe...."so long and thanks for all the fish."

39 posted on 06/05/2004 2:07:26 PM PDT by wtc911 (I saw what I saw when I saw it....)
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To: wtc911
Just to add a little truth to your history.....in Viet Nam the mid to senior level officers and the DOD and the politicians were "Greatest Generation". The grunts were boomers. The oldest boomer was two years shy of thirty in the year that the VN war ended (the oldest boomer now is not yet sixty, there are no Senior boomers). For almost the entire war boomers could be drafted but could not vote. (Avg EM age, 19---voting age, 21).

My quote was "and which generation can't let go of one (a war) that happened 30 years ago and sees it in every little skirmish?"

And that is not true how??

Let me add something to your history, Which generation spat on returning troops and called them "Baby Killers"?

Let a Gen-Xer do that and another Gen-Xer will slap him silly. How many articles like this one were written by Baby Boomers in 1968?

In the three wars you cite as being won the majority of mid to senior level officers and the DOD and the politicians were boomers.

The "Greatest Generation" post-war brought us Viet Nam (and the resultant damage to the military), school bussing, the immigration changes that have led us to where we are, the Great Society (aka the welfare state), Roe v. Wade (how many boomers on the bench for that one?), the decisions in media (movies, TV, music) that led to the MTV morality (or are you too unaware of the changes of the late 60s, eg via Norman Lear?) and so much more. you seem obsessed with consigning all that is vile, weak, ugly to boomers (your mommy and daddy) and all that is noble, strong and wise to the "GG" (Grandma and Grandpa).

Not at all, I do hold the Greatest Generation and their greedy ways responsible for many of the ills of today's society.

However, I can partially forgive the Greatest Generation (Not my choice of a name BTW) because

1) In defeating the Nazis and Japs at least they did something for this country.

2) Like I pointed out before they were simply in many cases just naive.

a) They probably couldn't have for seen some of the messes they created. The Baby Boomers on the other hand know full well the mess and burden they will be leaving us and not only are they not doing anything to fix or even lessen the blow they still keep (and will keep) piling on more goodies for themselves.

b) Even though they were wrongheaded in some of their policies, They never deliberately set out to undermine America and all the values that makes it great. You can not say the same thing about many of the baby boomers.

Whatever mommy and daddy did to you, I suggest you deal with it with them or on the couch, your blanket (and factually inaccurate)

Again not true at all, I have great parents even though they are boomers but I am the exception to the rule. 

condemnation of anyone born from 1946 to 1965 is tiresome and frankly, makes you appear to be whining.

I don't condem every baby boomer, There are many fine Baby Boomers like my parents, Rush Limbaugh and probably the majority boomer freepers are good people. But I'm sorry overall when you look at the baby boom generation they have already secured their place as the worst generation in American history.  

40 posted on 06/05/2004 3:51:03 PM PDT by qam1 (Tommy Thompson is a Fat-tubby, Fascist)
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To: wtc911

Douglas Adams was a Brit, you know. British Baby Boomers are obviously worse even than the American ones, just look at their sad nation. God help Tony Blair.

"As for you, you can spend your time hating folks who don't care enough about it to return the emotion. . . "

I don't hate anyone, and I accept that my benevolent emotions and actions will never be returned by the Baby Boomers.


41 posted on 06/05/2004 4:56:50 PM PDT by Unknowing (Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.)
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To: qam1
Showing a picture of one protester and painting a whole generation with the same brush is as dishonest as if I were to claim that Snoop dog represents Xers. Or if I were to post some Xer's picture holding the same sign and saying that that fringe dweller's represntative of most of his generation. It's cute but not honest.

"Like I pointed out before they (GG)were simply in many cases just naive"

Which is it, were they naive of founts of great wisdom...it can't be both.

"They (GG) never deliberately set out to undermine America and all the values that makes it great".

Roe v. Wade, the welfare state, the immigration disaster, the destruction of industry, the downward drive in mass media/culture etc...all GG gifts to sustaining the character of America. You have no way of divining intention on anyone elses's part.

"I have great parents even though they are boomers but I am the exception to the rule."

"I am the exception"? A bit narcissisistic and, I will state wrong. Your parents raised a whiner who casts himself as victim.

And, btw, what are you doing personally in our current war? Waiting to be drafted?

42 posted on 06/06/2004 9:47:32 AM PDT by wtc911 (I saw what I saw when I saw it....)
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To: wtc911
Showing a picture of one protester and painting a whole generation with the same brush is as dishonest as if I were to claim that Snoop dog represents Xers. Or if I were to post some Xer's picture holding the same sign and saying that that fringe dweller's represntative of most of his generation. It's cute but not honest.

But there are many times more baby boomers who are living on the "fringe" as you put it stuck back in the 60's than Xers behaving as Snoop Dog.

"Like I pointed out before they (GG)were simply in many cases just naive"

Which is it, were they naive of founts of great wisdom...it can't be both.

This article and myself praise the courage and valor of the GG more than their wisdom, But who says you can't be both. They had to wisdom to rise up to meet the threat of fascism but socially and politically they were naive.

"They (GG) never deliberately set out to undermine America and all the values that makes it great".

Roe v. Wade, the welfare state, the immigration disaster, the destruction of industry, the downward drive in mass media/culture etc...all GG gifts to sustaining the character of America. You have no way of divining intention on anyone elses's part.

OK, We are in agreement about the GG.

However the baby boomers are not only not trying to fix/reverse those things but instead they took them to even further extremes.

Roe v. Wade: The actual decision really has little to do with the obscene number of abortions in the country as abortion was legal in many(most?) places before. It was the baby boomers who made a baby a "Choice" and brought forth the abortion on demand culture.

The welfare state: umm, Who just voted themselves a prescription drug benefit?

Immigration: The baby boomers took that disaster and gave us multiculturism 

Destruction of industry: LOL! "Friends of corporate America" is not the phrase anybody thinks of when they think of the Baby Boomers.

That's why the Baby Boomers are the worst generation, They took the worst traits of the GG and took them to even worse extremes while rejecting their best traits like patriotism, sacrifice and family values.

"I have great parents even though they are boomers but I am the exception to the rule."

"I am the exception"? A bit narcissisistic and, I will state wrong.

And many Xs and Ys that suffered through your divorces and/or were latched keyed and came through your educational system will disagree with you.

Your parents raised a whiner who casts himself as victim.

Typical baby boomer self absorption. I'm suppose work to pay off probably a 45 trillion dollar debt by the time you are all gone and pay for you baby boomer's viagra, All the while baby boomer elitist take more and more of my freedoms away and work to undermine my country and all the values that make it great and I'm supposed to be quite and happily go along with it because you baby boomers are just so wonderful and so much smarter than all of us and done so much for this country or else it's called whining?

Sorry but I don't think so. 

And, btw, what are you doing personally in our current war? Waiting to be drafted?

Well for one I am not spitting on troops or calling them baby killers.

Secondly I'm 34 years old so they wouldn't take me even if I tried to sign up, But if my country needed me I would go in a heartbeat.

43 posted on 06/06/2004 12:59:48 PM PDT by qam1 (Tommy Thompson is a Fat-tubby, Fascist)
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To: qam1

"Any wonder why they call them the “greatest generation?”"


I know: because Tom Brokaw coined the phrase.


44 posted on 06/07/2004 10:34:31 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common Sense is an Uncommon Virtue)
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To: gg188

Thanks a lot for your positive remarks. I just felt I could use my knowledge of how dire WWII was for this country for most of our involvement in it and place that into a perspective vis a vis the Iraqi situation. I am sick of hearing how this is an endless quagmire in which we can never succeed. This could be another self inflicted defeat like Vietnam. (I am a vet of the SE Asia war games by the way)


45 posted on 06/10/2004 5:56:55 PM PDT by DMZFrank
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To: Unknowing

Thanks for your gracious comment. I just felt I could use my knowledge of how dire WWII was for this country for most of our involvement in it and place that into a perspective vis a vis the Iraqi situation. I am sick of hearing how this is an endless quagmire in which we can never succeed. This could be another self inflicted defeat like Vietnam. (I am a vet of the SE Asia war games by the way)


46 posted on 06/10/2004 5:58:55 PM PDT by DMZFrank
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To: USMCVet

Thanks for your gracious comment. I just felt I could use my knowledge of how dire WWII was for this country for most of our involvement in it and place that into a perspective vis a vis the Iraqi situation. I am sick of hearing how this is an endless quagmire in which we can never succeed. This could be another self inflicted defeat like Vietnam. (I am a vet of the SE Asia war games by the way)


47 posted on 06/10/2004 5:59:17 PM PDT by DMZFrank
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To: Michael121

Great comments. I just felt I could use my knowledge of how dire WWII was for this country for most of our involvement in it and place that into a perspective vis a vis the Iraqi situation. I am sick of hearing how this is an endless quagmire in which we can never succeed. This could be another self inflicted defeat like Vietnam. (I am a vet of the SE Asia war games by the way)


48 posted on 06/10/2004 6:04:25 PM PDT by DMZFrank
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