Sunday, February 25, 2007

Flags of our Fathers


I really wanted to see this movie in the theater but never made it. I just got it thru Netflix and was not disappointed. It is a very good movie although difficult to watch at times.


It paints a very realistic picture of how horrific the fight at Iwo Jima was for our soldiers. It reminded me of how D-day was portrayed on Saving Private Ryan. You are charging up the beach and men all around you are dropping. It is unfathomable!!


The movie also shows how difficult it was for the 3 surviving men from the famous Iwo Jima picture to cope with coming home and being regarded as a hero. I don't think we ever think about what that would be like.

Seeing the movie also made me think about all the needless deaths that happened during that war. Hindsight is always 20/20 and looking back I'm sure there were things that could've been done to save lives. Yet, that is war. Wars are never planned perfectly or executed perfectly, war is hell! It showed me how unfair so many liberals are being in their criticism of our current war and of our president.

Wordsmith has been debating a liberal in the comments' section of one of my other posts. It is now up to 55 comments :-). Wordsmith made some excellent points that I thought were worth quoting here about the war & Bush:
WAR
1st comment

"Democracy, especially in the presence of an insurgency and those who are working actively to sabotage it every step of the way, takes time and effort and energy and sacrifice. It doesn't happen overnight, as much as we may wish it to. There is blood, there is dying, and there are setbacks amidst successes. It's hard work. It's difficult work. Now is not the time to lose one's resolve. Now is the time to do what's right and to do what needs doing, especially when things get tough and it looks like the darkest hour. What did you expect? For our enemies in Iraq to just roll over and play dead? For us to incur zero loss of life? Giving me the latest body count isn't an argument for invalidating this war. It's WAR. And people die. What would the cost in American and Iraqi lives have costed us, in the long run had Saddam remained in power? We will never really know.

We're there now. We're in this war. There's no excuse for not working toward victory. Defeat or a perceived defeat will not make America safer.
But how fair is it for civilians to armchair quarterback and micromanage this war, when we do not have all the facts available to us? Following the press releases is not sufficient to make educated, strategic decisions.

2nd Comment
So many things went wrong during the invasion of Normandy; so many lives that can be seen as avoidable losses. But that's the nature of hindsight. And it creates anguish in all of us- including our elected leaders who made the big decisions- to know that mistakes cost lives. But what's the solution? Fire the generals and Administration officials every time something goes wrong?

I understand you want leaders to be able to "adjust accordingly", and not stubbornly keep doing the same thing over and over again. But I think the situations and relationships are complex ones, and all we end up doing is armchair second-guessing. We are not there, sitting in the war-room, absorbing all the available intelligence and data.

"Stay the course" is a nice, silly little phrase, that unfortunately, has been political ammo for the critics. It shouldn't be. "Staying the course" doesn't mean you keep applying the same strategy when the war has evolved. It means, you have the intestinal fortitude to outlast the enemy, even when the going gets tough. Throughout the past 3 years, we have adapted and changed tactics; as has the enemy.

Now, that being said, some decisions in hindsight should have probably been made sooner (such as more troops) that weren't. But, again, this is the advantage of 20/20 hindsight.

BUSH
I see President Bush as someone who will go down as one of our nation's strongest leaders, precisely because he has faced so much opposition; that against the odds, I think he will emerge as having been right, and made the big decisions, even when they weren't the popular decisions. Leaders cannot lead a nation, based upon the latest gallup polls. Bush is someone who thinks big, and has tackled head-on, some of the big challenges of our time. He is a mover and a shaker, and has affected the world as a risk-taker, for better or worse you may argue.

I think 9/11 transformed Bush into one of our nation's best; it jumpstarted his greatness to think big and to go long. The status quo was a slow kill for the world, as terrorists festered through the 90's, like a malignant cancer upon the world, largely ignored and left untreated. Reagan was much hated around the world; and there were demonstrations even before he swore the oath, as protestors thought it would be the end of the world."

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