bodidley wrote:I think that the reasons people see the struggle in World War II as just and the struggles in Iraq and Afghanistan as unjust are social rather than logical. People are far removed from the horrors of World War II and so it's easy to ignore our own atrocities during the war. The campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan were conducted with remarkable discipline against enemies equally as repugnant as the Nazis, but they threatened people's enjoyment of their apathy.
This is exactly wrong.
Our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan were not equally repugnant with the Nazis. For the most part, Saddam Hussein fulfilled a distinct and valuable purpose in the Middle East - he retained the balance of power between the Shia and the Sunni in the region, and kept the religious tensions within his country to a minimum. He might have used morally repugnant methods in doing so, but he did not pose an existential threat to any of his immediate neighbours - not even Kuwait, by the end.
Our current method of fighting wars - that is, by professional standing armies and career generals - actually makes apathy more, rather than less likely. In certain parts of the country it is very rare for people to know anyone personally who has to go off and fight and put his life at risk. On the other hand, the draft was there during WWII. Read Col. Andrew Bacevich's book The Limits of Power to get a better understanding of the dynamics between military and civilian then and now. He served in the US Army, and also had a son who served and died in Iraq.
Thirdly, you count Abu Ghraib as 'remarkable discipline'? Or Fallujah? Or the use of depleted uranium and Willie Pete? I suggest you get your priorities straight.