Conservative political and social commentary

Contact us: dstol@prodigy.net
Links
Search

First they came for the communists, but I was not a communist, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the socialists and the trade unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.
– Pastor Martin Niemoeller.

You are welcome to post or publish these articles, in whole or in part, provided that you cite the author and website.



There are 814 News Items in 814 pages and you are on page number 460

 

Page:  << Prev  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40  41  42  43  44  45  46  47  48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56  57  58  59  60  61  62  63  64  65  66  67  68  69  70  71  72  73  74  75  76  77  78  79  80  81  82  83  84  85  86  87  88  89  90  91  92  93  94  95  96  97  98  99  100  101  102  103  104  105  106  107  108  109  110  111  112  113  114  115  116  117  118  119  120  121  122  123  124  125  126  127  128  129  130  131  132  133  134  135  136  137  138  139  140  141  142  143  144  145  146  147  148  149  150  151  152  153  154  155  156  157  158  159  160  161  162  163  164  165  166  167  168  169  170  171  172  173  174  175  176  177  178  179  180  181  182  183  184  185  186  187  188  189  190  191  192  193  194  195  196  197  198  199  200  201  202  203  204  205  206  207  208  209  210  211  212  213  214  215  216  217  218  219  220  221  222  223  224  225  226  227  228  229  230  231  232  233  234  235  236  237  238  239  240  241  242  243  244  245  246  247  248  249  250  251  252  253  254  255  256  257  258  259  260  261  262  263  264  265  266  267  268  269  270  271  272  273  274  275  276  277  278  279  280  281  282  283  284  285  286  287  288  289  290  291  292  293  294  295  296  297  298  299  300  301  302  303  304  305  306  307  308  309  310  311  312  313  314  315  316  317  318  319  320  321  322  323  324  325  326  327  328  329  330  331  332  333  334  335  336  337  338  339  340  341  342  343  344  345  346  347  348  349  350  351  352  353  354  355  356  357  358  359  360  361  362  363  364  365  366  367  368  369  370  371  372  373  374  375  376  377  378  379  380  381  382  383  384  385  386  387  388  389  390  391  392  393  394  395  396  397  398  399  400  401  402  403  404  405  406  407  408  409  410  411  412  413  414  415  416  417  418  419  420  421  422  423  424  425  426  427  428  429  430  431  432  433  434  435  436  437  438  439  440  441  442  443  444  445  446  447  448  449  450  451  452  453  454  455  456  457  458  459  460 461  462  463  464  465  466  467  468  469  470  471  472  473  474  475  476  477  478  479  480  481  482  483  484  485  486  487  488  489  490  491  492  493  494  495  496  497  498  499  500  501  502  503  504  505  506  507  508  509  510  511  512  513  514  515  516  517  518  519  520  521  522  523  524  525  526  527  528  529  530  531  532  533  534  535  536  537  538  539  540  541  542  543  544  545  546  547  548  549  550  551  552  553  554  555  556  557  558  559  560  561  562  563  564  565  566  567  568  569  570  571  572  573  574  575  576  577  578  579  580  581  582  583  584  585  586  587  588  589  590  591  592  593  594  595  596  597  598  599  600  601  602  603  604  605  606  607  608  609  610  611  612  613  614  615  616  617  618  619  620  621  622  623  624  625  626  627  628  629  630  631  632  633  634  635  636  637  638  639  640  641  642  643  644  645  646  647  648  649  650  651  652  653  654  655  656  657  658  659  660  661  662  663  664  665  666  667  668  669  670  671  672  673  674  675  676  677  678  679  680  681  682  683  684  685  686  687  688  689  690  691  692  693  694  695  696  697  698  699  700  701  702  703  704  705  706  707  708  709  710  711  712  713  714  715  716  717  718  719  720  721  722  723  724  725  726  727  728  729  730  731  732  733  734  735  736  737  738  739  740  741  742  743  744  745  746  747  748  749  750  751  752  753  754  755  756  757  758  759  760  761  762  763  764  765  766  767  768  769  770  771  772  773  774  775  776  777  778  779  780  781  782  783  784  785  786  787  788  789  790  791  792  793  794  795  796  797  798  799  800  801  802  803  804  805  806  807  808  809  810  811  812  813  814  Next >>

D-Day Plus 63 Years - Monday, June 04, 2007

 

D-Day Plus 63 Years

Some Things Havenít Changed, Some Have

David C. Stolinsky, MD
June 4, 2007

On D-Day, June 6, 1944 the greatest amphibious assault in history occurred on the beaches of Normandy. Troops of the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada invaded Nazi-held France. The liberation of Europe had begun.

Before the day ended, about 2500 Allied troops lay dead, and about 7500 were wounded. Approximately 1500 Americans died on those beaches that day Ė as many as died in Iraq in two years. The cost was heavy, but back then we knew that freedom had a price. We knew that often we could pay the price in money or sweat, but sometimes we had to pay the price in blood.

The issue remained in doubt for some time. The Allied commander, Gen. Eisenhower, had prepared two speeches for delivery by radio. The speech he gave described the successful landing. The speech he didnít have to give took the blame for the failure of the invasion.

Even in victory, tragic errors occurred. In World War II as in more recent wars, it is estimated that at least 2 to 3 percent of casualties result from friendly fire. This does not include deaths from plane crashes or vehicle accidents. As our troops prepared to break out of the Normandy beachhead and storm across France, an air bombardment resulted in bombs falling on our own troops. Many were killed, including Lt. Gen. Lesley McNair.

This was not a unique occurrence. During the Civil War, one of the Southís best leaders, Lt. Gen. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, was killed by three bullets mistakenly fired by his own troops.

Even on D-Day, errors occurred. As shown in the film "The Longest Day," some troops were landed miles from their designated areas. The heaviest fighting occurred on Omaha Beach, one of the two beaches assigned to U.S. troops. Our men were pinned down for hours, and only at great cost did they manage to fight their way off the beach.

All this hasnít changed. War is still fraught with dangers, including the danger of being killed or wounded by friendly fire. Errors occur despite technical advances such as global-positioning satellites. Human beings make mistakes, especially when they are under intense pressure, lack sleep, have poor visibility, and are beset by deafening noise and blinding flashes. When we achieve perfection, we can criticize those who arenít perfect. Until then, we should shut up.

No, the stress of war and the risk of fatal errors havenít changed.

What has changed is the reaction to these errors on the part of the media and the political opposition. What has changed is that much of the media no longer considers itself "our" media, but merely "the" media. The alteration of that one word is of crucial importance.

Jackson was mourned by the Confederacy and eulogized by Gen. Robert E. Lee. McNair was honored by having a fort named for him. The media of the time dwelt on their accomplishments, not on the fact that they were killed by friendly fire. That fact, if it were emphasized, would have damaged morale.

Compare the mediaís reaction to the deaths of Jackson and McNair with the mediaís reaction to the death of Pat Tillman. This NFL star gave up a lucrative football career to volunteer for the Army, then volunteer again for the Rangers. He was awarded a Silver Star after he was killed in action, leading his men in Afghanistan in 2004. Later it was found that he was hit by friendly fire. Though this was discovered by the Army and belatedly announced, the media were quick to cry "cover-up." Criticism was heaped on the Army, on the war in Iraq and on President Bush.

Did the media consider the effect on morale? If not, the media were negligent. If so, the media were hoping to impede our war effort and embarrass the president.

Imagine what would have happened if the media had condemned the death of Gen. McNair as incompetence, screamed "cover-up," and criticized the Army and President Roosevelt in the midst of a key battle of World War II. You canít imagine it? Of course not. Such a thing would never have happened. In those days, the media knew we were at war. They wanted us to win.

And what about our abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo?

Punishing the abusers shows we are moral people. But in all the time the war has gone on, have no Americans been decorated for bravery or other outstanding service? The only one I recall reading about in the mainstream press is Pat Tillman. Where are the photos of our troops repairing water works, power plants, schools and hospitals? If you donít honor good deeds, you lose the right to criticize bad deeds.

Speaking of photos, where are the photos of tortured American prisoners? Where are the photos of raped female prisoners? Where are the photos of mutilated American corpses? Where are the photos of people who jumped from the Twin Towers on 9/11 to avoid being burned alive? If you turn away from wrongs done to us, you lose the right to focus on wrongs Ė or alleged wrongs Ė done by us.

During the World War II Battle of the Bulge, German SS troops massacred at least 86 captured Americans at Malmťdy. After this, and after we began liberating concentration camps run by the SS, we took very few SS prisoners. A typical order states, ďNo SS troops or paratroopers will be taken prisoners but will be shot on sight.Ē

It wasnít ďlegalĒ to shoot surrendering SS men, but it was understandable. If you act like a beast, you canít expect humane treatment. The media understood this, as did judges. Unlike what is happening today, no civilian court tried to interfere with the conduct of the war by President Roosevelt, or with the treatment of prisoners by our armed forces.

During World War II, not the roughly 400 prisoners held in Guantanamo, but over 400,000 German prisoners of war were held in camps in this country. They were in the custody of the Army, under authority of President Roosevelt. They were held until the war ended. No civilian court presumed to interfere with the presidentís right Ė and duty Ė to conduct the war as commander-in-chief. These prisoners were captured in uniform, so − unlike those at Guantanamo − they were covered by the Geneva Convention.

But something else happened during that war. In 1942 two German submarines surfaced off Long Island and Florida, and eight saboteurs were put ashore. They were captured and tried in a secret military tribunal. One was sentenced to life imprisonment, one to 30 years, and six were sentenced to death.

President Roosevelt let it be known that he would order the executions no matter how the Supreme Court ruled: ďI won't give them up...I won't hand them over to any United States marshal armed with a writ of habeas corpus. Understand?Ē Whatever you think of Roosevelt, you canít deny that he was a strong wartime leader. And you canít deny that his leadership was respected by the courts, the media and the political opposition. Things were different back then.

The Supreme Court quickly ruled 8-0 in favor of the president, and six of the saboteurs were promptly electrocuted. Note that like the 400,000 German prisoners of war, these men were held in the United States, but unlike them, they were not in uniform and not covered by the Geneva Convention. In fact, two were naturalized American citizens, one of whom was executed.

The 1942 Supreme Court ruled that "the enemy combatant who without uniform comes secretly through the lines for the purpose of waging war by destruction of life or property" could be tried by secret military tribunals. This is the precedent that the 2006 Supreme Court scrapped. Of course, in 1942 we knew we were at war.

But, you say, we arenít at war. Really? What do you call it when our troops are fighting and dying Ė salsa dancing? As attorney Mark Levin points out in "Men in Black" (page 262), the Constitution gives Congress power to declare war, but does not specify any words to be used. Congress voted President Bush the authority to use military force in Afghanistan, then voted a second time to authorize military force in Iraq. Yes, we are at war. Our troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan know this only too well. Itís time the rest of us learned it, too.

Itís been a long time since D-Day, June 6, 1944. Much remains the same, especially the chaos and danger of the battlefield. But much has changed in the attitude of the media, the courts and the political opposition. This change has not been for the better.

As we look back to that day 63 years ago, we should reflect on the qualities that allowed us to achieve victory over tyranny. And we should do our best to rebuild those qualities, now that we need them again.

Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. He can be contacted at dstol@prodigy.net.

www.stolinsky.com


Page:  << Prev  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40  41  42  43  44  45  46  47  48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56  57  58  59  60  61  62  63  64  65  66  67  68  69  70  71  72  73  74  75  76  77  78  79  80  81  82  83  84  85  86  87  88  89  90  91  92  93  94  95  96  97  98  99  100  101  102  103  104  105  106  107  108  109  110  111  112  113  114  115  116  117  118  119  120  121  122  123  124  125  126  127  128  129  130  131  132  133  134  135  136  137  138  139  140  141  142  143  144  145  146  147  148  149  150  151  152  153  154  155  156  157  158  159  160  161  162  163  164  165  166  167  168  169  170  171  172  173  174  175  176  177  178  179  180  181  182  183  184  185  186  187  188  189  190  191  192  193  194  195  196  197  198  199  200  201  202  203  204  205  206  207  208  209  210  211  212  213  214  215  216  217  218  219  220  221  222  223  224  225  226  227  228  229  230  231  232  233  234  235  236  237  238  239  240  241  242  243  244  245  246  247  248  249  250  251  252  253  254  255  256  257  258  259  260  261  262  263  264  265  266  267  268  269  270  271  272  273  274  275  276  277  278  279  280  281  282  283  284  285  286  287  288  289  290  291  292  293  294  295  296  297  298  299  300  301  302  303  304  305  306  307  308  309  310  311  312  313  314  315  316  317  318  319  320  321  322  323  324  325  326  327  328  329  330  331  332  333  334  335  336  337  338  339  340  341  342  343  344  345  346  347  348  349  350  351  352  353  354  355  356  357  358  359  360  361  362  363  364  365  366  367  368  369  370  371  372  373  374  375  376  377  378  379  380  381  382  383  384  385  386  387  388  389  390  391  392  393  394  395  396  397  398  399  400  401  402  403  404  405  406  407  408  409  410  411  412  413  414  415  416  417  418  419  420  421  422  423  424  425  426  427  428  429  430  431  432  433  434  435  436  437  438  439  440  441  442  443  444  445  446  447  448  449  450  451  452  453  454  455  456  457  458  459  460 461  462  463  464  465  466  467  468  469  470  471  472  473  474  475  476  477  478  479  480  481  482  483  484  485  486  487  488  489  490  491  492  493  494  495  496  497  498  499  500  501  502  503  504  505  506  507  508  509  510  511  512  513  514  515  516  517  518  519  520  521  522  523  524  525  526  527  528  529  530  531  532  533  534  535  536  537  538  539  540  541  542  543  544  545  546  547  548  549  550  551  552  553  554  555  556  557  558  559  560  561  562  563  564  565  566  567  568  569  570  571  572  573  574  575  576  577  578  579  580  581  582  583  584  585  586  587  588  589  590  591  592  593  594  595  596  597  598  599  600  601  602  603  604  605  606  607  608  609  610  611  612  613  614  615  616  617  618  619  620  621  622  623  624  625  626  627  628  629  630  631  632  633  634  635  636  637  638  639  640  641  642  643  644  645  646  647  648  649  650  651  652  653  654  655  656  657  658  659  660  661  662  663  664  665  666  667  668  669  670  671  672  673  674  675  676  677  678  679  680  681  682  683  684  685  686  687  688  689  690  691  692  693  694  695  696  697  698  699  700  701  702  703  704  705  706  707  708  709  710  711  712  713  714  715  716  717  718  719  720  721  722  723  724  725  726  727  728  729  730  731  732  733  734  735  736  737  738  739  740  741  742  743  744  745  746  747  748  749  750  751  752  753  754  755  756  757  758  759  760  761  762  763  764  765  766  767  768  769  770  771  772  773  774  775  776  777  778  779  780  781  782  783  784  785  786  787  788  789  790  791  792  793  794  795  796  797  798  799  800  801  802  803  804  805  806  807  808  809  810  811  812  813  814  Next >>