Monday, July 24, 2006

Occupation or liberation?

In one of Sen. Conrad Burns' latest radio ads, he says that Jon Tester has inaccurately referred to U.S. troops in Iraq as an occupying force. It's as though he thinks that occupying forces are bad things. Why?

We had occupying forces in Germany and Japan for years. It had its rough points here and there, but I think you would find very few Germans, Japanese or Americans who would say that it was bad. We removed despotic governments, established democracies, helped rebuild vibrant economies and provided a bulwark of protection against outside threats. I doubt that you could find more successful examples of military occupations in world history.

At some level, Sen. Burns knows that, so he doesn't come out and say that it's bad to call what we're doing in Iraq an occupation. He just says that it's inaccurate. Instead, it is an army of liberation. Really?

Let's look at a couple of undisputed examples, both from World War II.

A. An invading army conquers France. U.S. forces counterattack, drive out the invading force and, in effect, tell the French, "Here's your country back, to do with as you please, no matter how much you may annoy us." That's liberation.

B. We invade Germany, dismantle its government, and, in effect, tell the Germans, "You can't have your old government back. You have to form a new government, and we aren't leaving until you get it right, and we decide that it's safe to go." That's occupation.

So does what we are doing in Iraq more closely resemble A or B? And is the senator really all that concerned about semantic accuracy?

UPDATE: Apparently I was wrong when I said the above examples were undisputed. David Berg on "Berg in the Morning" just said that U.S. forces in Germany were an army of liberation, not of occupation. So Burns was right to criticize Tester, not because what he said was inaccurate but because what he said was impossible: Armies of occupation do not exist (at least not American armies).


Matt Singer said...

It's a permanent liberation. May a hundred flowers bloom in the desert.

Sandra from Canada said...

I believe there is no comparison between WW II and Bush's Crusade on Terror. Americans did not do it alone although that is what the America media machine seem to perpetuate now Americans are doing it alone and they don't want to have all the credit and none of the blams for the mess they are in.

Anonymous said...

I've decided that our troops are being used as policeman myself, which is more accurate than the term occupiers.

Anonymous said...

I think the forces are occupiers. The "liberation" is over. Recall Bush announced,"mission accomplished." But now the Iraqis are fully utilizing their right to keep and bear arms. In short, the civil war is just getting started. We have a heck of a mess. Like the little mouse said--"I have had enough cheese, I just want out of the trap." Alas!! No good way out of this, but the "good news" is that it is only costing $200,000,000 per day in addition to the dead and wounded.

Chuck Rightmire said...

David: Why would you allow "Berg in the morning" to trump your more accurate statement? And, by the way: Who is Berg in the Morning?

Mark T said...

Operation Iraqi Liberation - Code Name: O.I.L.

Even in the most informed discussions taking place in this country, we can't say the obvious. We're on the downside of Hubbert's Peak. In the coming years, control of oil will define who's economic interests will survive, whose will not. He who has the oil will rule.

The US cries love of democracy when faux democracy furthers US ends. The US freely supports brutal tyrants elsewhere (Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan), and our press is dutifully mum about it, just as they were mum all those years we supported Saddam Hussein.

It's absurd to even have this discussion, it's only possible under our bubble. Those troops are there to enforce our will, which is not democratic. What could be more obvious? That Iraq happens to have alot of O.I.L.? (Can't say that word!)

Ed Kemmick said...

In this morning's Gazette (7/27) William Rusher refers offhandedly to the "occupation" of both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Crisp,
I have the utmost admiration for your vocabulay and your writing...but why do you insist on haveing a battle of wits with an unarmed person?
Andy Fish