June 22nd, 1941 subject logo: MILGAM
Posted by: badanov

Today marks the 66th anniversary of the start of what is probably the bloodliest war in history, the War on the Eastern Front between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.

What sets the war apart from all others is what sets our current war in Iraq apart from Barbarossa. The incredible waste of lives and resources, the Nazis against the German people and the Soviets against the Russian people is both instructive and a curse to the two nations and to the US as well.

Barbarossa, the German operation to destroy the Soviet Union as a communist state was a lesson in an unrealized strategic blunder and stunning successes for the Wehrmacht in the face of a technologically equal and numerically superior enemy and a compelling portrait of men facing hardship driven by an ideological political class against an equally unforgiving and autocratic regime.

Leftists could have well grasped the lessons the Germans knew in Russia going in and could have applied them to our current involvment in Iraq, but, alas, they are loathe to apply lessons in history if it doesn't fit their ideals. After all the Nazis were the Bad Guys, and we certainly can't learn anything from them.

They also are loathe to apply those lessons simply because of the tremndous differences in the political ( AKA grand strategic ) reasons for invading a sovereign nation. The Germans invaded Soviet Russia for two reasons.

The first was to knock out for all time the largest communist nation of earth, a feat of arms that would have surely gained for Hitler a stature he and his regine certainly could never earn otherwise.

The second was because of what the German General Staff feared was a huge exposed rear in their dominence of Europe, their treaty with Soviet Russian notwithstanding. Viewed from a strictly military standpoint, both reasons were perfectly understandable and acceptable reasons for eliminating the Soviet threat once and for all.

We now know from history that the German grand strategic reason for invading and occupying Russia was purely economical and the Nazi chose the most difficult and most expensive from a manpower standpoint means of administrering their conquests: they chose to make slaves of Russian and Ukrainians and they mostly only strengthened the Soviets while weakened the Germans.

The lessons that can be drawn from the War in the East are lessons our military and political people took to heart and applied with vigor since the end of WWII in 1945. The culmination of the military part of the lesson that could be drawn from Barbarossa culminated in the first Gulf War, in which a technologically superior military attacks a numercally superior enemy and drove them from the field of battle in five days with little losses on the ground. The only thing left undone in the military feat of 1991 in the first Gulf War was to finish it, which Bush 41 failed to do.

The political part of the lesson, which is still going on at this moment is that even if the reasons for invaiding may seem flimsy, ( and we do not think they were ) the only acceptable result is to help the people of the invaded coutry gain and maintain freedom. This task given the long and twisted history of Iraq has proven to be very difficult, given the innate chicken and egg thing.

Do the Iraqi people really understand what it is to be free if a foreign nation strives to free them, or is it better for us to just sit on the sidelines and allow things to continue as they did before 2003? ( and as the political left in this country would have preferred have been done. )

We have watched in relative horror as our political left has taken legislative reins of government and the left declared our effort in Iraq as lost, usually when one faction murders large numenrs of another faction through car bombs. Ten, 20 or 50 killed is too much bloodletting for the left and the constant drumbeat about our very casualties are self derisory, especially in the context of what total war really means. It would be very hard to imagine the left conducting total war for national survival the way the Soviet Union did and their worrys adds to our conviction that the left in this or any other country have never nor will ever learn from history whether the lessons are direct or whether they can be inferred, nor will they ever be able to provide the leadership to avert total war, much less win a total war for survival.

But the biggest lesson we have learned even if our left doesn't want us to learn it, is that casualties are not caused by the leader who directs them to battle but by an armed and ruthlesly hostile enemy. It is far better to become better at winning wars, a lesson our nation and Great Britain has learned well, than to shrink away from threats where they are.

The left can never learn that lesson.

Jeez... Another political rant to be sure. Sorry. Just wanted to point a few things out. Maybe we'll get better at this.

If you have something to add, Fire Away!

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