Monday, November 08, 2004
Basic ignorance of our nation’s military history was apparent through the recent Presidential campaign, as potshots were taken at President Bush and efforts to quash terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. To the extent that this happened within school walls, you can blame in part the propaganda from the National Education Association, whose national convention last summer was markedly anti-war and anti-Bush.
A look through a typical American history textbook in high school often reveals a lack of historical perspective about war. It’s in the classrooms and in teachers’ minds, too. Many of them think we have a sordid, warmongering history. They have a very negative slant against the military, I’ve found over the years.
I’ve also found that the best way to change their minds is to offer the facts, in perspective. For instance, to counter a claim that America is a racist country, acknowledge that over the years 10,000 people have been lynched in this country, most of them black . . . but there were 1 million casualties in the Civil War that freed the slaves.
Similarly, when teachers in our old middle school used to bash America for interning 100,000 Japanese-Americans on the West Coast after Pearl Harbor, I made a chart that compared that number to the 40 million who DIED in WWII, and the tens of millions that tyrants like Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot murdered and put in the Gulag, etc. None of that was in the curriculum; schools never seem to teach about the bad guys beyond our shores.
Perspective! It’s all about perspective. So I was happy to receive this election-related email last week, and hope you’ll pass it on to students or teachers who might want to work a little perspective into their classroom discussions and assignments about war:
-- There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq during the month of January. In the fair city of Detroit, there were 35 murders in the same month.
-- When anyone claims President Bush shouldn't have started this war, note the following:
FDR . . .
led us into World War II.
Germany never attacked us: Japan did.
From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost, an average of 112,500 per year.
finished that war and started one in Korea.
North Korea never attacked us.
From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost, an average of 18,334 per year.
John F. Kennedy...
started the Vietnam conflict in 1962.
Vietnam never attacked us.
turned Vietnam into a quagmire.
From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost, an average of 5,800 per year.
went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent.
Bosnia never attacked us.
He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three times by the Sudan and did nothing.
-- Osama has attacked us on multiple occasions.
-- In the two years since terrorists attacked us President Bush has . . .
liberated two countries,
crushed the Taliban,
put nuclear inspectors in Libya, Iran and North Korea without firing a shot,
and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people.
-- The Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking, but . . .
It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51-day operation.
We've been looking for evidence of chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records.
It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick.
It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida!!!!
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