No Excuses on Iraq in '06

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Jun 16, 2006 1:47 PM

Yell it from the rooftops-- we were right to remove Saddam from power and Democrats were either afraid to act or afraid to stand behind their votes once cast.

When you put it that way, the Dem argument sounds pretty lame, but delivering that message is harder than it could be these days:

In addition to the challenge of a media not particularly interested in reporting the progress being made by our troops in Iraq, is the lack of proper education when it comes to military history. Betsy Newmark wrote of her experience as a teacher noticing the emphasis in the public education curriculum on social history rather than the military history of wars. Jay Mathews wrote of the teaching of WWII history in the public schools, that there are lessons on women stepping into men’s roles and lessons on the Japanese internment, but few on generals or specific battles. As Joanne Jacobs put it, "Rosie the Riveter has trumped Patton."

Without an understanding of battles and victories, war casualties can be viewed out of the context of the overall progress made in a war...

As a result of the first Gulf War, which was fought from the air with few casualties, the public developed an almost impossible standard by which to compare future conflicts. Combine that with a media failing to report "good news" from Iraq and the way a couple of generations of Americans have been educated, and it becomes clear what a task it is to explain the war in Iraq.

More good points in the column, but I just wanted to add that I must have learned about Rosie the Riveter umpteen trillion times in high school and college. We discussed the iconic poster, Rosie's effect on women's rights, women's transitions after the war, women in the workplace today in light of Rosie's experiences.

I learned about Patton from George C. Scott and my father.