Monday, October 03, 2005

Mil Posts of Note

Three excellent posts of highly suggested reading right here (sorry, I lost my original post and am too irritated to make the nice pretty one that took me 20 minutes to make and lose).

The first deals with the common liberal misnomer that the military feeds off the poor. In fact, the bulk of enlisted military personnel come from the middle and upper-middle class:

In fact, the percentage difference between the richest and poorest quintiles increases between 1999 and 2003! And the highest percentage is actually in the second richest quintile of recruits, followed by the richest quintile. It is no exaggeration to say America's most prosperous families bear the greatest share of the burden of fighting in America's defense.

There's a pretty graph there for all you visual people (like me).

The second is an editorial from the Star-Tribune. It deals with a Marine Reservists' thoughts on anti-war protesters:

MacVarish says that the terrorists can't win militarily. So their strategy is to make the U.S. and Iraqi people "bleed a little every day." They hope that the resulting media attention will turn the tide of American opinion against the war, and make the political cost of sustaining it too high. "The more play the press gives Cindy Sheehan," MacVarish concludes, "the better the terrorists' chances are of ultimately succeeding here."

What would a terrorist victory mean? "If we leave before the new government is established and the Iraqi Army is ready," says Vold, "the people will be at the mercy of the bad guys" -- beheaders and torturers, who blow up children. MacVarish minces no words: "If the terrorists win over here, stand by. There will be no stopping them anywhere in the world."

The last holds a fascinating thought:

In the entire 20th century, no two democracies started a full-scale war with each other, and no two stable democracies fought with each other at all. For the sake of this argument, let’s assume a war is a conflict between at least two nations that causes at least 10,000 deaths. In the most recent 100 years, such an event didn’t happen once between two democracies. Not once.


In the 20th century, dictatorships were responsible for starting the bloodiest wars, producing 24 million battle deaths in World Wars I and II alone. Perhaps 37 million died in all the battles of all the wars in that last century. Dictators also managed to kill, with little fear of losing power, about 115 million of their "own people."

Start with Stalin’s 39 million dead by purges and state-imposed famines. Add in Mao killing 35 million in purges and state-imposed famines. Add in Hitler’s 21 million dead by racist extermination. Add in Imperial Japan’s 5 million deaths in massacres outside battle. Add 2 million dead in Pol Pot’s "killing fields." Add in Saddam’s 400,000 in mass graves.

So without dictatorships, 152 million people would have not lost their lives. Some say we should not spread democracy. I'm thinking we should. Read it all.


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