Vodkapundit compares Iwo Jima to Iraq, with some surprising conclusions (well, not to me, but probably to some!)
The battle for Iwo was one of the toughest in the entire Pacific Campaign. 70,000 Marines invaded, 6,821 of whom never came home. An additional 19,217 were wounded, and 2,648 suffered combat fatigue. All in just five weeks of fighting.
The battle for Iraq continues, but the results aren't nearly so bad. To date, about 1,400 killed and 10,000 wounded in just less than two years of fighting.
But Iraq and Iwo Jima still have a lot in common – and more than might be obvious even to the serious student of history. To see at long last what I mean, let's look at the critiques.
There's a strong chance that invading Iwo was a mistake. We didn't need it as a forward staging area for Operation Olympic. Iwo didn't control some resource vital to Hirohito's war machine. In fact, we invaded Iwo Jima and sacrificed nearly 7,000 lives for… an emergency airbase.
That's right. All of that effort, all of those injuries, all of those lives, just so that bomber crews might have a safe place to put down in case of emergency. I don't mean to say Iwo wasn't necessarily worth it. Every airman who found refuge there owed a debt of honor to the Marines who died there. And the propaganda value of the famous flag-raising on Iwo was priceless.