Saluting with misty eyes
I believe you’re confusing two distinct types of conflicts, WWII was a conflict where both sides were clearly defined and both adhered strongly to the Total War principle
The war in Iraq, and the war on terrorism, isn’t a Total War situation; it’s a police action to surgically remove certain individuals who are attempting to wage Total War against any and every society they’ve got a grudge against.
No? I believe you are contradicting yourself. You quote Roger Chickering:
Total war is distinguished by its unprecedented intensity and extent. Theaters of operations span the globe; the scale of battle is practically limitless. Total war is fought heedless of the restraints of morality, custom, or international law, for the combatants are inspired by hatreds born of modern ideologies. Total war requires the mobilization not only of armed forces but also of whole populations. The most crucial determinant of total war is the widespread, indiscriminate, and deliberate inclusion of civilians as legitimate military targets.
Then, iin the same post you say that the current war on terror isn't a "total War".
Let's take this quote from Chickering sentence by sentence and see where it leaves us:
Total war is distinguished by its unprecedented intensity and extent
Perhaps this applies to the war on terror, perhaps not. We are fighting a war on fronts, which is a first, as far as I know. There are combat troops from around the world in Iraq and Afghanistan, PLUS people fighing the war on terrorism itself in their homelands. I will leave the opinion as to whether this applies to each individual.
Theaters of operations span the globe; the scale of battle is practically limitless
So far, there have been terrorist attacks in several coutries throughout the Middle East. We are in shooting matches in Iraq and Afghanistan. There have been terrorist attacks in Spain, the United States, Nigeria, Kenya, and several other African countries, not to mention Japan. I am sure there are other countries, however, owing to my recent awakening, and lack of caffeine, I would not swear to it.
Total war is fought heedless of the restraints of morality, custom, or international law, for the combatants are inspired by hatreds born of modern ideologies.
Well, the terrorists, and the enemy insurgents are doing what they are doing out of hatred for the Western way of life. They have declared a jihad (Holy War) against the West. Sounds like hatred born of modern ideology.
Also, the part of war being fought heedless of the morality, etc... Blowing up a wedding reception, blowing up innocent civilians waiting in line, releasing poison gas in a train station, blowing up an embassy... sounds fairly close to what you are describing.
Total war requires the mobilization not only of armed forces but also of whole populations
The American governmenbt has ,in effect, mobilized the entire nation in its war on terror. Americans were, theoretically, being taught how to recognize if something was wrong in their community, and if there were people acting in a manner that would make them suspects, and have been asked to report any such people. The Iraqi citizens are giving coalition forces information on suspected terrorists, and weapons caches... geez, it sounds like mobilization of whole populations.
The most crucial determinant of total war is the widespread, indiscriminate, and deliberate inclusion of civilians as legitimate military targets."
Again, a wedding reception, a school house, a train station, an embassy, people standiing in line... yep... inclusion of civilians.
You stated that this was not a "total War" yet everything about this war is included in your definition. Not only that, you have also admitted that Total War is being waged.
the terrorist are fighting an almost pure form of Total War, avoiding direct military conflict entirely.
How can a Total War not be fought, while a Total war is being fought? You stated that the allies are not fighting a Total War, yet you agree with reports that we have targeted "innocent" civilians (who just happened to drag suspected terrorists away to hide the bodies), which falls into one of Chickering's definitions. As I stated earlier in this thread, Americans and civilians of many other nations are being mobilized by their governments on one way or another. By targeting civilians, are we not violating the laws of morality and war? You also said that the war on terror is spread throughout the globe, which is one of the definitions put aside by Chickering.
While you are sell spoken, and have made what could be considered valid points,. you seem to have made them for both sides of the issue.
To be merciful to the cruel is to be cruel to the merciful.