Time Demeans Heroic Marines

At the end of 1944 the war against Imperial Japan was three years old and had cost the lives of 21,500 Sailors and Marines. American military strategists, hoping to force an early Japanese surrender deployed a newly available weapon, the B-29 Super-fortress, “very-long-range” bomber. From bases on the islands of Saipan and Tinian the B-29s were to strike Japan’s industrial infrastructure to stop production of aircraft and weaponry.

iwo-jima-photo1.jpgAnother Island proved to be a major obstacle. Iwo Jima, a barren fragment of volcanic rock and sand, rose like a lump of coal from the Pacific. It was a hellish place that smelled of sulfur and produced virtually no vegetation. It would have been unfit for any human use were it not for it’s strategic location, roughly halfway along the flight path from Saipan to Tokyo.

Japanese forces on Iwo Jima used radar to detect the B-29s and then gave homeland defenders two hours advance notice of every bombing strike. Iwo’s air base sent up fighter aircraft to harass the B29s on their way to Japan and even worse, on their way back, after sustaining damage from anti-aircraft fire.

Seizing Iwo Jima from the Japanese and converting its airfields to an American asset became critical to bringing the war to a victorious end.

It’s impossible, in a few of paragraphs, to do justice to the valor and the sacrifice of the eighty-thousand Marines who endured 36 days of grim combat to take control of Iwo Jima. The Marines suffered 24,053 casualties including 6,140 dead. A complete narrative that does do justice is available here.

Mount Suribachi, an extinct volcano, was the highest point on the island. It took three days of furious combat and more than 500 casualties to destroy all the pillboxes and gun emplacements the Japanese had built into the mountainside. On the fourth day a 40-man patrol scaled the mountainside to secure the summit and raise an American flag. The column of ascending troops could be seen, and was watched intently, by personnel on ships off shore and by marines all over the island.

iwo-jima-memorial.jpgThe Marines found a section of pipe at the summit and used it for a flagpole. When they finally raised the flag there were cheers from thousands of Marines around the base of the mountain and the ships sounded sirens and whistles.

A few hours later another group of six marines replaced the flag with a larger flag. AP photographer Joe Rosenthal snapped a picture of the six as they raised and replanted the makeshift flagpole.

The image of those six Marines rising the flag over Iwo Jima is the most reproduced photo in history. When it was first published it boosted morale and gave hope to a war-weary American population. Ten years later, the image was sculpted into the Marine Corps War Memorial, a 78 foot bronze monument in Washington D.C.

The photo and memorial are a treasured tribute to United States Marine Corps traditions of courage, honor, service and sacrifice, and have served as an inspiration to generations of Americans.

timeiwojima.jpgThis week, Time Magazine has chosen to demean the Iwo Jima photo and dishonor the Marines for nothing more than to promote the international global warming political movement. In an astounding display of contempt, Time has debased and trivialized this inspiring, patriotic image.

We who respect military service have a duty to communicate our reaction to the editors of Time.

4 Comments so far

  1. tom jones on April 21st, 2008

    Global Warming is far more critical and important than worship of senseless killing in an unnecessary war best forgotten.

    Global warming is real. the global climate crisis is real. War solves nothing. glorifying war is solves nothing.

    It is you who trivializes the urgent need for all nations and all peoples to set aside the petty conflicts that bring on stupid wars and save this planet.

  2. aaa again on April 21st, 2008

    Tom jones tells us global warming is real, and war solves nothing.

    Well, yes, it appears that global warming may be real. The problem is that man-made global warming has absolutely no basis in fact. Therefore, unless, Tom, you can change our sun’s solar activity, you are impotently pining for the impossible.

    With respect to war. Thank you for the child-like observation that war is a dirty, vile and nasty undertaking. But we already knew that.

    As to the solutions brought by war. There are some Europeans and Phillipinos who would beg to differ, lest they be speaking, respectively, German and Japanese.

    Go read a history book and then get back to us, would you?
    b

  3. tom jones on April 22nd, 2008

    You agree war is vile but you still think its more important to glorify war than to save the planet?

    Do you know scientists project that as many as 2 billion of people will starve to death? Starve to death!

    Japan attacked Pearl Harbor because the we were sticking our nose into their business. That’s what we’re doing again now with our massive war machine. We should leave the rest of the world alone and STOP GLORIFYING WAR!

    “The troops” are mercinaries. Their mostly from low income, minority, undereducated classes. They are taught to blow things up and kill people. their like the gangs in the cities.

    Time did a good thing by turning that old war cheering picture into something worthwhile – saving the earth from destruction.

  4. aaa again on April 23rd, 2008

    Tom Jones could use a basic class in reading and logic………..not to mention history and science.

    It is not “war” that is being glorified, it is the brave men who endured the horrors of war to free the countries in the Pacific theatre from Japanese occupation who are being glorified. Its shameful that you have so little regard for those men – men no doubt far superior in character to you – or for the people killed and imprisoned by the Japanese during their imperial quest. That is the point that the proprietor of this blogsite was making. Further, you need to do a little research on that “sticking our nose in” issue. After years of various island advances, the Japanese were making advances into the Asian continent, but were dependant on US exports, particularly oil, to do so. That’s hardly “sticking our nose in.” However, the Japanese Navy was well aware of rising tensions with the US, and also of Japan’s impending plan to begin prosecuting the war agaist Europe. Hence they designed what was to be a knockout blow agaist the US Pacific fleet so they would not be interfered with by the US in the Pacific. Of course, the attack had the exact opposite effect. You must be a product of public school history classes.

    With respect to man-made global warming, there is no scientific concensus whatsoever, and certainly not of the draconian effects you cite. The propaganda of “concensus” derives from the false notion that the scientists on the UN Committee on Global Climate Change have endorsed a published study. However, the truth is that many of those scientists demanded their names be withdrawn from the report – and that they stop being cited as being in agreement – when they saw the report’s content (they had previously only been given an abstract), which they disagree with.

    In fact, the origins of the scientists who remain supportive of that UN report are the “one World Govt” kooks who need an issue to galvanize the world in an effort to throttle down growth in the industrialized countries. Science, and curbing global warming, is not their goal, socialist politics is. And you don’t have to be very bright or informed to be aware of that.

    I believe you mentioned something about starving people. Are you aware that global warming “prevention” policies, including biofuels legislation, is causing a rise in food prices, and people are hungry? Are you aware that corn production for biofuels is a huge user of water, projected to reduce food output in the future? If you really care about starving people you would be well advised to immediately get off the junk science and advocate something constructive for these poor souls. If you really care about them, that is. Or – truth be told- is your real concern the politics?

    In making his comments about Time, the proprietor of this blog understood those dynamics also.