the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

What Could Be Accomplished in Four Years

1941 – Pearl Harbor


1945 – Allies Defeat Japan and Germany

Five years after 9/11 — ?


  1. Tara

    Awesome pics. My daughter loves reading about homefronts during WWII. She isn’t so into the battles, but more the lives of the people who stayed home or were in internment camps or concentration camps. I can’t tell you how many books she’s read on the Holocaust. What a sad, sad legacy.

  2. ElizaF

    What a subtle point and how poinently you make it. E.

  3. Dagny

    Your second picture reminds me of my hometown. The next time you’re in the Bay, you should check out the Rosie the Riveter display.

  4. V-Grrrl

    Well said–without words.

    My mom was a riveter and wore the navy blue jumpsuit, just like Rosie. Met my dad on the production line at Grumman’s in New York.

  5. kristen

    Word Neil.

  6. Wendy

    I wish more people got this point that you so wonderfully make.

  7. the Yearning Heart

    You can understand why my cousin in Kuwait shuddered when he heard “Four More Years!!!” being chanted at the RNC.

  8. justrun

    It took me a minute, but I get it.

    Still, part of me knows it’s a different place and a different time.

  9. M.A.

    There was causal connection in that war.

  10. Edgy Mama

    Thanks, Neil.

  11. Alison

    You rock.

  12. Cover Your Mouth

    I know who lonelygirl15 is, but who’s this “Pearl Harbor” you speak of?

  13. Jocelyn

    Thanks Neil. Sometimes less really is more.

  14. Dave G

    That’s the problem w/ leaders that are fearmongers – they don’t encourage citizens to aspire to anything.

    Instead of “We Can Do It!” the slogan we got after 9/11 was “Be Afraid. Be Very, Very Afraid (and go shopping!)” So sad.

  15. Trixie

    In another three years, you can re-post this, only including a picture of the 9th Ward in Louisiana.


    Is this about girl-power?

  17. Melissa

    Maybe we would protest more if the casualties were similar.

  18. Elisabeth

    Powerful point, well made, indeed.

    The excuse, of course is that this “war on terror” is being fought against a totally different kind of enemy, one that is invisible and yet mighty.

  19. othurme

    I think the point is we will not capture Bin Laden until blue jumpsuits are back in fashion.

  20. deezee

    ‘now’ and ‘then’…very different…
    are you really equating the two???

  21. Lux Lisbon

    time flys when you’re having fun…

  22. sbukophile

    I was listening to a story on NPR the other day, and one of the “experts” was saying that we’re currently really in the 4th World War. He counted the 3rd as the “Cold War”.

    But another point I’d like to make, is something I was thinking as I heard a woman on the same show comparing Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Now, I was living in England during the post 9/11 stuff and when the current Iraq War started, and I didn’t know that Bush was making statements juxtaposing 9/11 and Saddam so that the American people would think the two were connected. So I was baffled when I was back in the states and people were justifying the Iraq War as, “You bet if they’re going to blow up the twin towers that we should be fighting over there!”

    They are 2 different countries! Saddam had nothing to do with the twin towers! Yes, we’re still in Afghanistan too, but I just don’t think it’s fair equating Pearl Harbor with 9/11. 9/11 was horrible but should not be the excuse we’re in Iraq (not sure I ever understood what the excuse was for that matter).

  23. Therese


    Food for thought.

  24. Heather B.

    Good point.

    I love that people cannot believe that you’re comparing the two though I’m sure it’s the same people that whole heartedly agree with Dr. Rice when she compares it to I dunno…the civil rights movement for example.

    ::insert eyes rolling here::

  25. laurie

    It’s a terrible tragedy of advertising on my brain that every time I see that Rosie poster I think of Tampax.

  26. Alexandra

    I must be a complete dope! I don’t get the point of this post.

  27. Neil

    Alexandra — Hmmm… maybe I am being too coy. I really didn’t want to make any statement other than show the difference in what can happen in a similar amount of time —

    Should I add this to make it more clearer? —

    9/11/01 — World Trade Center Attacked

    Five Years Later — ?

  28. modigli

    You’re awesome, Neil. Well done. 🙂

  29. littlepurplecow

    Ah hah. I knew you could do deep thoughts. Nice post.

  30. Viscountess of Funk

    Do you mean to say that women will win the war in Iraq?

  31. Neil

    Viscountess — I believe that if women ruled the world, there would be no more war. Just a lot of bitching during their periods.

  32. Alexandra

    Thanks Neil! It appears I’m even slower than I had previously thought-eek!

  33. Elisabeth

    Neil – There is a fantastic song by the French Canadian singer Garou titled “Les Filles” (“Girls”) – in which, with much irony, he rattles a list of “stereotypical things” that girls/women do. He concludes the song with these words “Elles nous font pousser le coeur, Les filles rendent les hommes meilleurs, et plus elles font de la politique, plus notre monde est pacifique.: (“They make out hearts grow, girls make men better, and the more they are involved in politics, the more at peace our world is.”)

  34. thephoenixnyc

    And we can take your comparison to the next level.

    The latest talking point from Bush, Cheney et. al is that “We are in the ideological war of the century”

    “That we are facing a danger on par with Hitler and Stalin”

    Really? Then why hasn’t our country mobilized the way we mobilized in WWII.

    Whar are you cutting taxes during wartime? etc. etc. etc.

  35. amanda

    thanks for the explanation. i didn’t get it either. interesting thought process though. i need to school myself – middle school history escaped me there.

  36. Tatyana

    Well done Neil? You must be drunk.

    Neil, if you’re critical of the results of this War, you must be prepared for US to unleash 100% of our fire power onto our enemies (and so called friends) in the Middle East – as it was done in the WWII.  You must reject about your Democratic whineys’ talk about “winning hearts and minds”, “the word on Arab street”, “rights of moderate Muslims”, etc etc. – things that US Administration in the WWII didn’t cared for. Then you, surely, will be prepared to deny a single penny to Palestinians, Pakistanis, Saudis and the rest of our “friends” while we: nobody in the last War was giving any financial (humanitarian or labelled otherwise) aid to our enemies during military operations.
    You will then be prepared to introduce rationing, blackouts, draft, etc etc to civilian population – just as it’s symbolized by that famous poster you site.  You will also be prepared for hundreds of thousands of American deaths abroad; you will stay the course even if there will be no victories and the only news from the front – for years – will consist of more, more and yet more casualties.

  37. Neil

    Tatyana, even you must be disappointed in what has been accomplished in five years. And the role of the Commander in Chief cannot be excused. FDR asked for sacrifices, and got them. President Bush didn’t, so he didn’t get any. FDR asked for a massive deployment.  President Bush didn’t.  I’m not sure the Bush Administration had a clear plan on what to do in Iraq or Afghanistan.  I’m not one who usually attacks the President. I was FOR going into Iraq.  I’m still not convinced it was a bad idea.  But it clearly was poorly done.  And you can’t blame everything on the “liberals.” They are not the ones in power.

  38. sbukophile

    Hey Neil, thanks for the email. Rather than take up space and boring your site’s visitors with my thoughts, I posted my thoughts re this whole thing on my blog.

  39. Neil

    Thank you, Sbukophile. Your post was interesting. Again, I was actually more talking about “the war on terrorism” and the unifying of the American public to a common goal than specifically Iraq.

  40. Tatyana

    N, we both disappointed, but for different reasons, I think.

    I’d prefer if the President didn’t pay attention to the to the cowards and appeasers in media and government, stopped polit. correctness and references to Islam as ‘religion of peace’, and instead of endless declarations took to action.
    In other words – I want them destroyed, not pacified.
    I think he could do a better job in explaining the necessity of the tougher policy to the people – just like Churchill did at WWII.

    Those who criticise W from the Left should look in the mirror: it’s mostly their fault that the war was not executed more aggressively. From the beginning the only people who blocked any war-related action of the government were liberals in generals and Dems in particular. Yes, some Dems are smarter than others, like Lieberman (or simply sly – yes, Hillary, I’m looking at you!) – and support the war, just out of survival instinct, but others are too cowardly to admit the failure of their ideology of multiculturalism.
    In any case, this topic is too long for a comment; I’ll supply a related link – on national unity – or rather disunity for your perusal.

  41. Tatyana


  42. Neil

    I agree with you to some extent. You could also compare the way the Allies acted together during WW2 and the way they did this time. I think if France and Russia weren’t so buddy-buddy with the Saddam regime before the war, some of the non-violent pressurings might have worked in those early days. But then again, you can’t blame the “left” and “France” for your own failings. If President Bush were a better leader, he would have been able to rally those in opposition to his side.

  43. Tatyana

    I, too, agree with you to some extent.

    Can you “rally” the bribe-takers and thieves NOT to steal and accept bribes?

    That’s what Russia and France did: blood for oil.

    Otherwise – spot on.

  44. ashbloem

    Whoa, Tatyana. Whoa.

  45. Cover Your Mouth

    “Those who criticise W from the Left should look in the mirror: it’s mostly their fault that the war was not executed more aggressively.”

    WHAT? Seriously, Tatyana, I’m confused about how the Left was responsible for poor planning conducted by Bush’s right-wing cabinet. Democratic Senators and Congressmen gave Bush the authority to go to war; they did not give him the go ahead to go to war under the rosey-eyed assumption that we’d be greeted as liberators and thus didn’t need to have a plan to secure peace after Saddam’s fall. I think Neil’s (and most people’s) beef with this war is not that it happened but HOW it happened. It’s been bungled BADLY. And there is just no justifiable way to blame that on the Left. Bush is not of the Left. Cheney is not of the Left. Rumsfeld is not of the Left. Wolfowitz is not of the Left. Condi is not of the Left. These are the architects of this war. They are responsible for the outcome.

  46. Party Girl


    Amazing, what a leader can do for a nation, country, world.

    It’s amazing what a nation, country, world, can’t accomplish with a leader.

  47. berrie

    been absent far too long from your pages Neil! ummmmmmm yup! I think you’re onto something here guy!

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