Friday, August 24, 2007

Bush Comparing Iraq to Vietnam?

Talk about jumping over to the other side. Democrats have been saying that there are strong similarities between Iraq and Vietnam for years now. Bush finally gets it?

No, actually.

He is using the analogy to justify staying in Iraq indefinitely because when we leave, the Iraq “quagmire” (Cheney, 1994) will disassemble into a bloodbath that they say Vietnam descended into.

Now I have a couple of problems with that. One thing that is not similar between Iraq and Vietnam is the opponent. In Vietnam we had a Soviet and Communist Chinese-backed legitimate government fighting an American-backed legitimate government. The Viet Cong were the closest thing to an insurgency, and they were fully supported by the Soviets and Chinese as well. The bloodbath that followed mainly dealt with the victors getting the final say over the losers.

That is historically what happens when one side wins and one side loses. In all cases, the loser comes into existence because diplomacy has broken down, as was the case in Vietnam. We tried to find a military solution in Vietnam, when a diplomatic one was the one that was needed.

And there is the disconnect, and there is where George Bush has not learned from history. He still wants a military solution. He proposes a military surge instead of a diplomatic surge.

The war cannot be won militarily. The war cannot be won militarily. The war cannot be won militarily. The war cannot be won militarily. The war cannot be won militarily.

No, Bush hasn’t learned from Vietnam, but according to the YouTube embed below, lots of people haven’t

Here’s what I have learned from Vietnam: you don’t enter into a regional civil conflict without knowledge of the culture and background. You send your diplomats in and try and find a solution.

And in the end, even bloodbaths end, people pick up their lives again, and go out and have some ice cream at Baskin-Robbins.


Anonymous said...

Dear Hal,

Pardon the pun, but I wanted to let you know that your number one fan, my mom Van, passed on when she heard Bush's comment comparing Iraq to Viet Nam. The stress of our low IQ, megalomaniacal, self-appointed leader and his band of idiots has just been too much on my gentle-souled mother and child of the 60's and 70's. When she heard the Viet Nam comment, she was speechless for the first time I can ever remember. She just couldn't think of anything to say. It literally blew her mind. I know she'll haunt you if you ever stop blogging and I stop breeding baby Democrats, so carry on!

Anonymous said...

Typical of Bush & this administration, when they finally acknowledge a comparison to Vietnam, they draw the wrong historical lesson. The gang that couldn't do anything right.

musicus said...

Bush did the right thing by going into Iraq. No, Iraq was not a direct threat to us. However, the possibility (acknowledged by Blair and all of the UN Security Council) existed that there were WMD in Iraq, and that they could be handed over to terrorists who in turn could deliver them to us was a valid reason to go in. Tactical mistakes were made, as in all wars. Some comparisons to Vietnam are valid, some are not. Let's understand that war is complex and at the same time very simple.