Where things will go your way...or they won't

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam

The Decider has now embraced the Iraq/Vietnam analogy. Wtf???!?!?1? This has caused me endless cognitive dissonance, haven't we been told for five years that such comparisons were specious, defeatist, and indeed traitorous rhetoric that only full blown Comintern members would accept? Thankfully, I have Google to try and verify my suspicion.

Here is a sample of the writings explaining the wrongheadedness of the Iraq/Vietnam analogy.

  • Remember when Colin Powell assured us that, unlike Vietnam, Iraq "is not a swamp that will devour us." Perhaps, he just meant that because it was the desert, it was quicksand that would devour us, which would explain why he has since claimed to be against the war in the beginning.
  • Hitchens called it "an ex-analogy."
  • Fred Kagan called it "A pernicious equivalence."
  • In 2003, George C. Wilson explained the main difference between the two wars is a lack of Pentagon body counts.
  • John McCain made this non sequitur in 2005, South Vietnam "never had a legitimate government in Saigon that the people believed in and trusted." Unlike the universally loved and supported government in Iraq.
  • Here is one I missed, from Lieutenant Colonel Powl Smith in September 2004, "Iraq isn't Vietnam, it's Guadalcanal—one campaign of many in a global war to defeat the terrorists and their sponsors. Like the United States in the Pacific in 1943, we are in a war of national survival that will be long, hard, and fraught with casualties. We lost the first battle of that war on Sept. 11, 2001, and we cannot now afford to walk away from the critical battle we are fighting in Iraq any more than we could afford to walk away from Guadalcanal." The obvious implication being that if we had lost on Guadalcanal the Japanese would have occupied California in short order. I'm no expert, but from what I know of military history rarely is war decided by one battle. But, then again, after Little Big Horn the Sioux did lead a enraged Indian army straight to the Potomac, didn't they?

There are over 42,000,000 results if you Google "Iraq not Vietnam" so this is obviously a extremely truncated list, but you get the point.

The analogy Bush is trying to make is that if domestic political pressure(which is clearly influenced by the fifth column Stalinists who run rampant all over America) forced us to withdraw from Iraq then millions would die. The fact that this outcome was virtually guaranteed by the invasion of Iraq does not deter him from demonizing critics of his endless series of wars strategy. Jim Henley points out that in Vietnam "millions died while we were there." The same is true in Iraq, tens of thousands are dying and being displaced while we are there. So will any of our intrepid MSM reporters point this out to Bush? No. The media will kowtow and continue to regurgitate the administrations press releases and disserve the American people. Which is, as Norman Solomon points out, one way that Vietnam and Iraq are certainly similar. Money shot.

War after war, decade after decade, the U.S. news media have continued to serve those in Washington who strive to set the national agenda for war and lay down flagstones on the path to military intervention.
From the U.S. media’s fraudulent reporting about Gulf of Tonkin events in early August 1964 to the fraudulent reporting about supposed Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in the first years of the 21st century, the U.S. news media have been fundamental to making war possible for the United States.

The wingnuts who, from an undisclosed location, continually tell us that the liberal media are undermining the war have exceedingly short memories. The beauty of this is, of course, that the warmongers who bravely sit in front of their computers and insist that others die in service of an impossible goal for dubious reasons also get to falsely harangue the commie news media in an effort to stir up support among their base.

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