Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Iraq and Vietnam

Finally, Bush admits that Iraq is like Vietnam, only he misses the point of the analogy.

Because Vietnam was such a quagmire, they have been resisting the comparison, not wanting to admit that Iraq is a quagmire. But in front of the VFW, many of whom are Vietnam vets, Bush, who got out of Vietnam by leaping over 120 others to get into the Air National Guard and then went AWOL when they started drug testing, tried to get support for his Iraq fiasco by comparing leaving to his imagination of what happened after we left Vietnam.

Let's look at the parallels: Vietnam was started by lies the President told about American ships being attacked in the Tonkin Gulf.

Iraq was started by lies told by the President about Saddam Hussein being linked to the 9/11 attacks on America and the fictitious threat his WMD's posed. He cut and ran when he had Osama bin Laden surrounded to go start this unprovoked war on Iraq.

American troops went into Vietnam based on a resolution Congress passed authorizing force in retaliation of that specific attack.

American troops went into Iraq based on a resolution Congress passed authorizing force against Saddam Hussein if he didn't let the inspectors rid his country of WMD's.

In Vietnam we propped up a corrupt dictatorship which was the ruler of one side in a civil war.

In Iraq we are propping up an ineffective government which can't bring a settlement to its civil war.

In Vietnam American troops became demoralized by the lack of leadership and no clear definition of victory, only vague assurances of "light at the end of the tunnel" and distorted emphasis on a few pockets of seeming success.

In Iraq, according to an op-ed written by seven soldiers and NCO's, American troops are demoralized by a lack of leadership and no clear definition of victory, only vague assurances that things will soon get better and distorted emphasis on a few pockets of seeming success.

In Vietnam, there was no way to tell who was an ally and who was an enemy; someone who shined your shoes in your camp by day may be shooting at you at night.

In Iraq, there is no way to be sure who is an ally and who is an enemy; someone who you train as a policeman or Iraqi soldier today may be planting an IED against you tonight.

In Vietnam, troops were so frustrated that they took out their anger on civilians, and defined any dead "gook" as a dead Vietcong.

In Iraq, troops are so frustrated that they take out their anger on civilians, and perpetuate the torture at Abu Graib Prison that Saddam Hussein started.

In Vietnam, war profiteers from the oil companies and others secretly wanted the fighting to continue to improve their profits.

In Iraq, war profiteers are running the show, serving our troops outdated food, housing themselves in four-star hotels while our troops suffer in insufficient tents.

In Vietnam, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong captured and tortured American troops.

In Iraq, the Americans are rounding up citizens who are sold to the Americans for a bounty and torturing them.

I asked in Vietnam, and I asked in Iraq: If what our enemies do is so horrible, why are we trying so hard to emulate them?

Good place to conclude, but something else Bush said need refuting:

He said Vietnam gave us phrases such as "boat people" and "killing fields."

I would also remind him that Vietnam gave us "We had to destroy the village in order to save it," and "fragging."

Also, the killing fields came about in Cambodia, when the Americans didn't support Prince Sihanouk and the Communist regime of Pol Pot took over. And it was the Vietnamese who won the Vietnam war that overthrew the Pol Pot regime and stopped the Cambodian killing.

And while we're at it:

All the predictions the Bushites and their disciples in the corporate-owned media made turned out to be wrong, just as the predictions about Vietnam proved false.

Nixon promised that as the Vietnamese took over their own fighting the Americans could withdraw, just as Bush has said repeatedly: "

They predicted that if Vietnam fell to the Communists, so would Laos, Thailand, etc., etc. till they came to America's shores. Well, it didn't happen. Vietnam became a trading partner of the U. S. and China became our largest creditor. Cambodia fell before we left Vietnam, and the Communist Government of Vietnam straightened them out.

They predicted that American troops would be greeted with flowers and hailed as liberators and that democracy would flourish there and spread to the region. Didn't happen.

They predicted that it would be over soon and wouldn't cost more than $50 billion. HAH!

They predicted that Iraq's oil revenues would pay for the war. Unh uh.

There are a lot more parallels between Iraq and Vietnam, but I think I've made my point.


Post a Comment

<< Home