Blogs > HNN > Vietnam and Iraq

Apr 17, 2007 3:34 pm

Vietnam and Iraq

A question for the day.

Did we lose the Vietnam War? Conservatives often seem to argue that we didn't lose so much as give up just as victory was about to materialize. If only the Democratic Congress had given South Vietnam $500 million more!

The same argument is being made now with regard to Iraq. We're in danger of losing just as we are about to win.

I suppose there's intellectual consistency in this. But do conservatives really want to make this argument? I don't want to tell them how to make their case, but this approach seems bone-headed.

One, it brings to mind Vietnam. Two, it's intellectually incoherent. If victory is just around the corner then why can't we start planning for our withdrawal? Victory can't be both around the corner and so fragile that the mere discussion of withdrawal is dangerous, as both Cheney and Bush claim.

Another point I can't help noticing is that the same conservatives who always insist we could have won in Vietnam describe Afghanistan as the Soviet Union's Vietnam. How can that be if Vietnam was such a near-win? When conservatives draw the analogy between Afghanistan and Vietnam aren't they in fact admitting that Vietnam was a #%!#!@!!!ed-up mess?

I think that's what they actually believe--just as liberals believe it. Vietnam was a mess.

So is Iraq.

It's time to admit it.

Victory isn't around the corner.

Victory is nowhere in sight.

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More Comments:

Stephen Kislock - 4/27/2007

Today in Iraq they have,the absent of government, political disorder, violence, social disorder, confusion, ethnic and religious killings etc., what you have is anarchy, right?

Tim Lacy - 4/25/2007


Like you I see no easy way out of this. I noticed McCain, last week, commenting that if we pull out we may be enabling some form of genocide. Thoughts on this? I'm reluctantly inclined to think that McCain might be right. If so, questions of loss and victory matter less than another conservative maxim, "respect for life."

What to do? I'm as disillusioned as the as the next citizen, but we can't let the situation devolve into anarchy.

- TL

Stephen Kislock - 4/20/2007

Free Elections, J.F. Dulles, June 29, 1954 In connection with the statement in the declaration concerning free election in Viet-Nam my Government [USA] "In the case of nations now divided against their will, we shall continue to seek to achieve unity through free elections supervised by the United Nations to insure that they are conducted fairly."

What followed was 20 plus years of War [Viet-Nam], Iraq is divided and the US supervised elections and US written Constitution are window dressing for a Very Long War. A Country divided by Occupation, with No Understanding of it's [Iraq} history, Culture or Religious Differences as with Viet-Nam, is a long War.