Skip to comments.Nixon adviser: Iraq is repeat of mistakes made in Vietnam (Alexander Haigh questions Iraq war)
Posted on 03/12/2006 4:34:06 AM PST by Hannah Senesh
An adviser to former President Richard Nixon said military leaders in Iraq are repeating a mistake made in Vietnam by not applying the full force of the military to win the war.
"Every asset of the nation must be applied to the conflict to bring about a quick and successful outcome, or don't do it," Alexander Haig said. "We're in the midst of another struggle where it appears to me we haven't learned very much."
The comments by Haig, also a Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, were made Saturday at a conference examining the Vietnam war and the American presidency. But talk at the event that brought together advisers from the administrations of presidents Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, and John F. Kennedy turned to Iraq where the panelists saw parallels with Vietnam.
Former Nixon Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made a rare appearance at the conference. He was greeted outside by about 25 protesters who chanted "Kissinger should go to jail, no bail."
Kissinger spoke about the war in Iraq, saying he supported the invasion.
"We have a jihadist radical situation," he said. "If the US fails in Iraq, then the consequences will be that it motivates more to move toward the radical side."
But he was more reluctant to discuss Vietnam, dodging a question submitted by the audience about whether he wanted to apologize for policies that led to so many deaths in Vietnam.
"This is not the occasion," Kissinger said. "We have to start from the assumption that serious people were making serious decisions. So that's the sort of question that's highly inappropriate."
He added that the Vietnam War "has fundamentally affected my life in the sense that the Nixon debate doesn't ever seem to end and for many I am the surviving symbol of the Nixon administration."
Former Johnson adviser Jack Valenti said that the lessons of Vietnam have been "forgotten or ignored" in Iraq.
"No president can win a war when public support for that war begins to decline and evaporate," he said.
Valenti, former head of the Motion Picture Association, added there was no such thing as a good war, saying "all wars are inhumane, brutal, callous and full of depravity."
I wonder if you could add some topics to this post. I appear to have forgotten.
They have now appeared!
Note to Jack Valenti:
Guess you wish America had just stayed home during World War II eh?
What kind of freakin motion pictures do you think you would have been watching after the Amerikaan Okkupational Obergruppenfuehrer for Aryan Motion Picture Purity was done with your studios and performers?
Now Jack? Reach around behind yourself with both hands, grab both cheeks, and pinch yourself REAL hard, and WAKE YOUR AZZ UP!!!
I'm in charge here.
"This story jumps all over the place... is it about Iraq, Vietnam, Kissinger, Haig or Jack Valenti's naive views about all war?"
It's about the different views of various people at the conference.
It's an AP story.
"Guess you wish America had just stayed home during World War II eh?"
His comments were not only totally stupid but also utterly immoral.
I think the main point for the story is the headline... another "Quagmire" story for people who want a return to wars that last no longer than 3 weeks at the most.
Wrong analogy Alex, try
"Reestablishing an Elected Government" for 100.
Or "Post War headaches" for 200.
Or maybe "If we wanted to kill everybody, we had the manpower in theatre" for 300.
or "I want to say something to get in the news, but my brain disintegrated years ago" for 400.
More Vietnam discussion PING!
Haig?? Haig. Haig!! Now I remember. Wasn't he President for about 5 minutes one day back in 1981? (:^D)
He's in charge here, Haig and a host of others allowed Nam to be sacrificed at the expense of the dead we sustained.
For the record:
-pilot in the Army Air Corps in World War II
-flew 51 combat missions
-commanded a B-25 attack bomber with the 12th Air Force in Italy.
- Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four clusters, Distinguished Unit Citation with one cluster, European Theater Ribbon with four battle stars.
No, you're not. I'm in charge here. Now beat it.
The same could be said of 90 % of the movies Valenti's prized hollywood puts out.
As for his comments about not being able to win a war without public opinion, he's right. But, he's also a big part of the problem. The american people, while anesticized to cruelty, dpravity, inhumanity and gratuitus sex & violence are also victims of hollywood and network t.v's curent formula for solving world problems. Most are solved in 30 minutes to 2 hours with the exception being 6 hours in a 3 part miniseries.( even this tasks the attention span of most)
The inability of americans to focus ( attention span) is at an all time low and their "sense of reality" so skewed its impossible to truly inform them of anything.
I agree with Haig, totally. And I think President Bush would totally agree with him. When Haig says "we haven't learned very much", it means to me that this country, given the conduct of the Democratic Party and the MSM, is, for whatever reason, incapable of making the kind of LONG TERM committment to victory that winning this type of war requires and the individual members of our military deserve.
I tend to not take articles that have "Iraq" and "Vietnam" in the same sentence very seriously.
I tend to agree with the notion that we did not properly take advantage of the superior weapons technology that we possess.
Shock and awe, if it had been properly used, could have had a psychological effect on the 'insurgents', making them think twice before contemplating guerilla warfare.
" tend to not take articles that have "Iraq" and "Vietnam" in the same sentence very seriously."
your lack of insight is apparent.
No, it's a brand of scotch whiskey. Haig & Haig, I think. ?
Yeah, you're right. I don't know anything at all about Iraq.
I've never heard of or read anything about the Vietnam war.
So I know nothing about either.
I'm really impressed that you were able to glean so very much about my insight from one sentence.
You must have ESPN or something.
Don't bring a knife to a gun fight. LOL you are well over matched ..quit while you are ahead.
On the big list of folks I'd go to for advice on how to win a war, neither Haig nor Valenti are on page one
If I were you, I'd be the one quitting while you're still way behind.
And keep a civil tongue in your head when addressing me, n00B.
I'd talk to Haig. I looked at the below link (a piece of his autobiography) as well as some others regarding his career. You might find it at least interesting.
Fallujah should not even be on the map anymore and Al Jazeera should have been taken out ten minutes after the Towers fell.
THank you your opinion Mr. Haig. Good thing you are not in charge here.
IV. We lost almost 100,000 KIA in III.
Neither do I.
I would have nuked Mecca and ended Islam forever on 9-11.
The same American Media and Anti-Freedom personnel that fooled us into leaving a then Free South Vietnam behind to their fate at the hands of invading bullies from the Communist North...
...brought for all of us to see in the end:
Pictures of a vietnamese Re-Education Camp
And they're doing it again now with our own Freedom now directly at stake right here at home.
Signed: "ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer
Veteran-1st Major Battles in the Fight for Freedom of the Vietnam War
Not all of them. We've learned not to trust the old media. To get the straight skinny from those wearing the boots on the ground, not from someone holed up "inside the wire", or in the Caravelle Hotel bar in Saigon.
We've also learned that the America haters are still with us, still able to put on their staged "demonstrations", and that the media will not reveal their true ties to forces from outside the country. But now we have Free Republic, and all the many blogs, to get the truth out. It's still an uphill battle but one I believe we can win.
Of course the one lesson that is different this time, is that the North Vietnamese never attacked us on our soil, never killed more Americans than the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor. That fact teaches some very different lessons.
We've also learned that what the media leave out of their stories is often more important than what they put in. Such as what sort of "adviser" Jack Valenti was. (He is the son of Silcililan immigrants, fairly unusual for a Texan, and practically fawned on Johnson. You know, LBJ, as in "Heh, Heh, LBJ, How Many Kids Have You Killed Today", but I guess it's different when it's a Republican who is CinC and winning a war, as opposed to a Democrat who was mis and micro managing one.
The liberal slant is apparent without even reading the rest of the article. Why is he a former Nixon adviser first, Secretary of State second? To give him some Vietnam cred? His title is still "Secretary Haig".
Second, there's nothing incorrect about Haig's statement. We should be focusing 100% effort on the war in Iraq. I happen to agree with him. Unlike the Johnson and Nixon administrations, the Bush administration is committed to victory and will achieve it.
Actually historically speaking, that sort of thing is an aberration. WW-II was like that, but most wars are not. Military officers study Carl von Clausewitz, who said "War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of politics by different means" . . In a little longer expositioin he wrote "If war is part of policy, policy will determine its character. As policy becomes more ambitious and vigorous, so will war, and this may reach the point where war attains its absolute form. . . . Policy is the guiding intelligence and war only the instrument, not vice versa."
The war must be fought in such as way as to further the political goals for which it is being fought.That is true even when one is attacked and responding to that attack. of course the relationship is mutual and the politics (that is policy) must support the war effort as well.
So was George McGovern. Doesn't mean either one of them knew anything about war beyond the tactical level. It also doesn't mean that their sympathies, then or later, did not rest more in Moscow than in Dallas or Rapid City.
What a great CLARITY post, w-13.
Freedom's Enemies No. 1 are still:
WALTER CRONKITE: Ex-CBS News TV Anchor, 2008 POTUS Candidate HILLARY's No. 1 Media Defensive Linebacker who called for our 11 Southern States to secede from our Union at a London World Conference in the year 2000
DAN RATHER: Ex-CBS News TV Anchor who lied on TV in order to defeat a sitting Commander in Chief in a new time of war while being a Friend of Communist Cuban Dictator FIDEL CASTRO
WILLIAM CLINTON: Ex-Oxford University "student" who was financially backed by the Communist Soviet Union as he organized Anti-US, Anti-Freedom demonstrations outside our American Embassy in London England
during the Vietnam War
DIANE "HILLARY" RODHAM: Ex-College Anti-U.S., Anti-Freedom student who actively supported a Communist Victory over Freedom for Vietnam during the Vietnam War