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Quagmire Recalled: [Iraq, oops,] Afghanistan as Vietnam
New York Times ^ | Wednesday, October 31, 2001 | By R. W. APPLE Jr.

Posted on 03/26/2003 1:33:20 PM PST by JohnHuang2

Quagmire Recalled: Afghanistan as Vietnam

By R. W. APPLE Jr.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 — Like an unwelcome specter from an unhappy past, the ominous word "quagmire" has begun to haunt conversations among government officials and students of foreign policy, both here and abroad.

Could Afghanistan become another Vietnam? Is the United States facing another stalemate on the other side of the world? Premature the questions may be, three weeks after the fighting began. Unreasonable they are not, given the scars scoured into the national psyche by defeat in Southeast Asia.

For all the differences between the two conflicts, and there are many, echoes of Vietnam are unavoidable. Today, for example, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld disclosed for the first time that American military forces are operating in northern Afghanistan, providing liaison to "a limited number of the various opposition elements."

Their role sounds suspiciously like that of the advisers sent to Vietnam in the early 1960's, although Mr. Rumsfeld took pains to say of the anti-Taliban forces that "you're not going to send a few people in and tell them they should turn right, turn left, go slower, go fast." The Vietnam advisers, of course, were initially described in much the same terms, and the government of the day vigorously denied that they were a prelude to American combat troops.

In the most famous such denial, Lyndon B. Johnson vowed that he would not send American boys in to fight the war for Vietnamese boys.

Despite the insistence of President Bush and members of his cabinet that all is well, the war in Afghanistan has gone less smoothly than many had hoped. Not that anyone expected a lightning campaign without setbacks; indeed, both Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld have often said the effort would be long and hard.

But signs of progress are sparse. A week ago, the Pentagon said the military capacity of Taliban leaders in Afghanistan had been "eviscerated" by allied bombing raids; now ranking officials describe those leaders as "tough characters" who remain full of fight. The sole known commando sortie into enemy territory produced minimal results and ample evidence that American intelligence about the Taliban is thin.

The Northern Alliance, whose generals bragged for weeks that it was about to capture the pivotal city of Mazar-i-Sharif, has failed to do so. Nor have its tanks made any progress toward Kabul, the capital. Abdul Haq, the Afghan soldier to whom many had looked to unify anti-Taliban factions, was captured and killed by his enemies almost as soon as he returned to the country.

So influential voices have begun to call for something more than bombing, special forces raids and covert action. Senator John McCain of Arizona, a Republican whose views on military matters carry unusual weight with his peers because of his service as a naval pilot in Vietnam and his years as a prisoner of war, called on Sunday for the deployment of American ground troops "in force" in Afghanistan.

Air power alone, Senator McCain and some colleagues in both parties argue, will never force Osama bin Laden into the open. They believe that only ground troops, operating from a secure base within Afghanistan, will do the trick. That might well involve tens of thousands of troops, hundreds of casualties and many months of effort, they concede, but they see no viable option.

Conservative columnists like Charles Krauthammer and William Kristol have criticized the administration, in Mr. Kristol's words, for trying to fight a war "with half- measures."

The administration has been careful not to rule out the prospect of ground troops, mindful, no doubt, of the leverage that the Clinton administration lost by doing so in the Balkans. Asked about the idea over the weekend, Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff, responded, "let's not go there yet." But it is not known whether it is under serious, active consideration.

Clearly, the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, with the horrific loss of American lives they entailed, would give any United States decision to dispatch ground forces a kind of moral imperative that American involvement in Vietnam lacked, even if fighting a land war in Afghanistan would weaken the broad coalition that has been assembled to fight terrorism.

At least at first, American public opinion would present no problem. The latest New York Times/CBS News poll shows that a majority of Americans are prepared to accept the deaths of several thousand American troops there, although there were the first suggestions that many Americans think that the war is not going too well.

Strategically, the United States could benefit in Afghanistan from the fact that the Taliban is wildly unpopular with many Afghans, but American bombs falling on civilian targets will not win Afghan "hearts and minds."

The terrain in Afghanistan might in some ways be more favorable to the United States than the terrain in Vietnam. Tanks could play a much larger role, for example. But the Soviet Union, with good tanks in great numbers, was nonetheless stalemated and eventually defeated by Taliban forces.

Finally, in Afghanistan as in South Vietnam, there is a huge question about who would rule if the United States vanquished its foe. Washington never solved that issue satisfactorily after the assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963, and solving it in Afghanistan, a country long prone to chaotic competition among many tribes and factions, will probably not be much easier.

For Education And Discussion Only. Not For Commercial Use.



TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; handwringers; iraqifreedom; oef
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Quote of the Day by Mister Magoo

1 posted on 03/26/2003 1:33:20 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: xm177e2; mercy; Wait4Truth; hole_n_one; GretchenEE; Clinton's a rapist; buffyt; ladyinred; Angel; ..
A blast from the past mega ping...


2 posted on 03/26/2003 1:33:57 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: Mr. Mulliner
*ping*
3 posted on 03/26/2003 1:36:58 PM PST by kayak (Pray for our President, our military, and our nation!)
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To: JohnHuang2
John, can you ever remember in your life time where the NY Slimes has done a real job of reporting instead of pushing the left wing mantras of doom and gloom?
4 posted on 03/26/2003 1:38:38 PM PST by Grampa Dave ("Those who are kind to the cruel end up being cruel to the kind!")
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To: Grampa Dave
Give me a year, I'll think of one...er, maybe ;)
5 posted on 03/26/2003 1:39:23 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: kayak
Hiya, my friend :)
6 posted on 03/26/2003 1:39:41 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: JohnHuang2
LMAO....thanks, amigo!
7 posted on 03/26/2003 1:39:50 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: EternalVigilance
Welcome :)
8 posted on 03/26/2003 1:41:17 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: JohnHuang2
Wait, wasn't Greneda I supposed to be another Viet Nam? Or was it Panama or GW I. Every American military engagement since 1975 has been compared to Viet Nam so I get confused as to which conflict the media's currently talking about.

If you ask a Washington Post reporter, they would say DC traffic is another Viet Nam.

If people use the phrase enough times, it loses any real meaning.

9 posted on 03/26/2003 1:41:43 PM PST by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: jriemer
Every American military engagement since 1975 has been compared to Viet Nam so I get confused as to which conflict the media's currently talking about.

Bingo!

10 posted on 03/26/2003 1:42:44 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: jriemer
If you ask a Washington Post reporter, they would say DC traffic is another Viet Nam.

Well, now, they just might have a point about that ..... ;-)

11 posted on 03/26/2003 1:45:12 PM PST by kayak (Pray for our President, our military, and our nation!)
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To: jriemer
El Salvador was supposed to be another Vietnam, except that El Salvador really never got started, at least with many of our guys. We lost a few down there, but it sure as hooey wasn't the Vietnam redux like the commie lib media dumbasses said it would be.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

12 posted on 03/26/2003 1:47:03 PM PST by wku man
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To: JohnHuang2
<< Could Afghanistan become another Vietnam? >>

Not as long as lying, looting, thieving, mass-murdering bloody "DemocRATS" are kept the Hell away FRom Our Nation's Most Hallowed House and Administrative Branch of Government it cannot!

And such Good Men and True as President and Armed Forces Commander-In-Chief, George Walker Bush and Secretary Donald Rumsfield and General Tommy FRanks and Advisor Doctor Condolleeza Rice et al are running things down DC way!

[Thanks Amigo! -- B A]
13 posted on 03/26/2003 1:47:20 PM PST by Brian Allen (I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny ....)
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To: jriemer
I'm 64, and I can't remember any positive spin on any of our wars that the NY Slimes/Reuter/BBC/ABCNNBCBS article.

They are all gloom and doom. Our troops are in a quagmire. The people hate us. We have lost the war. We are in the war for expansion. Yadda Yadda!

Just the bravo sierra post by Freepers today from the NY Slimes/Reuter/BBC/ABCNNBCBS would make one think that we have lost the war. We need 300,000 body bags and 300 billion people on earth hate us!

The left wing maggots are so predictable.
14 posted on 03/26/2003 1:48:15 PM PST by Grampa Dave ("Those who are kind to the cruel end up being cruel to the kind!")
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To: JohnHuang2
Aah yes, R.Johnnie Apple, resident New York Times fathead, wrong again. =^)

Afghanistan has been a resounding success and in the end, so will Operation Iraqi Freedom.

15 posted on 03/26/2003 1:49:52 PM PST by Reagan Man
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To: Brian Allen
Welcome, hermano!
16 posted on 03/26/2003 1:52:31 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: Reagan Man
Afghanistan has been a resounding success and in the end, so will Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Bottom line, amigo, bottom line.

17 posted on 03/26/2003 1:53:15 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: kayak
Thanks for the ping. This kind of reporting is why the MRC's new project is so important.

Times Watch: The Media Research Center begins new project to monitor liberal agenda of NY Times

18 posted on 03/26/2003 1:55:13 PM PST by Mr. Mulliner (I am deeply saddened that Tom Daschle is an anti-American turd.)
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To: JohnHuang2
Jumping (( no reality )) to conclusions (( vietnam )) ....

seeing non existant impossible opposite parallels connecting ---

is the result of a very weak -- sick -- immature -- undeveloped mind (( Truth paranoia // phobia -- ego mania )) !


also ...


This is used in engineering a lot !

"There are three kinds of people ... "

... # 1 --- they (( Bush // Blair )) make (( good )) things happen (( *KNOW* // *character* )) !

... # 2 --- they (( liberals // liars )) *DON'T KNOW* what happened (( make bad // PRETEND )) things happen )) ! !

... # 3 --- they (( *PSYCHOS* // LOSERS // HATERS )) will *NEVER KNOW* what happened (( denial // *creeps* )) ! ! !



19 posted on 03/26/2003 1:55:15 PM PST by f.Christian (( who you gonna call ... 1 800 orc // evo bstr ))
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To: JohnHuang2
The similarity I see so far between Iraq and Vietnam is that in both cases we're fighting a Russian-supplied army.
20 posted on 03/26/2003 1:57:45 PM PST by Mr. Mulliner (I am deeply saddened that Tom Daschle is an anti-American turd.)
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To: JohnHuang2
I think the friggin mainstream media could save a ton of money by just pretending that a dust storm is raging in Iraq, say, for three weeks and on TV show a hazy orange screen with an outline that looks somewhat like Ted Koppel (can't mistake those ears even in a raging sandstorm). They should then pull out all their pundits and then dust off their old Afghanistan column (substituting Baghdad for Kabul and Kurds for Northern Alliance, of course, for accuracy's sake) and then simply those columns. They would sound exactly the same as the crap they are now running.
21 posted on 03/26/2003 1:58:55 PM PST by dirtboy (Rally For America - Steps of PA State Capitol, Harrisburg - March 29 at high noon)
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To: JohnHuang2
30 October, 2001

However, it increasingly appears that the US campaign is not going to plan. From the initial reports that US military action was rapidly achieving its aims, the mood of the US military has swung to fearing that they are making too little progress by only bombing. Reports have surfaced that this first ground raid did not go as planned. The extremely pro-war London Daily Telegraph described it as a "cosmetic" raid "designed to provide a show of something happening on the ground", but then reported that the US troops "were stunned by the resistance they met and had to get out sooner than expected, Pentagon sources said. ‘The raid was a success from the intelligence point of view … But our men were surprised by the amount of resistance they ran into. The speed with which the Taliban launched a counter-attack came as a bit of a shock. They fought like maniacs, we didn’t expect that’."

http://www.worldsocialist-cwi.org/index2.html?/eng/2001/1030b.html

Of course, this is from some socialist/communist site, but it's the same type of propanganda we are hearing about with this war--just substitute Taliban with Iraqis and you wouldn't know any difference.

22 posted on 03/26/2003 2:01:01 PM PST by beaversmom (After the Axis of Evil on to the Axis of Weasels)
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To: jriemer
Wait, wasn't Greneda I supposed to be another Viet Nam? Or was it Panama or GW I. Every American military engagement since 1975 has been compared to Viet Nam so I get confused as to which conflict the media's currently talking about.

Every U.S. military endeavor is another Viet Nam to these aging flower-child assholes.

Just like any gathering of three or more lousy garage bands is another Woodstock.

The prism through which they view everything was formed roughly in the period from 1967-1973, or at least the part they remember between drug episodes.

23 posted on 03/26/2003 2:09:18 PM PST by Yankee
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To: JohnHuang2
BTW: Nowadays, a quagmire is what ole' Johnnie Apple finds in his Depends every morning.
24 posted on 03/26/2003 2:13:25 PM PST by Yankee
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To: Yankee
ROFLOL!!
25 posted on 03/26/2003 2:14:50 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: Yankee; RJayneJ
#24 gets my 'Quote-of-the-day' nomination :)
26 posted on 03/26/2003 2:15:35 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: dirtboy
lol
27 posted on 03/26/2003 2:16:23 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: JohnHuang2
Afghanistan it took 3 weeks to start the talk of Quagmire.

Iraq, a much more capable military force, and six days in we've already reached the Q point. The only way to speed it up further is to indiscriminately kill civilians and soldiers alike. Being "nice" takes more time.

Come on media ahores, go back inside the warm coffee shop and quit the whining, the menfolk are outside fixing the flat tire... (paraphrasing Ann Coulter)
28 posted on 03/26/2003 2:18:22 PM PST by RobFromGa (Real Americans Support our Troops 100%)
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To: jriemer
Wait, wasn't Greneda I supposed to be another Viet Nam?

Yes, and the stock market crash of 1987 was supposed to be the start of another Great Depression. And by the year 2000, according to radical environmentalists of the 1960s, all the fish were supposed to be dead.

Do these people ever have to answer for the stupid things they've said in the past?

29 posted on 03/26/2003 2:20:10 PM PST by JoeSchem
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To: jriemer
Afghanistan isn't a quagmire for a simple reason. The U.S. has wisely given up on the pipe dream of a united and democratic Afghanistan. Karzai is basically mayor of Kabul and that appears to fine with us.

30 posted on 03/26/2003 2:20:26 PM PST by Captain Kirk
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To: RobFromGa
Well said, bro.
31 posted on 03/26/2003 2:23:44 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: Mr. Mulliner
I do not read the NY Times except for some of the links that I find here and on Drudge.

I do sometimes read the Boston Globe (a subsidiary of the NYT.)

The bias and BS from these Media oulets is unforgivable.

There will I believe, be a backlash.
32 posted on 03/26/2003 2:43:25 PM PST by Radix (Being at War is serious business.)
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To: Maedhros
bump
33 posted on 03/26/2003 3:16:33 PM PST by Maedhros (I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.)
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To: JohnHuang2
Thanks for the nomination! Have you run across anything on McGaffrey(sp?) the former Drug Tsar, on open criticism of Gen. Franks strategy? I think he is doing analysis on MSNBC. I don't know if I heard that he was bad-mouthing the war plan or if I dreamed it.};^D)
34 posted on 03/26/2003 4:29:53 PM PST by RJayneJ
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To: JohnHuang2
Apphole didn't have a clue then and most of the left-wing doesn't have clue today!

Let's Roll!
35 posted on 03/26/2003 4:50:28 PM PST by blackie
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To: JohnHuang2
Recal that the leftist press was so desperate in its attempt to paint "quagmire" that it even enlisted the help of former Soviet General Lebed to bolster their points.

Someone pls show me where a US Offical says "cakewalk" with respect to taking out Saddam.



36 posted on 03/27/2003 2:58:34 PM PST by Kay Soze (France - "The country where the worms live above ground")
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To: Kay Soze
To: ravinson

I knew I would hit---dredge up the mother lode out there...

FOREVER DUMB

(parody of "Forever Young")

May God bless and keep my lawyers,
May my bitch not piss-off Jews,
May y'all do it to each other,
And let the government do it to you.
May ol' Bill still matter to the stars
And rise above his scum,
And may you stay, forever dumb,
Forever dumb, forever dumb,
May you stay, forever dumb.

May ya’ cooperate with leeches,
May you grow up to be fools,
May the knowledge of my half-truths,
Just block the light around you too.
May y’all ignore outrages,
And let my guys take all your guns,
And may you stay, forever dumb,
Forever dumb, forever dumb,
May you stay, forever dumb.

Forever dumb, forever dumb,
May you stay, forever dumb.

May old "Handsome" always be sleazy,
May the meek always vote left,
May I mask equivocations,
When the winds of change may shift.
May my herd always be loyal,
May my throngs always be numb,
And may you stay, forever dumb,
Forever dumb, forever dumb,
May you stay, forever dumb.

thanks!


12 posted on 12/17/2001 3:02 PM PST by f.Christian
37 posted on 04/11/2003 2:34:10 PM PDT by f.Christian (( who you gonna call ... 1 800 orc // evo bstr ))
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