Skip to comments.Vietnam: 2003
Posted on 07/16/2003 11:33:23 PM PDT by adamyoshida
If youve been reading your daily DNC talking points (AKA your local newspaper if it is not the Washington Times or New York Post), by now you know that the situation in Iraq has turned into a (love that word!) quagmire. As the weeks and months drag on in Iraq many in the media (and politicians of the left and the Quisling right) will invoke the Vietnam comparison. In a sense, they are right. Not with regard to the war, mind you, but with regard to the fact that in Iraq, as in Vietnam, Americas supposed allies, its international enemies, the media, and the domestic left are working together to sabotage a valiant war effort. The domestic treason legion, those people most responsible for the ultimate loss of Indochina to communism, is back with a renewed fury. America is on the rise again- it defeated the regime of Saddam Hussein and brought some measure of stability to the Middle East at a low cost- and the left cannot, will not, tolerate this.
Intolerably Victorious: From the point of view of the left, the real problems with the Battle of Iraq were that it wasnt bloody enough (for both civilians and the military), Coalition power proved to be too effective, and all of their predictions about the course of the war were proved to be totally off the wall (one millllllion dead!). Something you must quickly learn about the mainstream US media today is that there is nothing they hate more than a successful and victorious United States.
The people who run the modern media came of age during the Vietnam War and, for them, it (or, rather, protesting against it while their more patriotic brethren fought it) was the defining experience of their lives. It showed how the world was supposed to be: America is a declining power, forever to condemned and indicted for its crimes, Third World forces are supposed to be morally superior to Western ones and are always to be cheered, and American power is never to be used, save where its use is of no conceivable benefit to the United States. This has been the order of things for many years, at least for the left. Even if, in the interim, Ronald Reagan won the Cold War and Bush the Elder won the Gulf War, American policy and discourse was still in many ways defined by the Vietnam experience (in large measure because those who control the flow of discourse were, and still are, obsessed with what happened in Vietnam). Look at the gigantic lengths to which the US has gone to in recent wars avoid casualties, even when it might have been necessary to risk some (such as in Kosovo).
The successful campaign in Iraq combined with the campaign in Afghanistan and what happened on September 11th threatened to forever eclipse the Vietnam experience in the minds of the American people. There was even a very real danger that the United States might go on to disarm the lunatic Communist Monarchy of North Korea or free the Iranian people from theocratic oppression! Action had to be taken!
What the left invented was Vietnam Redux: if the Iraqis would not play the part of the Viet Cong, they could still play the role of the treason legion: the cheering section for Americans enemies. It doesnt really matter that the Iraqi people are manifestly better off for being liberated, or that the war has rebalanced the entire strategic board of the Middle East in Americas favor (this, in fact, is another reason why the left hates the war so: it benefits America, the Iraqi people, the Iranian people, and, worst of all, the Israeli people who, with the potent display of American power, now have at least some chance to make some sort of peace without having to surrender and be conquered by the Arabs, which is what the left really wanted for Israel), none of this matters to the left because, if the facts become inconvenient for them, they can just lie about them and make stuff up. Thats the one thing that the left is really good at: lying. That, and taking positions diametrically opposed to the positions they held last week (a decade ago, when the nation was running huge deficits to pay for out-of-control Federal entitlement spending deficits were no big deal, but now that America is paying for the largest war its fought in decades, the deficit must be urgently addressed!). Thats the hardest part of this game, no matter how successful the United States is, the left will always be ready with another of what Ann Coulters calls their girly-girl eye poking attacks. Even after every member of the Axis of Evil has been through a regime change, the left will probably be looking to make an impeachable scandal out of some looted tea in Pyongyang.
The media war over Iraq is much like that over Vietnam only, as all things are nowadays, much faster. The traitors opposed to America plan to play exactly the same cards as they did last time, only much faster. Already we are seeing the beginnings of this process and, certainly, it will accelerate in the weeks to come. Watch for all of the following:
1) We have no business in Iraq anymore: Some, especially those who wish to find a spot on the fence, will attempt to argue that, now that the war is done, the United States should get out and turn the country over to the United Nations. They will soon (as soon as Iraq attempts early democratic elections) find their own favored leaders for Iraq who will, I am certain, be either Islamists or Communists. The argument will mirror those of some who, unwilling to directly support the Communists, kept insisting that Vietnam was a civil war in which America had no business interfering.
2) American losses are unacceptably high and our troops are demoralized/incompetent: Liberals, who usually hate soldiers and the military, will suddenly become (have already become) deeply concerned about their welfare. Every time a single American is lost they will act as though a hundred have died. If God forbid, there is a battle in which a larger number are killed, they will react as though they have just witnessed the carnage of the Somme. Of course it is terrible when Americans are killed but, we must also understand that losses to date have been low: lower than what would occur in a single plane crash or, for that matter, roughly equivalent to the death rate for a group of civilians across the same ages.
This will be followed (indeed already are being followed) by stories about the demoralization of US troops in Iraq which, presumably, use the same methodology as the New York Times man on the street interviews such as the ones which featured Greg Packer, a New Yorker who has been quoted in over one hundred such pieces (Im glad to see that were getting such a representative sample of public opinion!). One recent such story, written by a homosexual Canadian, is an excellent example of such a piece: its sole purpose is to work to demoralize other American troops and the American people. It begins with an unsourced quote from an unnamed Sergeant. It is followed by a series of quotes from members of the 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division who are upset that they wont be going home as soon as they had hoped. This, certainly, is understandable. Soldiers complain about things- they complain about a lot of things. However, one must wonder just why this story is important, and why ABC News choose to feature it. Soldiers griped in World War Two as well, especially when the war had just ended, but the media didnt choose to respond by questioning the basis for the war. It serves no function other than to lower morale both on the battlefield overseas and on the home front as well. Frankly, news stories such as this one are essentially enemy propaganda: good enemy propaganda. Average people, with only a limited amount of time to devote to studying the issues hear this, or read it, and they soak it up. For all of the advances made by the conservative press (Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and all the rest) there are still far too many Americans who get their news from the mainstream media. And, as a result of this relentless enemy propaganda carried by Americas own media leaders, their opinions are slowly shifting- most still support the war, but the unending barrage of negativity is taking its intended toll.
Stories such as these will, almost without doubt, be followed by various news stories working to depict American fighting men and women as stupid, murderous, and incompetent. Some Iraqi sniper will start a battle in the streets, and some poor kid will get killed in the crossfire, and well all be subjected to the pictures for a week while pompous blow-dried news anchors nonsensically philosophize about how the pictures, bring home the real horrors of the war. It goes without saying that, unlike the pictures of what happened on September 11th, there will be no reluctance amongst the mainstream American networks to show such footage for fear of inflaming public opinion.
After watching Walter Cronkites coverage of the 1972 Christmas bombing of North Vietnam, Ronald Reagan told President Nixon that if it were being judged by the standards of the Second World War, the network would have been charged with treason. There is no depth to which the left will not sink in seeking to oppose American victory because they left has invested everything it has in American failure. When faced with treason, we must expose it: not ignore it, or we face the same fate as those who ignored treason three decades ago.
3) The war is/was justified by lies: If you read virtually any standard American history textbook you will learn that the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which supposedly precipitated Americas involvement in the Vietnam War, was actually a conspiracy so complex, designed to drag the United States into war, that it might defy the drug-addled brain of Oliver Stone. This is an important piece of delegitimizing and discrediting the noble effort in Vietnam, it gives those people who turned against their country after initially being for it an excuse: we were lied to.
That is what is behind the endless discussions over President Bushs line about Iraq attempting to buy uranium from Niger which may or may not have been slightly inaccurate. No serious person believes that Iraq didnt have any weapons of mass destruction during the run-up to war: the United States, the British, the French, the United Nations, and virtually everyone else in the world agreed on this point. Opponents of the war conceded Iraqs arsenal- they insisted that we had to deter them and grimly warned us of the terrific pain which would be inflicted by Iraqi chemical and biological attacks (and by the devastating terror attacks which would result in the United States). To now go and pretend that the weapons were never there is to deliberately ignore all objective reality. The weapons were there, the real question is: where did they go?
The left doesnt really want this question to be asked because theyll probably show up in another country which has a notable history of being unfriendly to the United States and then the United States will defeat that country and then Americans will feel proud of their country (there is no worse nightmare for a liberal). Also, when we find out they went somewhere, well probably find out that the transfer occurred during the long window when, at the insistence of the left, we were all busy listening to Hans Blix endlessly drone on his lifeless monotone.
What about the Niger Statement? Really, who the hell cares? I certainly dont, and neither should any right-thinking person. Its irrelevant- in Hitchcockian terms its a MacGuffin, a supposed item of interest which leads to nothing. Was the statement flawed? Perhaps it was. But, as Ive said, what does that matter? Its the politics of fixation on details to the exclusion of more relevant facts.
4) The Iraqis dont want us there: Some Iraqis are shooting at us! liberals will cry, We shouldnt be where the people dont want us. But what they miss is that the forces we are now fighting in Iraq fall into three categories: remnant forces of the old regime and Islamists who have infiltrated into Iraq for the sole purpose of killing Americans. Some of the Iraqi people might whine, as all peoples whine, about petty things but, the real truth is this: America has to remain in Iraq for many years for, if it leaves too early, it will be there for many years after that.
Iraq must be turned into a democracy: at the point of a bayonet if necessary. But that does not mean that we should go about it like fools. First of all, the United States must state that it will not accept any form of government for Iraq. Islamist, Communist, and Baathist regimes are out- they will not be accepted. This is simply common sense; it would have made no sense to conquer Germany only to allow Nazis to win power in free elections.
Now, it would look singularly bad for the United States (or some proxy of the United States) to have to nullify election results, as happened in Algeria when premature democratic elections were held (in that case it was the Algerian military who, quite sensibly, took national command). Therefore it will be important to wait until we can teach the Iraqis to elect good men.
Just as they did with Vietnam, the left will try this one again. If theyre shooting at us, we shouldnt be there, is a common response of liberals to danger- I often wonder how the modern left would have responded to the Nazis. In any case, regardless of if the Iraqis want us there (and, at any rate, I think the average Iraqi does), they still need us there.
The Real Victory: All of the liberal bleating about the war ignores the real effects of the war. I feel it is worth everyones time to recount them once more:
Iraq is, after more than two decades, free of the oppression and mass murder committed by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Islamists have been thrown off balance- it seems to be almost doubtless that they planned for a very different war in Iraq (one which would allow them to slowly become involved)- their recruiting has, contrary to liberal projections, almost certainly been adversely effected. After all, how many people volunteer to die for an obviously losing cause? One of the worst possible effects of the barrage of leftists negativity is that it might trigger more terrorist attacks by convincing Islamists that America is weak. It must always be remembered that one of the main reasons for the September 11th attacks was Bill Clintons weakness against terrorism in general and, in particular, his cowardly response to the Blackhawk Down incident in Mogadishu. The possibilities of peace in Israel have been brightened by the display of American strength. This Administration, the Palestinians have discovered, is not like the last: they mean what they say. Without Operation Iraqi Freedom (and the events which played out before it) I suspect that Yassir Arafat would still be in charge. Iran has been destabilized by the invasion. While many of the members of the resistance against the Islamic Republic would deny this (many of them are rather anti-American themselves) there can be little denying that the display of the weakness of Saddam (who really was not all that different from their own tyrants) combined with the presence of a large American army on Irans border has given a renewed vigour to anti-regime forces. Syria, intransigent during the war, changed its tune rapidly afterwards. Iraqi officials attempting to flee into Syria were turned away at the border after American leaders made a few threatening noises. It certainly seems that, additionally, Syria may have scaled back (or at least made more extensive efforts to hide) its support for terror in recent months.
None of this could have or would have happened without the war in Iraq. The results of the Battle of Iraq have been astounding- the problem is that theyre hard to explain to catchy slogans and ten second sound-bites. However, this simply means that we must redouble our efforts to deal with the lies and slander of the left. We must not allow treason to go unpunished or unmentioned. If liberals huff and cry at our calling them traitors then maybe they ought to stop committing treason.
No Bending Over: The left will go to any lengths to sabotage Americas triumph in Iraq. Just as they did in Vietnam liberals will seek to undermine the war effort by questioning its morality and the way in which it is conducted on a destructive basis. They offer no solutions, just whining and complaining.
We must never forget the real reason why Vietnam was lost: the machinations of domestic subversives who stabbed real Americans, and Americas allies in Indochina, in the back. It was because of them that the war was lost and those untold millions were consigned to murder and slavery under Communism. We must never forget because, unless we are very careful, they will work to make it happen once again.
Already some on the left are talking of impeachment- they smell a scandal. American power has been used effectively! A great crime has been committed. The left-wing British newspaper the Independent has reported that a number of former intelligence officials (probably the disciples of the Fifth Man ) have demanded that Vice President Cheney resign for distorting intelligence or some other such nonsense. This sort of all will be picked up in left-wing echo chambers in the weeks and months ahead. Make no mistake about it: our war with the left here is every bit as serious as the ongoing war in Iraq.
There are two enemies right now: the enemy without and the enemy within. Americas external enemies are not defeated, but they are weakened and on the defensive. The greatest danger to the United States at this moment are those fools and knaves who would cripple both the national defense and efforts to conduct an effective foreign policy. Always must we recall that, in times of war, there are but two parties: traitors and patriots, and that we already know what side we are on.
The greatest danger to the United States at this moment are those fools and knaves who would cripple both the national defense and efforts to conduct an effective foreign policy. Always must we recall that, in times of war, there are but two parties: traitors and patriots, and that we already know what side we are on.
They're working at trying to make this happen again. They'd love to see the bloodshed that would result. The left only pretends to be humanitarian, but actually, they love brutality and mass murder. It's the only way they can feel good about themselves. Poor, weak, sick individuals.
The author, with an excellent op/ed, has it almost right. However, IMHO, "the machinations of domestic subversives" were only the catalyst for our loss in Viet Nam. The real reason was that many more millions of Americans bought into the crap and stabbed those of us who served, faithfully, in the back.
It broke my heart then and I am prepared to have it broken again. My real fear is for the new American centurions and patriotic heroes in service to their country today.
It is up to us, who served an uncaring and oft undeserving nation once before, to make sure the men and women serving today are not subjugated to the same treatment when they come home this time.
We haven't and we won't. Great pix- thanks for the post.
Most assuredly! I need to get back into practice! ;-)
The general population supported the VW for years. After years and years they were tired of seeing body bags and the maimed coming back WITHOUT seeing a real desire from our government to decisively win the conflict.
As has been starkly illustrated of late. The outright lying about President Bush's uranium statement is one example.
A good example of the position switching is the revelation that in 1999 media and "intelligence sources" the world over were saying it was likely and probable that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were forging an alliance. It was reported back then that Saddam offered asylum to bin Laden. Now George W. Bush is portrayed as some kind of crackpot for dreaming up such a possible relationship, when it turns out it most likely (no, it hasn't been proven--yet) was being forged years ago.
I never heard this story about Reagan before. Well, now Cronkite has exposed himself for all to see for what he is. It is so sad---but in a terrible sense.
Now they are saying the prez has little credibilty and we cannot act (on N. Korea?) on intelligence that lacks credibility.
"Experience is the hardest teacher - she gives the test first, and the lesson afterwards."
I was only 5/6 years old at the height of the Vietnam War and I don't have a lot knowledge of that time
Mike, didn't you once make a comment a while back that the peace protestors didn't start complaining till Nixon took office?
I spoke with my father about this over the weekend. During the Vietnam war he was busy with other activities and found himself in the silent majority. I chided him for it, and promised that I would not join the silent majority. He expressed profound regret at not standing up for our actions in Vietnam and defending the troops with more energy. At 79, he is now quoting the bible to fellow church members in support of their military service. They are feeling pressure from baby boomers in the congregation who think Christians should be pacifists.
There must never again be a silent majority. Our downfall will come because good people do nothing to stop it. And good people must not be satisfied by holding the line. The American revolution is a fire that when it sweeps the hearts of men can not be contained. If it isn't spreading, it will go out.
What our parents earned is far more easily lost than we'd like to believe.
With elections coming up in the fall, it is time to move these people out of office. According to Geoff Metcalf, "There are over 50 Democrats in Congress who are members of a policy group working with, and being promoted by the Democratic Socialists of America, the domestic branch of the Socialist International Party."
"Socialism comes in a wide variety of flavors ... all bad. Communism has jokingly been called "socialism in a hurry." Mussolini tried out fascism, a variation on the same theme. The Nationalist Socialist Workers Party was the Nazism effort. Now Nancy Pelosi, John Conyers, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters and their coconspirators rabid to defend the indefensible are working to introduce and legitimize an American abomination ... The Democratic Socialists of America. "
If in four years it is still going on, you may very well be correct, but I don't see that happening.
There are a lot more differences between Iraq and Viet Nam. The most obvious is no jungle. The second, there was a long built up by the enemy forces in South Viet Nam before we even arrived there. The infrastructure for guerilla warfare existed. The people have already seen what will happen to them if Saddam (or someone like him) returns to power. Insight that the Viet Cong did not have considering Uncle Ho.
But the real reason it will not happen is because our troops in Iraq have the full support of this administration, and this administration intends to win.
Another way to look at this, however, is to see that the left and the right are equally determined not to "repeat" their strategic mistakes of the Vietnam era. In other words, the fight may be more bitter this time because the tactics will be steeped in history.
There are a lot more differences between Iraq and Viet Nam.
These may be less important than you might realize. An urban environment can be thought of as a jungle of people. Saddam's forces may have been trained and prepared for just this kind of a scenario. And the common people in Iraq are weak and culturally unprepared for fighting for their own freedom.
But the real reason it will not happen is because our troops in Iraq have the full support of this administration, and this administration intends to win.
To say this is to express hope. I agree. However, the fact remains that civilizations are clashing here, and a "war of liberation" may not ever be won. The war to eliminate terror funding, continued WMD buildup, and take the edges off pan-Arab nationalism is already won, however.
Two major comparisons to Vietnam hold: first, our country is again divided at home about the right way to stand against an external threat that is variously seen as severe to nonexistent. Second, we aren't going to "win" this war overnight; fighting it only may seem to stem the tide. I would argue that there is also a similar condition with our lack of will to commit massive force to eliminate Arab ability to fight from one end of the region to the other. The Road Map leads to hell, and Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Pakistan continue to pose horrific threats -- yet we bide our time and even commit resources to the PA while Israelis, Indians, Afghanis, and Chechyens continue to die. Students in Iran right this moment are bloody, confused, and betrayed after their July 9th uprising that predictably recieved little or no support from our CFR-dominated State Department. Indeed, the enemy is within.
The seeds of our decline were sewn when we tolerated internal revolt (as opposed to honest dissent) during the Vietnam war. And they fell on fertile ground, because we had prepared ourselves for defeat in Korea when we pulled back to the 38th parallel. MacArthur warned us that we would regret not winning that war decisively. And so we have.
People, the future is very dark. You must gird yourselves to defend America like you never have before.
cinFLA: After years and years they were tired of seeing body bags and the maimed coming back WITHOUT seeing a real desire from our government to decisively win the conflict.
risk, thanks for the ping. ImpBill are cinFLA are both right. Its a matter of leadership. GWBs job is provide our troops on the ground with the support (which might be significant) they need to eradicate Sadaam and his assorted arab friends, and to sell his policy to the the country. If he does, I dont think well be taking casualties in four years.
It was not constrained when we went into Afganistan. It was not constrained when we went into Iraq!
You are only seeing what the press wants you to see.
Think about it. We have Iraq and Afganistan. More progress have been had in Israel in the last two months than in the previous 40 years. Terrorists have NOT struck us again.
True, they are sniping at us in Iraq but everytime they do, we wipe out dozens of them. We are fighting the terrorists in Iraq rather than having them over here in the US fighting us.
The economy is coming around, slowly.
There are NO major disruptions in ANY of the Islamic states protesting the US.
If anybody had, six months ago, predicted this scenario, he would have been hauled off to the looney bin.
I will again be introduced to some terrific people in the Vietnamese community , as I was when I helped the leader of the ' Little Siagon Protest ' when I went down there during that exciting time to show them how to carry on their protest legally without getting arrested . I made many friends .
I spent about 1 and 1/2 months with them . I also spoke on their behalf to the Westminster City Hall when they had a meeting requesting approval to put a wooden sheild- bracket arrangement to hold the American and South Vietnamese flag together on lamp-posts along Bolsa Ave .to commemorate the 30 year anniversary of the fall of Siagon .
The first night I was there , I was taken in front of about 20,000 people where I was introduced to thier leader . We held flags with the crowd , they samg , and then it was quiet . In front of about 20,000 people , I proceeded with the help of a Vietnamese translator to show their leader how to hold a legal protest .
I spoke to him in English , the Young people who escorted me up translated for me , I wrote notes for him , he took them , and we exchanged phone numbers . Then the young people I spoke with about my intent before going up , who in the beginning pushed me up through the crowd yelling with the crowd , " Let him through ! Let him through ! " , then escorted me from the front and away . An incredible experience to say the least .
If you would like to be a part of this get together meeting Sunday , you may e-mail to me at : firstname.lastname@example.org or to my Freerepublic.com e-mail .
Sincerely Yours , Cousinkoala 7/17/03
Again, my reccolections, may be a bit skewed by my personal experiences. Thanks for sharing yours.