Hostility everywhere

Every other hack columnist you can think of has trotted out the Vietnam comparison either to support it or to knock it down with regards to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. It's such a cliché that many people automatically tune out when they come across it. Supporters of the Iraq effort tirelessly rebut comparisons to Vietnam. I admit that many of the comparisons shouldn't be made, though I have made others myself that I stand behind.

Recent news about the Mosul attack advances the Vietnam case significantly.

"The idea that these are our allies, that's a lot of bunk. That's a really bad attitude," Lang said. "There has to be a much larger support group in the population which doesn't turn them in, which turns a blind eye, which cooperates with them."

In the months since the end of the invasion-phase of the Iraq war, Bush administration officials have linked surges in violence to a series of benchmarks after which, presumably, the attacks would abate. First it was the capture of Saddam Hussein, then the drafting of a constitution, then the establishment of an interim government and now the January elections.

The hard months of fighting this fall have replaced the optimistic forecasting with a grim sense of reality at the Pentagon.

"Looking for a peaceful Iraq after the elections would be a mistake," Rumsfeld said. "I think our expectations level ought to be realistic about that."

This is the boldest strike yet against US soldiers, and the most deadly. It's been reported that the suicide bomber was disguised as an Iraqi soldier. This is one of the same problems experienced by US troops in Vietnam: not being able to tell who was on their side. In a war between nations, it's easier to tell. In WWI and WWII, if you were American or British and you encountered a German, you didn't ask questions, and vice versa. In Vietnam, as in Iraq, your friends and your enemies are drawn from the same people. They generally speak the same language, worship the same god, and are indistinguishable in appearance to foreigners.

Since the antagonists of US forces blend into the local population, it'll be impossible to prevent some amount of distrust and fear from coloring their perception of the people they're supposed to be helping. The psychological trauma inflicted on soldiers in Vietnam probably can't be avoided in the present conflict; the enemy could be anybody, anywhere.

We can only hope that the lessons learned in Vietnam are of use and that the January elections allow for a fast US withdrawal. The negative consequences of this whole mess are too awful to think about.

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Assertions: 1 The exit


1 The exit options boil down to victory or 'cut and run.'

2 A nation in a terrorist/guerilla war cannot win if the enemy has sanctuary areas in and active support from neighboring countries.

3 Iran, Syria, and part of the Saudi Arabian government are providing sanctuary and active support to the terrorists in Iraq.


Regardless of the election results we will either stay and fight in the Middle East for an indeterminate period, or we will cut and run. The consequences of cutting and running are left as an exercise for the reader.

>>The consequences of

>>The consequences of cutting and running are left as an exercise for the reader.

Clearly the consequence of cutting and running would be the destruction of Western Civilization, just like what happened immediately after Vietnam.


Well, we could :behead: the

Well, we could :behead: the worst offenders.
Then: blow up Syria, to move the headlines :juggle:, while Saudi Arabia sweats :bigcry:.

After all, anyone who WANTS this to be VietNam part 2 is :wall: and the :end: are just :dunce:.

I'm :furious: for the :behead: crowd, myself.

I died for your right to

I died for your right to force me to die for that right.

The Vietnam paralells that I

The Vietnam paralells that I see are the disdain for the stupid brown people that hate us for trying to help them to be free, and the "don't-worry-Daddy's-in-charge" nonsense from the American government about the way things are going. The lessons learned in Vietnam are of no use whatsoever, that's quite clear by how FedGov has handled things so far.