Monday, May 09, 2005

Vietnam ad nauseum

Omar at Iraq the Model seems rather incredulous that--even now-- some people think Iraq is similar to Vietnam:

While reading one of the military blogs I found a link to this article by Scott Ritter.
He starts the article by suggesting that Iraq is a second Vietnam!
Okay now, I wasn't born yet when the war ended in Vietnam but I had read a lot about that war and I live in Baghdad as you already know so I think I'm not entirely clueless about this subject.

What I really see is that the only things in common between the two conflicts are that they were/are both in Asia and that American military power was/is involved.

I can't understand how he could see Iraq similar to Vietnam when the vast majority of the population here is happy with getting rid of Saddam, i.e. glad the change took place in Iraq.

The wildest estimations for the size of "insurgency" in Iraq suggest that there are less than a hundred thousand "insurgents" and double that number of supporters, i.e. a total of 300 000 which roughly represents only 1% of the total population of Iraq.
Even if we double the above estimations, we will end up with 98% of the population are against those "insurgents".

I think Ritter in his article (which as you see was endorsed by Al-Jazeera) ignored the whole country of Iraq and built his entire "analysis" on stories from Al-Qaim and tried to generalize the situation in that spot over the rest of Iraq.

Eventually he will also come across this article from Rolling Stone by Robert Dreyfuss, titled "The Quagmire: As the Iraq war drags on, it's beginning to look a lot like Vietnam".

What Omar doesn't understand is the tenacious grip the Left of this country has on the Vietnam conflict. They absolutely positively under no circumstances will allow any other comparison because Vietnam is the only conflict that they ever have won. During those glorious days, the power of the Left alone snatched defeat from the jaws of military victory. How did they do it? The same way they are doing it now. By continuously and unrelentingly undermining every aspect of the Iraq war.

Ritter's article and Dreyfuss's article are the tip of the iceberg. But I remember the media frenzy during Vietnam and this time I think the American public deserve the truth. The Vietnam ad nauseum ploy just doesn't cut it.

-There is no "quagmire"--that meme deserves to be completely eliminated from the public discourse now. Call back in 10 years, and if the situation is not improved, then I will agree with you.

- 1600 American soldiers' deaths in Iraq is sad, but hardly comparable to the deaths of 58000 lives and 350000 casualties, and between one and two million Vietnamese deaths.

- If there was a moral issue in the Vietnam war, it was that the US had a miliary draft. All the soldiers in Iraq are volunteers in the US military, and presumably know the risks for which they signed up.

- The wanton disregard for life only continued after the US military pulled out and the Left's "victory" resulted in the deaths of more than a 60,000 South Vietnamese at the hands of the North. Presumably, these deaths were ok with the Left. As was the takeover in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge who managed to slaughter quite a few themselves.

In short, the only similarity between Iraq and Vietnam is the Left's intense desire to see another defeat for the United States. The only quagmire happens to be in their thinking, and the only hopelessness is in their souls--those that long ago abandoned any prinicples or concerns about humanity in their own obsession with their brand of religious fanaticism. And, make no mistake, the Left's ideology is practiced with the same religious ferver and mindless hatred that the worse religious fanatics of either Christiandom or Islam could generate.

Get a grip people. Try to pull yourselves out of the time tunnel you have been trapped in for decades and look around at what is happening in the world. No one is claiming that the war on terror and the Islamic Jihadists will be easy or that it will be cheap.

Many more lives are likely to be lost--though that is not our goal, but our enemy's; but this is a war we cannot and must not lose. Not if we care about Freedom. And not if we truly care about the value of human life.

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