Is Iraq Just like Vietnam?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by carpro, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. carpro

    carpro
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    "The War in Vietnam was not lost on the
    battlefields of Vietnam. It was lost
    in the halls of Congress ... in the
    editorial rooms of great newspapers ...
    and in the classrooms of great
    universities."

    President Richard M. Nixon
     
  2. Scott J

    Scott J
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    In that respect, it may end up being so.

    In another key respect, it couldn't be further away. Vietnam occurred on the backside of the Cold War. Iraq appears to be at the beginning. Western resolve up until and even after Vietnam on the USSR was solid. We have yet to see a Cold War type of solidarity either in our own politics or with our allies. Rather than uniting, political opportunists have used it to bludgeon the "other side".

    The end of the Cold War occurred when the net effects of the arms race, socialistic economics, social decay, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan all combined to break the camel's back. None of those appear to be a problem for our current adversary. We OTOH are very much plagued by socialistic economics, social decay, and a general lack of will to do the right thing at a sacrifice- IOW's apathetic.
     
  3. RockRambler

    RockRambler
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    RE: Is Iraq Just like Vietnam?

    Nope, because George Bush and Dick Cheney will go to Iraq while a war is going on!! :smilewinkgrin:
     
  4. Daisy

    Daisy
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    Just like? No, there are similarities and differences.

    The Vietnam War started slowly and built up over the years - war was never officially declared while we declared war on Iraq and launched a full-fledged attack on a particular date.

    Vietnam was fought officially to support the government of South Vietnam while the Iraqi invasion was designed to overthrow the government - we threw out the government including nearly all civil servants (everyone who knew how to run a government), disbanded the army and the civil defense police force, allowed the country to be infiltrated by foreign terrorists, and triggered a civil war.

    We did not try to get Vietnamese natural resources for ourselves nor did we care what currency they used; we also did not build soccer fields for them. We deforested Vietnam; Iraq came pre-deforested.

    In both wars, the goal was a vague ideology: stop the spread of Communism for Vietnam and fight the war on terror in over there instead of here for Iraq (of course, for the latter, the goal has changed and shifted frequently - eg. UN resolutions must be enforced!, axis of evil, WMDs, regime change, liberate the people, oust al Qeda, mmmm lovely oil, crush the terrorists - as the political need for new rhetoric arises).

    I think it's the lack of a clearly defined goal, what "winning" looks like, that is the key similarity.
     
  5. Scott J

    Scott J
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    Now that's funny.

    With a tear in my eye and funny impulse to demand a holiday... I have finally gotten to agree with something Daisy said.

    In an effort to not offend, all of our political leaders have done a horrible job of defining why we are there and what victory is. The perception that we are "losing" is probably more a product of not knowing what victory looks like than any losses we've experienced.

    Unfortunately, this issue will either be resolved wrongly by a haphazard, politically expedient pull out or else be handed to the next President. Bush doesn't have the political capital to start defining victory and pulling the resources together to accomplish it.
     

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