Thursday, January 11, 2007

Slogan


I sincerely hope that the administration's latest "Plan" for Iraq isn't another disaster, and that it brings a quick end to this horrible situation. But, isn't this sort of what the U.S. did 40 years ago in Vietnam?

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually the better comparison is what the Democrats want to do today--defund the war--just like they refused Ford's request for funds to support South Vietnam. South Vietnam collapsed and the region fell to the communists who killed millions in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos--both directly and in reeducation camps.

That is going to be the historical parallel if this Democratic Congress gets their way and the US leaves the region to the tender mercies of Iran, Syria and the Iraqi militias.

As an aside, it is worth remembering Kim Phuc--the little girl who is seen running naked after a napalm attack by South Vietnamese forces while her village was occupied by the Viet Congoccupied by the Viet Cong. She was held up as hero by the Communists, used for propoganda purposes and sent to Cuba to study. Shortly thereafter she defected to the west when he plane stopped in Canada to refuel. The antiwar movement won the domestic struggle in the US and has yet to recognize the murder it facillitated.

Kenny P. said...

Thanks for the insightful comment! I have to point out that the Democrats have not yet cut funding for the war (perhaps they won't), whereas the "Surge" appears to be an imminent reality. I wanted to address the current situation.

This is from an article I found:

"A surge might merely intensify a policy that is akin to Defense Secretary Robert McNamara's and Gen. William Westmoreland's policy in Vietnam. A better policy might resemble that of two men who subsequently occupied the offices those men held -- Mel Laird, President Nixon's first defense secretary, and Gen. Creighton Abrams, who in 1968 replaced Westmoreland as U.S. commander in Vietnam.

Richard Nixon won the 1968 election with an implicit promise to replace the McNamara-Westmoreland policy of engagement and attrition (``search and destroy''), which was failing militarily in Vietnam and politically in America. Nixon's policy, formulated with Laird and Abrams, was for phased withdrawals of U.S. forces, coinciding with increased U.S. advisors and other aid for South Vietnam's army."

The entire article can be found here:

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/opinion/16423199.htm

I certainly don't think there are any easy answers to this problem, and, as I said, I sincerely hope that this plan works.

Speaking of the antiwar movement, I wonder, had they been taken seriously back in 2003, or even if the generals who advocated sending a larger military contingent in the early stages of the war been listened to would we even be having this conversation? This is all moot, I know, but it points to the administration's track record. I just hope it goes better this time.

Anonymous said...

If generals who wanted a larger force in 2003 would have been listened to I seriously doubt there would be any difference. Firstly, because the rules of engagement would have been the same. In 1968 Johnson ordered a halt to bombing North Vietnam which allowed the NVA and Viet Cong a safe haven in which to regroup and rearm, places like Cam Pha Harbor in North Vietnam were "sanctuaries" where American planes could not fly missions. In Iraq the US has thus far refrained from shooting looters after the fall of Baghdad or wiping out the Mahdi Army at the earliest opportunity. Worse than in Vietnam the US has tried to reconstruct Iraq before defeating the Baathists, jihadis, Al Qaeda and other assorted bad guys for fear of being heavy handed or looking imperialistic.

Secondly, more than any debate about troops or tactics we need to question whether we can muster the will to win any conflict at all. We need to question this for two reasons: One is that this war, like Vietnam, is being fought in our media, and there we are losing badly. The Tet Offensive was a crushing defeat for the communists in Vietnam, but was widely perceived as an American defeat because Walter Cronkite declared it to be so. The enemies of American interests in the Middle East know that the key to victory is to keep a steady stream of images of American death flowing across the tv, and our own media is happy to oblige them. CNN won't show the dreaded Danish cartoons of Mohammed but think nothing of showing a sniper killing of an American shot on video by insurgents themselves. Without recognizing this is a front in the war we enable our infantile politicians to swing their support with the ups and downs of the polls. We also need to understand that we cannot count on the media to show any sort of historical context to this conflict. Between 1945 and 1946 over 1000 US servicemen were killed by German terrorists. The US told Konrad Adenauer to make it stop or they would find someone else to run Germany. He directed the Wehrmacht to kill them without on the spot and without trial and the killings stopped. I have yet to see any print or network media use that comparison when talking about Iraq, even though it is particularly appropriate.

Lastly, we need to understand how conflict has changed in the 20th century. From the time Rome destroyed Carthage and raked salt into the soil so that nobody would live there again, up until the total defeat of Germany in Japan in WWII, war was much the same: peace followed war because peace is a dividend of victory.

That has since changed. From Korea to Vietnam to Iraq we get involved in "police actions" and wars with political aspects. The current war in Iraq is really just a continuation of the first Gulf War that was never concluded. The Korean War is still not really over, and hostilities formally ended there over 50 years ago. No victory, no peace--sing that like Bob Marley.

So until we recognize that we need to win the war in Iraq, and show our adversaries that we have the will to stay, it doesn't matter about troop levels or strategy--our enemies just have to hold out and not lose, and keep the images of mayhem on the television--we'll give up after a while, it's almost certain.

That is another legacy of "peace" movements. 100 years ago a small foe like Hezbollah would be suicidal to take on a state like Israel. Now, the small foe knows that it is completely protected from the full reprisal and fury of the opponent because it is guaranteed that the UN, the antiwar crowd and various transnational NGO's will scream for a cease fire, time out, negotiation etc. If cease fires made peace then the middle east would be the most peaceful place on earth.

Here are a couple quotes which are on point: http://www.jfednepa.org/mark%20silverberg/measure_nation.html

In a recent article in the Washington Times, Arnaud de Borchgrave noted that during the Vietnam War, General Giap relied on the American peace movement to weaken American resolve. That had the effect of turning an American military victory into a political defeat. Former North Vietnamese General Staff officer Bui Tin once said that the peace movement was "essential to our strategy." In America, the open support of Hanoi by Jane Fonda, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark (now head of International ANSWER, which coordinates the largest protests) and others "gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses," Bui Tin said. "Through dissent and protest," the US "lost the ability to mobilize a will to win."

In the end, American support for the Vietnam War faded. Giap admitted in his memoirs that news media reporting of the war and the antiwar demonstrations that ensued in America surprised him. Instead of negotiating what he called a "conditional surrender," Giap said they would now go the limit because America's resolve was weakening and the possibility of complete victory was within Hanoi's grasp.

van Der Anarchy said...

We have the BOMB, they don't!
Let's use it!! Nuke it, and drill it for oil!!!!

another anonymous said...

Yeah, right. It's all the fault of Walter Conkrite, Jane Fonda and the Democrats we lost in Vietnam.

"The antiwar movement facilitated murder..."

That same lie is being perpetrated today as it was back then by the forces of war, imperialism and economic fascism.

Chew on this statement:

"The U.S. military industrial complex has yet to recognize the murder it facilitated in Vietnam in over ten years of war."

Anonymous said...

Yay! You were able to hit on several leftoid yelling points at once without providing even a trace of proof or analysis.

"The U.S. military industrial complex has yet to recognize the murder it facilitated in Vietnam in over ten years of war."

Is that an actual argument? The Killing Fields of Cambodia are proof of the legacy of the antiwar movement.

Sean S said...

Would we get better fuel economy with radio-active oil? I am sure big oil and auto with be on board.

If big oil and auto doesn't support it maybe we can buy a conversion kit at the state fair. Maybe Willie Nelson will join the cause? I just want to drive cars like Marty and Doc in Back to the Future.

another anonymous said...

anonymous' offers no proof either - just elaborate conjecture. The Killing Fields of Cambodia are proof of the legacy of the antiwar movement? That sounds more like rightoid rant than analysis.

Anonymous said...

How is it a rightoid rant?

The US pulled support of the South Vietnamese government and the communists won. They then killed a million plus either outright or in reeducation camps. That is the cause and effect of the US pullout.

Anonymous said...

This would not have happened with the US in Vietnam:

On April 17th, 1975 the Khmer Rouge, a communist guerrilla group led by Pol Pot, took power in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. They forced all city dwellers into the countryside and to labor camps. During their rule, it is estimated that 2 million Cambodians died by starvation, torture or execution. 2 million Cambodians represented approximately 30% of the Cambodian population during that time.

The Khmer Rouge turned Cambodia to year zero. They banned all institutions, including stores, banks, hospitals, schools, religion, and the family. Everyone was forced to work 12 - 14 hours a day, every day. Children were separated from their parents to work in mobile groups or as soldiers. People were fed one watery bowl of soup with a few grains of rice thrown in. Babies, children, adults and the elderly were killed everywhere. The Khmer Rouge killed people if they didn’t like them, if didn’t work hard enough, if they were educated, if they came from different ethnic groups, or if they showed sympathy when their family members were taken away to be killed. All were killed without reason. Everyone had to pledge total allegiance to Angka, the Khmer Rouge government. It was a campaign based on instilling constant fear and keeping their victims off balance.

d_orlando said...

From the President's recent speech:

"The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people and it is unacceptable to me. Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me."

There is no assurance that he will not make more mistakes while an additional 20,000 more troops continue to fight bravely.

Devon said...

Instead of all this debating why don't we just appreciate Kenny's art for the terrific work that it is! Yay Kenny!!!

becky said...

Man, things really heated up! Man, man, man, they did! Probably safer for me to stay uninvolved in all that debatey stuff. Don't wanna get my head bitten off or the like. I really like your drawlin' of the soldier jumpin' off a cliff all by himself. I like that a lot.

Vincent Waller said...

Say your name , say your name.

becky said...

I'm on board with Vincent Waller's suggestion. I like it better when people say who they are.

Kenny P. said...

There's a theory (not mine, of course) that "Anonoymous" is actually a CIA operative who trolls the web sniffing out dissent.

Vincent Waller said...

Interesting Theory.
Mine is, that he is just a fat fuck sitting in his underwear in his basement, or his mom's basement. Surely a fat fuck with too much time on his hands.
He maybe a CIA Operative, but a fat fuck in his underwear CIA operative who's afraid to post under his real fat fuck name.
And now, I shall from this point forward ignore and pass over his cowardly wear a mask fat fuck off topic posts.