Monday, November 20, 2006

Iraq; the Vietnam of This Generation?

So President Bush sees that there are comparisons between the current Iraq War and the war in Vietnam. I think the obvious question then is, does he know anything about the Vietnam War? Does he know that the Vietnam War was the longest military conflict in U.S. history? Does he realize that the hostilities in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia claimed the lives of more than 58,000 Americans and another 304,000 wounded? Most importantly does he realize that the American government lacked a credible plan for winning and that despite superior U.S. firepower and technology the North Vietnamese forces were successful in fighting a protracted, guerilla-style conflict?

Pres. Bush compares these two wars because he’s trying to make the point that, “we must stay the course”, in Iraq, but personally I think the comparison shows the exact opposite. We stayed the course in Vietnam for 14 years (the first U.S. servicemen were killed in 1959), and through four presidencies. We poured more and more troops and equipment into Vietnam and while we held our own we were by no means winning the war. (which by the way a Republican, Nixon, pulled us out of) I know it’s a hard thing for a lot of Americans to swallow, but simply having a superior military does not guarantee victory in every type of war no matter how long you stay the course. If it did, then America would not exist in the first place since our American Revolution was fought against one of the best equipped, largest, best trained military forces in the world (at the time). We won our Revolution because we used guerilla tactics and we were fighting on our own soil not only for freedom, but for our very homes and families. History is full of examples of great militaries who could not win when faced with fighting smaller, guerilla forces on their own turf.

Can we hold our own in Iraq? I’m sure we can, but the question becomes can we win when we’re fighting in a country where the majority of the people see us as occupiers and don’t want us there and if we can’t “win” what price will we pay for continuing a futile effort? If we had left Vietnam in 1970 instead of 73’ how many American lives would have been saved and would it have made any difference to the overall outcome? I believe these are the questions President Bush should be asking himself when he compares Iraq to Vietnam.

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


Blogger el said...

I would like the comparison of Iraq more to Japan or Germany:) That would be great! It's too early for that though. I guess liberals would not be too fond of that either. Anyway, yes I'm still alive. Will post again when I have the time:)

11/21/2006 6:21 AM  
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11/21/2006 8:34 AM  
Blogger Leo said...

Hey El, good to see you. I'd love to be able to compare Iraq to pre-world war 11 Germany or Japan it would make things much simpler, unfortunately I don't see any similarities. If you do then please point them out to me. Thanks for the comment.
Ashraf, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you like my blog and I'd be happy to link with you as I enjoyed looking at yours as well. Come back soon.

11/21/2006 3:23 PM  
Blogger el said...

Yeah, not prewar Germany or Japan. I was saying something in regards to the future. Those were two places of US occupation. I like to think that there can be more postive effect of the occupation. I do belive it is possible and I think it is disappointing that people all seem so certain of US failure. I just don't see it unless we cause it by pulling out of Iraq.

11/21/2006 9:59 PM  
Blogger Leo said...

El, Ahhh sorry I misunderstood your Germany, Japan reference. Well, I certainly hope we can bring about some peace and stability in Iraq, but at this point I'm not optimistic because chaos seems to be the order of the day there and without some sort of major change in tactics I don't believe it will improve. This is one situation though where I hope I am proved wrong. Thanks for your thoughts.

11/22/2006 2:17 AM  

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