"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Stuff That Happened - New York Times - Iraq is Vietnam

The Stuff That Happened - New York Times: "History will have more time to consider the question."

The quote from this editorial by David Unger, senior foreign affairs editorial writer for the NYTimes was selected because it calls into question the previous 888 words describing the debacle that Mr. Unger sees it as. I should just leave it at the, as that is enough; but I guess I can't.

Things could have been run better, according to Unger. Where, in what war could things NOT have been run better. Unger may suggest the first gulf war, but I have no idea. If he did, I might point out this is just a continuation of that war. But then again, perhaps things could have been run better in that war.

Oddly enough Unger touts a line that began with Afghanistan; that being Afghanistan is Vietnam to Iraq is Vietnam. Obviously, nothing has changed for Unger and those of his thinking since Vietnam.

To quote Unger, "the last three years have shown how little our national leaders understood Iraq, and have reminded us how badly attempts at liberation from the outside have gone in the past." To me the last three years have shown how little our media understands Iraq and what is going there. From seeing it through the prism they see it, I guess a Vietnam prism; having announced it as Vietnam it can be nothing less than Vietnam. He nor many else in the msm would want to be wrong, would they?

No WMDs!!! Case Closed!!! Mr. Unger and others have the benefit of pointing to various evidence with 20/20 hindsight and decide the argument(s) over. Personally I would not stand so confidentally without any way of knowing for certain whether this is the case or not. No WMDs came out almost immediately upon our entry into Iraq and has continued since. Call me naive or stubborn if you want, but this still does not make it so; at this point in time it came be so; it may well one day change.

The stance against Iraq's wisdom is easy thanks to history; "the Iraq debacle ought to serve as a humbling lesson for future generations of American leaders — although, if our leaders were capable of being humbled, they could have simply looked back to Vietnam."

The sweeping comparison is easy for those that feel that way. This however does not a Vietnam make. According to General Vo Nguyen Giap "(Vietnam) was a people's war. And, a people's war is characterized by a strategy that is more than simply military." Iraq on the other hand is a peoples war only as far as they want their country back; however the forces against the U.S. are not the Iraqi people, but terrorists or insurgents depending upon the point of view of the writer.

Giap considered the "defeat" of the U.S. as "rare" and having to do with the demographics of of Vietnam from its beginning as having to defend itself over and over. Iraq is more about a people continually being oppressed by its representatives, not outside invasion. As Arnaud de Borchgrave UPI editor at large wrote in 2004, "Iraq will only be another Vietnam if the home front collapses, as it did following the Tet offensive, which began on the eve of the Chinese New Year, Jan. 31, 1968." Further according to Borchgrave, "Bui Tin who served on the general staff of the North Vietnamese army," the anti-war movement and collapse of the political will of the U.S. was '"essential to our strategy."' "Visits to Hanoi by Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and various church ministers "gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses." The U.S. lost Vietnam, "because of its democracy. Through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win."

Iraq is Vietnam to the msm. Bush is to Nixon to the msm. Nixon's resignation and his part in Vietnam and the turning of the tide was a big accomplishment of the msm. The msm is a far cry from what it once was, but it has never been infallible; only unable to admit to its mistakes. The msm creates our reality and I don't appreciate it. Don't kill the messenger you say? The msm is not the messenger; the msm is the exagerator, the msm is the fiction that is our day to day. The msm is a business. A business has to do what it has to do to survive; so the msm inflates its role and keeps us coming back for more.

"History will have more time to consider the question." Until then we have how the media sees it.

Reporting from a hotel balcony in the green zone in Baghdad, Iraq I'm......


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