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As Long as We Remember...

November 28, 2005

Vietnam It Ain’t

Edward Lulie III

If you see the world through red colored (blue state style, if you prefer) then Iraq is a “quagmire” and just like Vietnam. In the real world it is not. Iraq is not Vietnam.

This war is not a quagmire and there is no endless supply of “troops” coming against us. In Vietnam the enemy had extensive bases outside its border and was heavily supported by both the Soviet Union and China. In Iraq the only main support for the insurgency comes from fellow religious extremists and there is no major nation anywhere supporting our enemies. The supply of suicide bombers is finite.

In Vietnam we were winning the war militarily but lost the war here at home because the media and the Left were successful in portraying the U.S. as out of control imperialists. Inside the ranks of the Left there isn’t any doubt, Nixon…I mean Bush, will be outta there any moment, right?

Well, while the general public thinks we need to improve, there is no widespread and deep sentiment to just get out. In Iraq there is no major morale problem, except for being forced to stay longer than reasonable. That’s not a complaint about the mission, it is about the need for more troops overall.

They are disgusted with the media’s refusal to tell the stories of success; of elections, a new constitution, new schools, new power plants and large areas of the country being peaceful.

The Vietnam comparison fails again, particularly since there is no draft. Let’s repeat that for the reality impaired left – there is no draft.

There aren’t even any active plans for one, except inside the Left because they think it would end the United States’ ability to militarily intervene in the world. To them that is evil and bad. Forget about the terrorist regimes and oppression under the Taliban and Saddam; as long as they hate the U.S., they must be good – right?

Wrong! Want to pull troops out, how about Europe! Why are they there now anyway?

Is our military having trouble recruiting?



Once again look at the big lie of Bill Clinton, Al Gore and a complacent Republican House of Representatives; that there was a “peace dividend” and that the federal bureaucracy was “downsized.” In fact it was the military that was gutted and it has taken us almost six years just to restore it.

Is the Bush administration guilty of misleading the public? Yes, but only as to the fact that we do not yet have troop levels high enough to get the job done.

The leading cause of the military’s problem in recruiting isn’t the chance that recruits might get wounded and or killed, but rather that they are forced to do repeat tours because we don’t have enough troops. Thank Bill Clinton (“We made a mistake going into Iraq.”) and Al (“I’ll ignore the 98 senators on Kyoto and sign it anyway.”) Gore for that.

So why are the comparisons still being made despite the lack of supporting facts?

Largely because the Left considers the U.S. to be “imperialistic” and power bent on world domination. That’s evil for those of you not versed in The New York Times or Washington Post. In fact the Left longs for the days of the Vietnam War when it could mobilize rallies, hold hearings and make the media toe the line in reporting their version of “reality.”

There are no massive rallies, the media isn’t monolithic or as dominant as it was in the sixties and the Left has no governmental platform to stage “hearings.”

Yet, inside the Blue regions of the U.S., the fervor over Iraq has reached frantic levels. The Left is certain that President Bush will be resigning any minute now.

The terrorists recently made a huge mistake by bombing three hotels in Jordan. This has lost them support across the region and set intelligence agencies (formerly leaning neutral) into a quest to find and kill them.

Egypt is quietly reclaiming the territory in Gaza lost decades ago to Israel. In fact Egypt is actively becoming a silent partner with their former enemies and helping to stabilize the area. And if the existence of terror bombings alone marked the failure of a government, then Israel must be considered a failure as well. Right? What is the Left going to do if the new constitution and government in Iraq succeeds? George Bush has a year until midterm elections to stabilize conditions in Iraq; if he succeeds, where is the Left then? What do they stand for other than being anti-U.S.?

Gasoline prices here have dropped by more than a $1 a gallon. The economy is still booming. Vice President Dick Cheney and Mr. Bush aren’t being investigated; there is no DNC break in; and there are no massive demonstrations across the country to end the war.

The only quagmire around is the one that has the Democratic Party mired in the swamp of losses and irrelevance. Come January 1, 2006, Republicans will still control the House, the Senate and the presidency. Time for the Left to write a new playbook, the old one isn’t working anymore.

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