Tuesday, November 21, 2006

From Jungle to Desert

Richard Cohen has an excellent yet chilling piece in today's Washington Post on Bush's recent visit to Vietnam. He writes:

"...the military is now considering three options for Iraq: more troops, fewer troops (but for a longer time) and no troops at all -- the ol' cut and run. The missing option here is victory. Don't worry, it will be invented. "You have to define win," Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who is about to return to Iraq, told the New York Times. Ah, just in the nick of time.

Where have we heard this sort of language before? It is the lingo of Vietnam. As with Vietnam, we are fighting now merely not to lose -- to avoid a full-fledged civil war (it's coming anyway) or to keep the country together, something like that. But not for victory. Not for democracy. All this talk of the Iraqis doing more on their own behalf is Vietnamization in the desert rather than the jungle. What remains the same is asking soldiers to die for a reason that the politicians in Washington can no longer explain. This, above all, is how Iraq is like Vietnam: older men asking younger men to die while they try to figure something out.

That's why Bush kept moving. He knows Vietnam is not just about the past. It's also about the future."

2 Comments:

Blogger David Stefanini said...

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11:22 PM  
Blogger SolidShroom said...

Wow, that's pretty true Mr McKain (By the way, this is Frank, you know, from third period?). This war in Iraq is turning out to be like, from what I've read, a lot like Vietnam. Yeah, and one of the unfortunate things about it for students like myself is the draft. I'll bet there'll be one on the Iraq war if it doesn't end soon--probably about the time I leave High School.

10:23 PM  

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