Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Iraq - Vietnam

I have been asked by several, mostly older, liberal friends, “Don’t you see any similarities between Iraq and Vietnam?” I always gave in to my knee-jerk reaction with an emphatic “No!” I have been wrong.

Sure, both conflicts involve engagements in small, foreign, third-world countries, but that’s a circumstantial similarity hardly worth mentioning. One would then be obliged to make the same comparison to the intervention in France during WWI and WWII - France is not much bigger than Iraq. The same point would hold true for the invasions of Germany and the rest of Europe - if you took each field of the conflict as a separate stage.

For as long as I can remember, I have had a nagging feeling that I was not being given the full story about Vietnam. Finally, I can put my finger on it. History is written by the victor. (These old adages are so amazingly true, it’s...well, amazing.) The history of the Vietnam War is no different. For decades, the story of that war has been told by those who won - the peaceniks, who have become the media and liberal elites. The more we start to hear from real sources, with first-hand knowledge untainted by political bias, the more that war stands out differently from the template presented by Jane Fonda, John Kerry, and Dan Rather.

I now see many similarities between Vietnam and Iraq. Both are part of a larger initiative - the war to defeat communism and the war to defeat terrorism. In Vietnam, the US was defending people from a vicious military coup staged by a minority bent on domination. In Iraq, the US is liberating people from a vicious militaristic dictatorship. Both locales have strategic and tactical value vital to American interests. In both instances, we are faced with a surrogate insurgency - in Vietnam our soldiers were really fighting the Soviets and in Iraq they primarily fight the Iranians, Syrians, Palestinians, and Saudis.

The most important and striking similarity between Vietnam and Iraq lies at home - the propaganda war fought on American soil for the hearts and minds of the people of the United States. Those same people who protested Vietnam - the ones who really won the war for the Viet Cong or (alternatively) the ones who really lost the war for America - are exactly the same ones who are protesting now. They didn’t wait for the war to begin this time, they began their appeals for unilateral surrender before the first shot was fired. Building on their past experience, they began staging the redefining of terms before our troops even hit the ground - “Attack Iraq/NO” - any military action became a “quagmire” and foreign terrorists became “freedom fighters” and “insurgents.”

The same elitists who blubber about the intrusive, draconian American government (Nixon then, Bush now), ignored Ho Chi Minh then and Hussein now. These same pinheads squeal about third world people not wanting or being ready for democracy - got news for ya: ALL people yearn for freedom and everywhere it’s tried, it works. In the 60's, it was the misanthropic CIA and FBI, today it’s the evil Patriot Act - I have yet to hear from anyone about even one instance where the Patriot Act has been used improperly.

Whenever I see the aged hippie crowd or the idealistic college kids on the side of the road with their “Support the Troops - Bring them Home” or “Get Out of Iraq Now” signs, I just want to throw up. Throw up my lunch, throw up my hands, throw up a storm of whupass on them. “One Death Is Too Many” - well how about 3,000? Or 300,000? 1,700 dead American soldiers IS a tragedy - one dead American soldier is a tragedy - but get some perspective: we lost 1,500 American soldiers in one day in WWII - in a TRAINING exercise! Have you asked a soldier how he feels about what he’s doing? Have you asked the Iraqis how they feel about what our soldiers are doing? I think they have a much better and more valuable point of view than some dipstick who’s idea of national service is brandishing a sign proclaiming “Peace Is Patriotic.” Peace is NEVER achieved by peaceful protest, never has been and never will be. Why is it these mental midgets feel we have to support the world on our dime, but when it comes to actually putting it on the line for the downtrodden and dominated they squeal like stuck pigs, race for the tall grass, and insist we mind our own business? They won’t ignore the neighbor next door who doesn’t use a seatbelt. Well, our neighbors, in the global sense, ARE our business because when their dispossessed become deranged they strap bombs to themselves and blow US up.

And don’t talk to me about Darfur or the Sudan, because thanks to the military cuts by dope-heads like Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and Kennedy we can’t fight a two- or three-front war any more. We have to focus on the one, most significant front facing us at a time. If you’re going to say North Korea - don’t. North Korea is certainly a threat, but it pales in comparison to the Middle East. A friendly, stable, and democratic state in that part of the world is the most pressing issue, the most vital American interest there has ever been. Despite all the problems in Iraq, the initial stages of democracy there have encouraged or spawned democratic movements in the neighboring states. A democratic election in Saudi Arabia and a growing woman’s rights movement in Iran - do you think either of those would have happened otherwise? Terrorists are certainly supplied by North Korea, probably even financed by North Korea, but terrorists do not come from North Korea. Kim Jong Il is a traditional, run-of-the-mill psychotic dictator and we can deal with him in a number of ways. Frankly, North Korea would very likely not be a problem today had the anti-war crowd - trying to defeat us today - had not defeated us in Vietnam.

Immunizing the spreading virus of Islamofascism can only be accomplished by fostering the growth of democracy in the Middle East. Free people do not usually blow themselves up to protest an issue. Sure Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist - but he didn’t blow himself up. And he was one in how many billions of Americans? Certainly an aberration. The “blame-America-first” crowd you see with their banners and pickets, desperately seeking attention and affirmation (as well as their handlers in the media, Washington, and overseas) have their own agenda and it’s not an American agenda. Remember, history is written by the victors. Should they win, if we prematurely eject from Iraq and surrender in the War on Terror, then not only does America lose, but they get to write the history - they get to say “see, we were right, Iraq was a quagmire” and they get to affirm they were right about Vietnam. But, if we stay the course, if we remember and honor our dead from the two World Trade Center attacks, the Khobar Towers, the USS Cole, and many other attacks, if we persevere through these difficult times, we can breathe easier, we can dodge the terrorist bullet, we can write the history. And maybe we can intellectually revisit Vietnam without the knee-jerk sophistry of those who have a vested interest in the status quo of history. Maybe with perspective we can find out what really happened.

Iraq is this generation’s Vietnam. Let’s not lose this war at home to a parade of peaceniks and spit on the graves of our murdered innocent citizens and valiant soldiers!

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