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MILITARY NEWS : IRAQ ISN'T VIETNAM......BUT
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Recommend (1 recommendation so far) Message 1 of 4 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameGunrockets  (Original Message)Sent: 25/11/2003 12:45
WASHINGTON - There are a hundred reasons why Iraq isn't Vietnam, but a few where the similarities are chilling.

First, let's examine the big differences.

The Iraqi guerrillas aren't the Viet Cong. They don't swim like fish among the 24 million citizens of Iraq. They're overwhelmingly Sunni Muslims and they're largely confined to the Iron Triangle defined by the Baghdad suburbs in the south, Tikrit in the north, and Ramadi and Fallujah to the west.

They don't fight to unify their homeland, but to regain a brutal minority's power over an enslaved majority. They were the privileged class under Saddam Hussein and they don't want to let go of the BMWs, the mansions and the other perks.

If they tried to swim among the peoples they oppressed for 40 years, the Kurds and Turkomens in the north and the Shiites in the south, they wouldn't last a New York minute.

They have no Ho Chi Minh to put a kindly and photogenic visage on their campaign. They soldier under the banner of the fugitive Saddam, who tortured and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his countrymen to keep himself, his family and his Tikriti tribe in power.

They don't have a China or a Soviet Union to pump in weapons and ammunition and carry the ball for them in the United Nations and internationally. They don't need them. Iraq is one huge arms dump, with a million tons of unguarded weapons and explosives.

They don't have the sanctuaries that afforded easy shelter and protection for the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. No Cambodia. No Laos. Iraq's borders are long and porous, but not even Iran among its neighbors wants to be caught providing sanctuary for these people.

The Iraqi guerrillas can use SAM-7 missiles or rocket-propelled grenades to shoot down the occasional U.S. helicopter; drop a few mortar rounds into this compound or that; send truck bombs against soft targets of opportunity, such as the U.N. headquarters; build roadside explosive devices triggered by cell phones; and fire RPGs into soft-skinned Humvees.

But that's all they really have to do. That and survive. A presidential election is approaching in the United States and Americans and their allies are already growing impatient with the cost of this war, both in blood and in treasure.

So where are the similarities between Iraq and Vietnam? They reside in Washington.

The failures of American political leadership that plagued this country in Vietnam are being repeated in Iraq. Lyndon Johnson used a dubious excuse, the Tonkin Gulf incident, to march his countrymen into Vietnam. George W. Bush, under the tutelage of Dick Cheney, waved the threat of weapons of mass destruction and links to al-Qaeda to march America into Iraq.

Johnson and his secretary of defense, Robert Strange McNamara, were contemptuous of their senior military advisers and spurned their counsel at every turn. Although President Bush keeps a comfortable distance from such matters, his vice president and his secretary of defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, seem equally contemptuous of their military subordinates.

If you want one more similarity, consider the incredible egos of McNamara and Rumsfeld. McNamara listened only to his small staff of Whiz Kids; Rumsfeld listens to a similar coterie including Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and the dark prince himself, Richard Perle.



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They share a breathtaking arrogance. They brook no word of opposition. They persist in believing that somehow they can graft Jeffersonian democracy onto ancient Mesopotamia, a land bathed in blood and ruled by terror for millennia. When they're wrong, they never admit it. Never.

A large part of the trouble unfolding in Iraq can be laid directly at the feet of Cheney, Rumsfeld and their people. They made no plans for postwar Iraq. No plans to secure the buildings and symbols of government in Iraq. No plans to rebuild a shattered economy, infrastructure and nation. No plans to secure law and order in a fractious, violent place.

They listened instead to their own counsel and to the whisperings of exiles who hadn't lived in Iraq in 40 years. They ignored the warnings of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. They ignored nearly a year of detailed studies and plans for postwar Iraq because the study was done by the despised State Department.

It took Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon nearly a decade to fail in Vietnam. Cheney and Rumsfeld could do it in Iraq in a year.

[Have an opinion on this article? Sound off here.]

© 2003 Joe Galloway. All opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Military.com.


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Reply
Recommend  Message 2 of 4 in Discussion 
From: wardogSent: 25/11/2003 21:41
Geez! There really are intelligent people in the United States who don't
believe evrything that springs from GDubya's lips is the gospel truth, or
even close to accurate!
You guys really got on Canada's case for not joining in the holy crusade.
We had no choice. If the UN doesn't sanction the war, then no country has a
legal right to invade any country. Luckily, Saddam had no friends at the UN,
or technically, he could have asked for help from the UN to prevent the
United States from invading his country! What a can of worms that would have
been!
Don't get me wrong. Everyone in Canada thinks Saddam Hussein is a mad
dog killer, a strong arm bully, and a cold, vicious, brutal SOB, and we
would LOVE to see his head being kicked down the street, and we also think
he should be given no rights or quarter, and simply be shot on sight like a
rabid dog. Somehow, I have a feeling he will not be taken alive anyways, no
matter what his thoughts on the matter were. But that man is not smart
enough to have weapons of mass destruction! He has proved time and again
that he will instantly kill anybody smarter than him, including, (on several
0ccasions!) his own relatives.He took power by bloodshed, and he fears
anybody smarter than him or more popular, will do the same thing to him, so
he eliminates them. He would never be friends with Bin Laden, because he was
too rich and powerful. So he basically is stuck with short range, line of
sight or directional weapons only, unless he becomes a rocket scientist
himself. He wasn't even smart enough to figure out that the first time
Bagdad was bombed, those tomahawks were flying down chimneys because someone
was right there plotting the target cooridinates. After all, when you think
about it, what F*****G idiot would stand on a hotel roof taking pictures of
cruise missiles just clearing the rooftop and dropping down chimneys just
down the street, unless you were sure you knew exactly where they were
going? What is it we call those tourists...C I Am sure this is a nice place
for a holiday?
it's too bad you guys didn't get Saddam 10 years ago, when it was a legal,
sanctioned UN action. But if you get him this time, the world will love you!
If you don't GW and Tony Blair might end up cooking "freedom fries" at
McDonalds.

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Reply
Recommend  Message 3 of 4 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameGunrocketsSent: 29/11/2003 05:40
Tell it like it is Wardog...Let it all out...lol

Reply
Recommend  Message 4 of 4 in Discussion 
From: MSN Nicknamefowlers1Sent: 09/06/2004 22:48
Talk is cheap, we got Sadam, he is in prison now, alive.  How many times did the
UN sancation Iraq for not cooperating with the UNs weapons inspectors.  If he
didn't have forbidden weapons, why was he so uncooperative?  Oh, we won't
even mention Sarin and Mustard 155 shells used as boobi traps against American
soldiers. (really anything short of a nuke will never be enough to count as WMDs)
Vietnam was fought to contain communisum, it worked.  Iraq was fought
to protect America.  It worked.... look at Momar Kadiffi and his additude change.
That alone would have been worth the war.  

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