Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Time for a War on Analogies?

On ABC's This Week last Sunday, Senator Chuck Hagel (Republican, Nebraska and potential presidential candidate in 2008) rolled out the spectre of Vietnam while discussing Iraq.

I'm not sure if the parallel holds up all the way. While things certainly seem to be bogging down and the Iraqi military seems about as trustworthy and committed as the ARVN, American intervention in Vietnam was intended to stop a civil war and halt the spread of an ideology deemed antethical to the development of free societies. In Iraq the opposite seems to be coming true.

I suppose it is like that old joke:

How many Vietnam vets does it take to change a light bulb?
You don't know man! You weren't there!


Mondale said...

I've been saying it since day one. Iraq is the new Vietnam. Where once we had Cronkite and CBS giving the news each night, now we have blogs and movies bringing it all home.
Actually what brought it home to me was a trip to Boston last summer when we passed by a military funeral. The vast majority of the mourners were about 18 years old.

weasel said...

No, my point (albeit facetious) was that Iraq is not Vietnam. I think people on the left (and LBJ junkies) wish it was but just like the military brass, we need to avoid the mistake of trying to fight (and fight against) the last war. This war is far more insidious than Vietnam in many ways, I feel.

weasel said...

"The vast majority of the mourners were about 18 years old" and not bang on you, but do you mean that they were burying one of their contemporaries (as has always been the case- my great grandfather was just 17 on 1st July 1916) or they were buring their father?

Because for me one of the more troubling aspects has been the relative middle age of a significant proportion of the casualties; due in large part to the increased reliance on National Guard and Reserve units over the thinly stretched and under-manned Regulars. Our 56 year old office supplies salesman just got back from a year in Mosul with the 133rd Engineers (Maine NG)- given his triple bypass the year before he was a little shocked when they ordered him to ship out...

Mondale said...

I agree that this war is much more insidious, Vietnam didn't act as a rallying point for a global front of cells and suicide bombers. The funeral I witnessed seemed to be the funeral of a teenager.

Anonymous said...

facetious is the shortest word in the english language that uses all 5 vowels in alphabetical order!