Friday, June 09, 2006

The only Vietnam parallel

Victor Hanson denounces the left and the media for their attempts to paint Iraq as Vietnam II. A must read today.

Here's an excerpt:

Once we leave, the killing starts in earnest, not 20 or 30 per day, but wholesale slaughter of any Iraqis who taught school, or were clean shaven and wore Western dress, or fought to save Iraq. Millions of refugees flee to the West. Those who stay are killed or “reeducated.” Islamism, like Communism, is empowered with the American defeat. We can expect, as in the past, new aggression in peripheral theaters like Afghanistan or Israel. Twenty years from now expect revisionist books reminding us that the battles for Iraq, like Tet, were American victories and the enemy was almost beaten when we quit. Envision one of the late al-Zarqawi's henchmen, like General Giap, in his dotage thanking the antiwar movement.

Americans abroad will be ripe targets, since, like the Iranian hostage taking of 1979, there will be an unspoken assurance that the United States would not dare risk another Iraq/Vietnam. Here at home, we will enter an endless cycle of mutual recrimination, lose confidence in the U.S. military, and return to a neo-isolationism—punctuated by the occasional liberal call “to do something” as we watch the usual associated horrors unfold around the world.

The Left will see defeat in Iraq, as it did in Vietnam, as welcomed confirmation of its own moral superiority. And in response perhaps we will soon get another Jimmy Carter, who each year assures us that not one American soldier [ ] died under his watch as the entire nation [was] imperiled. Forget that despite such smugness an embassy was stormed; Khomeinism was birthed; Afghanistan was invaded; a holocaust continued full-bore in Cambodia; Central America was in the midst of a Communist insurrection; and we were reduced to boycotting the Olympics.

So the odd thing is that the more the reality on the ground in Iraq does not resemble Vietnam, the more the opposition to it does. Note how almost all the facts concerning Iraq at one time or another have been twisted to resemble Vietnam. The trumped up Gulf of Tonkin resolution as a causus belli is supposedly similar to the faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction—except that the U.S. Senate this time around voted for 22 additional counts of action as well, and almost every foreign intelligence service confirmed the CIA’s assessment. George Bush is supposedly like Lyndon Johnson, destroyed by a counter-insurgency war—except he got reelected rather than forgoing a nomination for a second term.

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