With Bush's Iraq war entering it's 4th year, parallels with Viet Nam are evident.
|The war in Iraq is now the second longest declared war in the last century, having surpassed WW1 and Korea. Twelve more months and it will be our longest ever.
I remember in the early days of the Iraq incursion how a progression of administration sycophants, military analysts and elected officials hit the air waves, denying any similarities to our only armed humiliation â Viet Nam. Iâd like to say that I was prescient and suspected better, but no, I was right there foolishly nodding my head and saying darned right, Iraqâs totally different, they donât have a jungle. They have a desert and itâs hard to hide in a desert.
Unfortunately, I and a strong majority of the country were wrong. Itâs of little consolation that I started changing my view over two years ago. It is apparrent that what we have now is worse than Viet Nam. The Viet Cong at least had the support of North Viet Nam regulars and were backed and supplied by China and Russia.
In Iraq, a small disassociated ragtag group of insurgents are holding the most powerful military in the world to a stalemate and time appears to be on their side. Do they have aircraft carriers and fighter planes, bombers, helicopters, satellite reconnaissance and tanks? They donât have a Stealth bomber or fighter but they have stealth. They are fighting us to a standstill with small weapons (AK47s), RPGâs (rocket propelled grenades), IEDâs (improvised explosive devices), suicide bombers and of course fear and terror. Much of the munitions which have been turned against us, were scavenged from Iraqi ammunition dumps that were left unsecurred by our administration.
For those who still insist that Bushâs Iraqi adventure is nothing like Viet Nam, I have drawn up a list of similarities:
1] It's a guerrilla war
2] The enemy looks just like the civilians
3] We're trying to beef up an unpopular government. (actually, an unfulfilled government)
4] We are trying with poor results to train an indigenous army.
5] The insurgents are getting help from outside sources.
6] It is a war with a dubious purpose.
7] There appears to be no exit strategy.
8] The war has left us unpopular, worldwide.
The military commanders must feel frustrated. The stated reasons for the war did not pan out, no WMD, no ties to 9/11 and yet we dare not leave, abandoning the Iraqis to the chaos which would ensue such a move. How impotent they must feel, since they have all this technology and firepower which can only be used sparingly. I remember a quote by whom I 'm not sure, which is most appropriate, it goes something like this, âThose who fail to heed the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.â
Iraq may not truly be another Viet Nam, itâs just a âquagmire.â