When people insist on viewing current reality through the lens of the past and cannot see how their behavior and attitudes led to disaster in the past, they tend to repeat their past dysfunctional behavior. In fundamental ways, Iraq is not Vietnam, yet in several particulars the parallels are quite apt. Much of the MSM and Academia have effectively become agents of Islamist propaganda, whether through inadvertence or by design. The demonization of the Bush administration and the defeatism of the left are also similar. Further, if the Democrats succeed in taking over Congress and cutting off funds for the Iraq War, we will have repeated the abandonment of our allies that led to so much misery and death in Southeast Asia. If we decide to give up the fight, we will consign millions to death and torment and embolden our enemies so that when we finally do have to confront them again, the death and destruction will be orders of magnitude greater.
There is much to consider in the parallels between Vietnam and Iraq; I am most appreciative for Jimmy J’s instructive work.
In 1973 the Vietnam War was largely won. The Vietcong “insurgency” had been pretty much annihilated after the Tet Offensive and the North was having to fight with regular troops. Nixon’s bombing campaigns, Linebacker I and II, and the mining of Haiphong harbor had deeply cut in the North’s war making ability. There was still a presence in the South but it was by and large isolated in pockets that the South Vietnamese could have reduced in time had they retained the air and logistical support they were promised.
But the Democrats in Congress were not in favor of continued support. They weren’t going to be satisfied with the withdrawal of combat troops; they wanted the war to be gone. That meant that the South Vietnamese had to be cut loose to face the NVA who was being supplied by Moscow and Peking. The rest is history. The Congress voted to eliminate funding for the war, effectively negating the agreements that we had made. The rest is history. The NVA offensive, the panicked crowds of civilians and later soldiers that seemed to be unaware that the Northerners were only there to help them, the camps, the starvation, the repression.
And the Democrats are so proud of having brought about so much misery and bloodshed that they’re chomping at the bit to do it again.
But that was then and this is now. In 1975 they effectively controlled the news media in the U.S. There was no talk radio, no Fox News and no blogosphere. They decided on the narrative and the media broadcast it with nary a dissenting voice to be heard.
That’s no longer the case. As Bill Clinton is discovering, the Internet knows what you said, and what was said about you. If the Democrats want to reprise their role in insuring our defeat, they’re welcome to do it.
But, that had better be the end of the Islamist threat. If we withdraw and at any time in the future it becomes a terrorist sanctuary or threatens us in any way, people will be reminded of who it was that withdrew rather than finishing the job. That’s gonna be difficult to explain.