Re: President Bush Fails to
Learn the Lessons of Vietnam
By Ken Bylund
November 27, 2006
Interesting opinion you have there Doctor but maybe President
Bush did learn some lessons from Vietnam. Let's look for parallels
- Vietnam and Iraq; start with Vietnam and that well crucified
domino theory would the result be invisible if we made the difference?
That was why I went to Vietnam in 1969. What would the cost in
lives and treasure have been if the allies had resisted Hitler
in the beginning; say if it had taken Hitler's Nazis 10
15 years to get into Czechoslovakia/Poland? We can never know
any more than we can know if the domino theory in SEA was a valid
So by digging our heels in and shooting back we may have attenuated
and stalled a far worsening fate for southeast and central Asia
and the world don't know, can't know. Vietnam is quite unlike
Iraq at least we know now about the hundreds of thousands of
graves of Iraqi citizens murdered by their psychopathic dictator.
Weapons of mass-destruction; think poisonous gas used on the
Kurds and Iranians wasn't WMD?
Real Lessons of Vietnam?
You point to Bush's words "that we could succeed unless
we quit" could have in VN except for an ego-maniac [DEM]
President; LBJ wanting to play at being Cesar, imagine our president
choosing when and where to bomb, and choosing not to invade the
north and take Hanoi. Think our generals from WWII would stand
on a DMZ and not take Berlin. God help us if you can't go there
then you can't win. But after you win then it becomes a game
of self promoting politicians playing to the cameras and making
tiny cuts on men and women who are better than them.
Our soldiers went into Iraq and took Baghdad in record time;
why? Because General Swartzkoff and other experienced military
leaders that learned those lessons in Vietnam were left in charge
and to his credit, Bush left the battle planning and tactics
to them. Saddam Hussein is going to get his neck stretched for
mass murder in the end Iraq was about human morality and yes,
a lot of Iraqis died just like a lot of Nazis/Japanese and Allies.
And self-defense won't you look Salman Pak in the eye or concede
al Qaeda was in Iraq while Saddam's sons were enjoying the manly
sport of rape and murder?
Let's start with;
1). we misjudged them and exaggerated the dangers to the U.S.
of North Vietnam, China and the Soviet Union.
Stalin killed more than sixty million of his own people that
an exaggeration? Mao tse Tung and 'The Great Leap Forward' resulted
in 15 - 20 million starving to death perhaps someone will defend
him it wasn't his fault, he had a flat economy, he ran out of
gas swear to God it wasn't his fault!? These were bad people
In all fairness if Eisenhower had gone to Ho Chi Minh, put his
arm around his shoulder and said" let's make a deal."
Yeah, might've worked but we just weren't that sophisticated
then coming out of WWII and having the USSR with the Bomb and
resisting the Chinese invasion of Korea. But that is a big maybe
and won't fit as an SOP ever. will it work with Ahmadinejad?
2). did we view the people of South Vietnam in terms of our own
experience? Don't know, but we had the memory of Hitler and the
fruit of Chamberlain's failed 'never to go to war with one another
again' mentality a lot of little countries fought with the allies
against the Japanese in those same jungles and against the Nazis
in other out of the way battlefields don't know and no one can
know who might rise to the challenge of freedom. Philippines
are doing okay
3). Under-estimating the power of nationalism
South Vietnam was and wanted to remain a peaceful and family
loving community; I was there living in a village and witnessed
VC coming in [Pleiku] at sundown to shoot their AK 47s and then
get chased off or killed. Also lived with these happy people
laughing at life with gusto as one often finds in rural areas;
the south Vietnamese left to their own did not want Marxist propaganda
shoved down their throats and would've been quite happy to remain
separate from the north. Anyone you know want Islam philosophy
shoved down their throat?
4). Misjudgments and our profound ignorance of history
Have to agree right up to where you blame [current] American
Incompetence unless you are talking about cowardly politicians
and pathetic generalship of Vietnam and the incompetence of LBJ.
We've come a long way, and there were mistakes made in the past
and present but Iraq was about the threat of religious fanatics
getting WMDs and a moral choice; do we stand back as a mass murderer
bequeaths this mad legacy to his sons and leave him in power
because he has his heel on the throats of difficult to manage
Sunnis and Shiite fanatics? That the better choice you are advocating?
Let the UN sort it out, like Sudan?
5). "We failed then as we have since to recognize the limitations
of modern high technology military equipment and forces doctrine
in confronting unconventional highly motivated peoples movements".
here you nailed it!!!
War in Iraq began March 20th, 2003; on April 3rd the US third
Infantry took the Baghdad International Airport; April 9th US
Marines help a crowd of Iraq citizens topple the statue of Saddam
Hussein in the heart of Baghdad and oops what's this, US forces
capture Palestinian guerrilla Abu Abbas what's he doing here?
From here the war would've been over and the similarities to
Vietnam really begin.
The News Media [the movement] blinks at the prospect of all these
great "news worthy" events petering out, a rather dull
state of peace might begin to replace the great shots of burning
oil wells and bodies in the road and soon they launch into the
profitable and energetic mode of covering small gangs of disgruntled
Sunnis, Yemeni and Saudi or Syrian miscreants as if these noble
warriors are struggling against the evil Americans for independence.
ABC, BBC, CBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, well you get the picture.
The news media found profit in promoting blood and gore.
Flashy WAR IN IRAQ - THEATER on all the news channels; think
al Qaeda, Hamas and other low brow parasites toying with controlling
the minds of children don't appreciate stardom? Think the current
level of murder by IED bombs, rockets and snipers in London,
Baghdad, Madrid, anywhere in the world would be as numerous if
the News DIDN'T encourage these freaks by showing the result
of their acts with breathless morbidity in images 24/7? CONFLICT
OF INTEREST the NEWS MEDIA IS KEEPING THIS WAR ALIVE just like
Vietnam. Think those genuine heroes who wrote the constitution
and Bill of Rights saw this kind of FREEDOM OF THE PRESS coming
to power? Five is enough you can see who benefits and who bleeds.
Not blaming you for trying to figure this out; just not sure
there are always good answers or silver bullet solutions to everything.
Like a cure for cancer or separating hydrogen from seawater,
sometimes solving big problems takes time. Never stop thinking
about making things better but when you say it's time for new
direction that's what a lot of dead people wanted before the
Russian Revolution they got change. American colonies wanted
change too sometimes change is good if you have the right people
like our founding fathers making the rules.
The News Media needs to take some responsibility for the power
they hold over the public; instead they are acting like God.
Okay, that's my opinion.
Received November 27, 2006 - Published November 24, 2006
Bush Fails to Learn the Lessons of Vietnam! By Robert Freedland
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