Thursday, August 23, 2007


Vietnam Comparison Gives Glimpse into Dubya's Thinking

Oh dear, it seems that much of what has been said regarding George Bush's intellect and learning has been reinforced by his comparison of Iraq with Vietnam. The first point is that George does not seem to have worked out that the USA lost that one; would he have advised Churchill to order his Expeditionary Force, waiting on Dunkirk's beaches to keep on fighting rather than return home? Moreover, to argue 'staying the course' because pulling out of Vietnam produced so much chaos in its wake, seems quixotic to say the least. Much of that chaos had only come about because of the Vietnam war, as The New York Times points out:

Vietnam led to catastrophic consequences in the region, especially in Cambodia,” said David C. Hendrickson, a specialist on the history of American foreign policy at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

“But there are a couple of further points that need weighing,” he added. “One is that the Khmer Rouge would never have come to power in the absence of the war in Vietnam — this dark force arose out of the circumstances of the war, was in a deep sense created by the war. The same thing has happened in the Middle East today. Foreign occupation of Iraq has created far more terrorists than it has deterred.”

A better example of not leaving before stability has been achieved would, perhaps be the British and India in 1947 when over a million died in religious conflict following too rapid an exit. But Bush seems to have decided that if the Iraq War is to be written on his gravestone, he might as well go down fighting, or at least the young men in his military forces might.

Most now predict that in a week or so General Petraeus will submit a positive report on the 'surge' campaign whereby thousands of extra troops were sent in to quell the Baghdad militias. I'm sure I'm not the only one who reckons the Surge will only delay the inevitable of a humiliating US exit from Iraq. In that respect Iraq will indeed resemble Vietnam as in the famous picture above of US personnel being helicoptered off a roof in Saigon.

Meanwhile, a political party based in the UK has accepted more than £50,000 in personal donations this year from the soft soap billionaire who headed the investor and management team who are owners of Heckler and Koch. Since 2002 when they bought it from BAe. Naturally H&K are keen to sell lots of weapons and their lightweight assault rifle the XM8 - exterminate - is a real barn burner of a product, expected to achieve 10 Million Units sold by 2021. That's a lot of state of the art assault rifles. If each one kills only 10 people ... there goes Germany, whoops.

Churchill, natch, was a great lover of war toys and was an enthusiastic firer of machine guns - which with fine cigars and liquor helped ease his black dog days.

Seems like a great story to me ... why are the MSM fighting shy of it?
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