Friday, November 17, 2006

The Vietnam Effect

You know, getting his ideological ass handed to him in the midterms may have softened 43's rhetoric a bit - he recently admitted, for example, that Democrats are not necessarily traitors - but it hasn't sharpened his sense of historical irony.

Case in point: when asked yesterday what lessons from the Vietnam war we can apply to our entanglement in Iraq, he said, "we’ll succeed unless we quit."

Wait a minute. THAT'S the lesson?

He does know that we quit in Vietnam, doesn't he?

If he doesn't, fine, he's just ignorant - nothing new there. If he does know, I'd be forced to conclude that he thinks it was a mistake to quit in Vietnam, in which case I...well, I...well, it's just too fucking horrible to consider, that he would think WE SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN VIETNAM.

Although it's really a quite brilliant and unmistakably Rovian strategy, to deflect the parallel of Vietnam to Iraq by asserting that we should have stayed in Vietnam just as we should stay in Iraq. Imagine all the scholars and historians having conniptions on talk shows all over the country, trying to refute the almost completely impenetrable blockheadedness of that assertion.

Let me tell you what the lesson of Vietnam is. The lesson of Vietnam is GET THE FUCK OUT. Actually, the 1st lesson of Vietnam is STAY THE FUCK OUT, but, once lied into getting in, then immediately proceed to GET THE FUCK OUT.

But what about creating a safe haven for terrorists in Iraq, you say? And what about the stability of the region? We can't have the whole region falling under the influence of fundamentalist theocracies, can we?

Ahem. Let's just skip the part about living in a theocracy for now, shall we? I'm depressed enough.

But, if you take out the words "fundamentalist theocracies" out of that sentence, and insert "communism," you'll see that there are indeed some interesting parallels between the site of our current folly and Vietnam.

Yes, I'm talkin' 'bout dat old Domino Theory. I think a lot of people today regard the Domino Theory as some crazy old school right-wing shit. It isn't. Well, actually, it is, but it was also the prevailing wisdom of the day. And by prevailing wisdom, I mean it was accepted truth by Dems and Repubs, by tv news anchors and by newspaper publishers, by history professors and by Washington policy makers. It was THE goddamn reason we didn't get the fuck out of Vietnam year after year after year, because Southeast Asia would fall to communism, and then its spread would engulf Asia completely, and then it would take over the Americas (for extra credit write 500 words on Reagan's employment of the Domino Theory in Central and South America in the 80s), and before you know it, the U.S. of A. would be surrounded by pinkos ready and willing to invade our country, acquire our gun registration lists, confiscate the semi-automatics of our citizens, and subdue the populace.

And yet, we cut and ran in Vietnam, and it didn't happen.

Readers, I put to you, that leaving Iraq would produce a similar response. The country may not be our BFF for a few years, but 1) our citizens would not die there anymore, and 2) all the problems that are currently being caused by our mere presence there (which are admittedly difficult to measure) would immediately evaporate.

Hey, I'm willing to gamble on the Vietnam Effect. How about you?


Rob Anderson said...

Excellent posting.

Did you hear that Bush is actually putting the head of the "abstinence only" movement in charge of Title X??

Voter repudiation? What voter repudiation??

The man just will not quit. And we have two more years of this shit.

Larry Jones said...

The Domino Theory carried about as much weight with the growing antiwar movement in the 1960's as "...fight them there or they will follow us here..." does today: We thought it was bullshit, and in fact it turned out to be just that. It was an excuse cooked up by the generals and arms dealers, and -- media complicity notwithstanding -- I believe most ordinary people saw it for what it was.

I thought that after the debacle of Vietnam we would never again have a government so arrogant and out of touch with the wisdom of the people. Obviously I was wrong. The neocons running today's White House must be too young to remember what happened, too stupid to learn from history, too greedy to care, or some combination of the three.

dad said...

With Bush its hard to say that he just could not think of anything to say, so he just blurted out something he thought sounded tough that could not bring up a "cut and run" type message.

In the past when things failed, 43 always relied on 41 or his friends to bail him out. It is possible that 41's influence will also help the nation now as he tries to repair the damage done by the neo-cons, Rumsfeld and Chaney. I look to 43 to bulldog grab hold of the Baker commission remmendations. Any change should be interesting.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell if he himself is an idiot, or if he only listens to idiots....

Mazur said...

Since the current administration has an evil corporate agenda to advance in Iraq (and the middle east in general) and in no way has the best (or any) interests of the Iraqi or American people in mind, nothing will ever get better as long as troops are there fighting instead of rebuilding, under the command of our ignorant-to-the-point-of-evil leader (and his actually evil corporate masters).

But, assuming we get some new leadership (and some benevolent goals) behind the whole debacle, can we really just leave a country still lacking electricity, medical care, and sewage treatment, which we fucked up? It seems, as awful as it is, that a lasting American presence may be necessary, otherwise we will have just busted up their country, sucked up their oil, and left, leaving them in shit-shape. Off course, any lasting American influence will result in more bitterness towards us (like in S. Korea), so maybe complete and immediate withdrawl would be better. Any thoughts? God, we're so fucked.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Rob: Yeah, I heard about his latest "fuck you" to reason.

Larry: I disagree that most ordinary people didn't buy the Domino Theory, but maybe that's just because I grew up in Indiana.

Dad: What an interesting relationship our president has with his father! It seems like they continue to play out some kind of primal "mano a mano" drama over and over and over.

MBP: Nothing worse than an idiot with an agenda.

Mazur: Well, they seem to want us out, so if nothing else we should respect their wishes.