Friday, November 17, 2006

Bush's Vietnam Analogy

Noam Chomsky used to write alot about the "Vietnam syndrome" or the belief among elite decision makers that the American people could not and would not weather long drawn out wars and would call for withdrawal once the body count escalated beyond what the public could stomach. Today, aptly in Vietnam, President Bush likened the Iraq War to the Vietnam War stating "we'll win unless we quit." Now this statement hosts a dizzying array of questions both moral and pragmatic, chiefly: Did the U.S. morally speaking deserve to win the Vietnam War. Unsurprisingly, I say no.

But I don't like this Vietnam analogy concerning Iraq no matter where it's lobbed out of the political spectrum. American troops should have never been deployed to Vietnam, period. Iraq is not so easy. While I still believe the initial war in Iraq was illegal and immoral, it is now and will continue to be a front in the global war against jihadism, whether we like it or not.

Now the question we must ask ourselves is: Are we willing to sacrifice the lives of more American soldiers to keep Iraq from falling into utter anarchy -- which is our moral responsibility considering we took over the security responsibilities for the country once we invaded -- or will we completely withdraw, let Iraq fall into civil war and possible genocide, which could ignite the whole Middle East, Sunni vs. Shia and both vs. Israel, while Al Qaeda uses the chaos to radicalize, train, and arm more jihadists for their global campaign against rationalism?

There can be no doubt the Bush Administration has led us right into a colossal debacle of historic proportions. The initial fight should have been concentrated mainly on the core Al Qaeda organization. But we are past that. The fight against jihadism and the war in Iraq have tragically become one and the same. No matter what we do, withdraw from Iraq or walk the same crimson path, there will be bloody consequences that will continue on for generations.

The right question to ask now is: "What is best for the Iraqi people and is in the long term interest of progress and peace in the Middle East?"

My answer is feeble, I honestly don't know.

Morally, the Vietnam War was never this complex. We should have never have gone and we should have never stayed.

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