Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Why Iraq is Like Vietnam

It's a common meme, you've seen the stickers, the t-shirts, the comics, and so on. "Is it Vietnam Yet?" There has been an effort to paint our efforts in Iraq as being an irreedemable mess, that we need to unilaterally pull out to minimize the problems we've caused.

Obviously, I don't think that's the case at all. I'll be happy when history proves our actions right. I think that for the first time, our foreign policy is going after the real roots of a problem, instead of pacifying outwardly-friendly dictators in the interests of regional stability.

So why is Iraq like Vietnam? Because the left are exactly as wrong today as they were on Vietnam. The hundreds of thousands of murdered South Vietnamese we left to their fates can attest to that. The constant drumbeat from the left caused us to lose our nerve, to not finish what we needed to. Regardless of how we got in, it was the wrong way to get out. The same would have happened in Iraq if we didn't have people in office with the spine to see this through. We saw a small taste of it after the first Gulf War, but somehow it couldn't happen this time?

The nice thing about being a naysayer is that you don't care if it works out OK. You could've protested WWII, demonstrated at the Capitol when we were obviously losing at the Battle of the Bulge, demanded someone take responsibility, and on and on. But at the end, when people that actually do what they say they'll do finish what they're doing, you can just go home and wait for the next reason to complain. I've never seen someone who says, "this won't work, it's destined for failure" have to answer for being wrong about it. One reason is that successful people don't care about inconsequential naysayers and just move on. But success doesn't always come instantly, so these people get a long time to spout their useless drivel.

Unfortunately, the media in general tends to lap it all up. The time to do something about the war is before it occurs, or at an election. We just had one, and they lost. But the insane rhetoric of our left is truly unpatriotic and damaging. They love to say dissent it patriotic, but it's the complete opposite during a war. It weakens our negotiating positions and reputations in the world, it demoralizes our troops, it demoralizes our country. And were they successful, and if it ended like Vietnam, they would never be called to account for the damage they did. Just as John Kerry was never hammered for contributing to the deaths of so many thousands of South Vietnamese.

Hopefully we've learned our lessons from Vietnam, and we can ignore the naysayers until we succeed and they disappear again.

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