A new "flap du jour" pits Democrats in Congress against President Bush because Bush has been comparing Vietnam to Iraq. Bush has been partially correct, while Congress has been fully incorrect. For example, Senate Buffoon Kerry denied any bloodshed after we pulled out of Iraq, and he thought the "re-education camps" were examples of sound pedagogy. Comparing Iraq to Vietnam, at least in part, is indeed valid, but for reasons not usually stated.
What brought home the real comparison to me was a Public Broadcasting System program about the 1960s. I lived the era and remember it well, but not fondly. Although the PBS program was fawningly leftist in orientation, it ran revealing news clips from the era, and these were PBS-agenda-free.
One news clip featured President Lyndon Johnson citing—projecting a reverential sense of morality—that the reason the USA was in Vietnam was to provide the South Vietnamese the opportunity to elect their own government. What kind of government? Unspecified. It was raw democracy in action, unguided by a rights-preserving and rights-protecting constitution. This allowed the South Vietnamese to vote themselves into any damned thing they wanted—BUT, it was "democracy."
Where have we heard anything like this recently? Could it be how Bush is bringing "democracy" to sand savages as incapable of using it as Neanderthals could have used computers? Bush in his chronic self-righteousness allowed the savages in both Iraq and Afghanistan to adopt Islamic dominant constitutions. Golllleeeee, Sergeant Carter, they voted themselves, just like we wanted, didn't they? Didn't we want Islamic tyrannies to replace Islamic tyrannies? Isn't that the meaning of "democracy"?
Heard anything like this before?
The South Vietnam government was run by incompetent but tyrannical popinjays. Intellectual-less Johnson thought they were good because they were not communists like North Vietnam. Johnson understood about as much about any of the Vietnamese as President Bush understands about Islam, Iraq, Iraqis, and Arabs. Johnson and Bush are chips off the same anti-intellectual, act-and-to-hell-with-thinking block.
Does anyone think that OUR "liberated" Iraq and Afghanistan are not corrupt theocratic tyrannies run by incompetent popinjays? Let's see a show of hands. Hmmm. No one. Will wonders never cease?
Johnson and his military "leaders" just swore up and down that this war in Vietnam could be WON—IF they had more troops, you know, like a "surge." One half million troops apparently were not enough.
Johnson invaded the wrong country, for all the wrong reasons. The Vietnam war was totally unnecessary, and the "thinking" about Vietnam was all but non-existent in effectiveness.
Wrong country, wrong reasons…hmmm…familiar?
Why weren't one half million troops and the industrial might of America not enough to subdue flip-flop wearing hoards? Glad you asked. Military engagement in Vietnam was controlled by non-military weakling weenies in Washington. All military efforts were strained through lawyers and their "limited engagement" filters. Rules of engagement were brief: In essence, don't do anything that can be construed as winning, or the leftist press will us leaders to death. What was needed was commitment to total war, a la Sherman and the South. During Johnson's "reign," Hanoi itself, the rails, airports, roads, and ports in North Vietnam went all but unscathed. A war that could have been won quickly was converted to winlessness going on and on and on and on…Americans were chewed up by the thousands—i.e., squandered—for no good reason whatsoever, just to mollify cowards in the White House, DoD, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Forty years after the start of fighting in Vietnam, the intellectual clone of Lyndon Johnson blundered America into Iraq. No, not Iran, where we should have gone to put an end to all this Islamic terror crap. Why did Clueless George, in his Nascent State of Ignorance, do this? He was following "tradition":
- Truman, with the vision of a garden slug, went into Korea not to win but to bog down "communism." Sure enough, we did not win, but we suffered mightily.
- Johnson, led by the ring in his nose by Eisenhower and Kennedy, also wanted to bog down the march of communist dominoes in the Orient. No effort was made to win, so we did not win. We did, however, suffer mightily.
- Bush and crowd invaded the wrong country, Iraq, with no plan or intent to win. Critics say he had no "exit strategy." That is modern crap-talk for no-intention-to-win. When you kick the very life out of an aggressor and his supporting populace, you win; then you exit. Bush is not winning, but he is making us suffer mightily.
If you asked Truman, Johnson, and Bush, each would rise with high dudgeon, protesting vociferously that they were committed to winning. THEIR ACTIONS SAID OTHERWISE.
At the level of fundamental principles—where it really counts—Vietnam and Iraq are super-imposable. Why, one should ask, are we not committing to winning? The reason for both countries is exactly the same: American self-interest has been abrogated, just like the Medina suras have abrogated the Mecca suras of the koran. Ayn Rand wrote:
Dictatorship nations are outlaws. Any free nation had the right to invade Nazi Germany and…Soviet Russia, Cuba or any other slave pen. Whether a free nation chooses to do so or not is a matter of its own self-interest, not of respect for the nonexistent "rights" of gang rulers. It is not a free nation's duty to liberate other nations at the price of self-sacrifice, but a free nation has the right to do it, when and if it so chooses. (Virtue of Selfishness, "Collectivized 'Rights')
In this quoted paragraph lies the guiding principle for a rational foreign policy: national self-interest. What are WE going to get out war or whatever we do abroad? If war is needed, then it must be total war, declared war, citizens fully mobilized, and totally smashing the aggressor as quickly as possible to minimize our loss of blood and treasure. The only consideration for them should ask, have they surrendered yet, and, if not, what remains to be finish them off? Total war is moral war. Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan are totally immoral wars.
Johnson and Bush put the interest of savages ahead of Americans' national interest and put America into being the self-sacrificing servant to Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, and maybe Pakistan. Both presidents proudly stated the goals of selfless service and self-sacrificial service as their goals—always at the expense of any selfish interest of America and Americans. Look at the blood and treasure sacrificed!
Bush's dedication to sacrificing America to Iraq has taken what should have been a short, total war and prolonged it into endless war, a la Vietnam.
The nation-sacrificing and self-sacrificing principles and policies of Johnson and Bush have resulted in just one, universal result, a completely logical consequence. The Vietnam and Iraq Wars have been fought IN VAIN. They have sacrificed blood and treasure, squandering America to no valuable ends. They have damaged America for a very long time. Sacrifice of self and nation to others was and is their moral ideal. History and current events show what their moral ideal means.