Sunday, May 09, 2004

It is Vietnam
I’ve lost track of all the reasons we’ve been told why Iraq isn’t Vietnam. The first reasons were downright silly. Vietnam was wet and jungley; Iraq is dry and deserty. Vietnam is long and skinny; Iraq is fat and lumpy. For months the reasons why Iraq isn’t Vietnam have been getting more sophisticated, but no more convincing. The last few I paid any attention to, brought out charts and graphs (I’m a sucker for visual aids) of casualties by month and public support and proudly pointed out that the Vietnam and Iraq lines are completely different shapes. I’m not an expert on the Vietnam War, but I am old enough to remember when Viet Nam was two words and that gives me enough authority to be opinionated on this.

Iraq is Vietnam.

It’s not because of the weather, or the geopolitical context, or the impact on folk/protest songs that Iraq is becoming Vietnam. Iraq is Vietnam because it is a political war that is of no benefit to the US as a whole. Iraq is Vietnam because it is distracting us from pressing dangerous problems at home and driving us into a deficit that will take a generation to pay off. Iraq is Vietnam because it has cost us the good will of most of the world and made our most precious values appear hypocritical coming from our mouths. Iraq is Vietnam because it is brutalizing a generation of American soldiers, leading them commit crimes that would not ordinarily cross their imaginations. Finally, Iraq is Vietnam because the honest patriots who oppose the war are being tarred as unpatriotic by cowardly flag wavers even though morality and history are on our side. We must get rid of the maniacs who have brought the disaster of a second Vietnam down on us.

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