Vietnam Deja Vu

  Iraq 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008...

There are plenty of Vietnam echoes in America's Iraq adventure, especially in the corrosive effects on domestic comity, the use of false or distorted intelligence to create a sense of immediate threat, and the arrogance, combined with ignorance of local realities, of many senior strategists. But the differences are large, beginning with the nature of the enemy.  The Vietnamese Communists possessed a legitimacy derived from thirty years of anticolonial struggle -against France, then Japan, then France again, and, finally, willy-nilly, the United States.



The chickenhawks didn't learn the lesson of Vietnam ... They didn't have to.

Bring em on!     

Who?  A chickenhawk is a term often applied to public persons - generally male - who (1) tend to advocate, or are fervent supporters of those who advocate, military solutions to political problems, and who have personally (2) declined to take advantage of a significant opportunity to serve in uniform during wartime.  The New Hampshire Gazette keeps a muster list for your review.  chickenhawk headquarters.

A chickenhawk has three qualities: bellicosity (a warlike manner or temperament), public prominence, and a curious lack of wartime service when others their age had no trouble finding the fight.

Ashcroft avoided military service with a "teaching deferment."

 Cheney avoided military service. He was recently quoted as saying "I had other priorities at the time." 

Bush was indeed in the National Guard, but failed to report for his last two years of duty.

Chickenhawk Flock Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and leader of the flight: "AWOL" Top Gun Bring-em-on George W. Bush!


Deua Vu links: 2002-November/005400.html

Deja DU Deja vu



And its 1, 2, 3, 4 .... What are we fightin for....

U.S. sinking in Iraq quagmire  August 29, 2003  BY ANDREW GREELEY

  Cost of the present war

Cost of the Present War in Iraq
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Presidential statements, particularly on matters of national security, are held to an expectation of the highest standard of truthfulness. A president cannot stretch, twist or distort facts and get away with it. President Lyndon Johnson's distortions of the truth about Vietnam forced him to stand down from reelection. President Richard Nixon's false statements about Watergate forced his resignation. Click here for the complete article

Military or historical comparisons between Vietnam and Iraq are indeed silly. Two vastly different countries, different peoples, different eras. But it is sillier still to suggest that no comparisons at all apply simply because some comparisons don't. There are serious, fundamental similarities, not between Vietnam and Iraq, but between American presumption in the 1960s and American presumption today, between President Johnson's imperial conceit then ("We can turn the Mekong into a Tennessee Valley") and Bush's messianic hubris now ("Operation Infinite Justice," "Operation Iraqi Freedom").   Link

U.S. General Says Iraq Has Become a Guerrilla War

Reuters Wednesday, July 16, 2003; 3:17 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. troops are facing a classic guerrilla war in Iraq spearheaded by Saddam Hussein loyalists, and American forces need to adapt their tactics to crush this increasingly organized resistance, the head of the U.S. Central Command said on Wednesday.

This contrasted with an assessment given by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on June 30 that it was not "anything like a guerrilla war or an organized resistance."

But Central Command chief Gen. John Abizaid, who commands U.S. forces in Iraq, said a guerrilla war is exactly what U.S. troops are confronting.

Sunday, July 13, 2003; 10:21 AM

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned Sunday that attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq may worsen this summer but he insisted that occupation forces there are making progress.

Where's the Light at the End of the Tunnel ?

"I'm afraid we're going to have to expect this to go on and there's even speculation that during the month of July, which is an anniversary for a lot of Baathists events, we could see an increase in the number of attacks," Rumsfeld said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Even though major fighting has ended, Rumsfeld cautioned "we're still in a war." He also said American forces - now totaling about 150,000 - will likely remain in Iraq for the "foreseeable future."

"We have said we don't know what it will cost; we have said it's not knowable how long it will last," he said.

Rumsfeld said estimates he provided Congress last week that the occupation was costing $3.9 billion to $4 billion a month are based on current costs and cannot be projected into the future. He also rejected suggestions that the Iraqi occupation has evolved into a guerrilla conflict.

"We've been there less than 10 weeks, is that bogged down? How long were we in Germany? How long were we in Japan?" he said. "The president has said we are going to use as many forces as are necessary for as long as it takes."    

Where's Vietnam ?



   Democrat Calls for End to War in Speech 

The Associated Press  Tuesday, April 1, 2003; 5:51 PM 

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich
took his anti-war campaign to the House floor
Tuesday, he said the U.S.-led
military campaign was
built on "falsehood.

Where's the Gulf of Tonkin ?

"This war has been advanced on lie upon lie," he
said. "Iraq was not responsible for 9/11. Iraq was
not responsible for any role al-Qaida may have had
in 9/11. Iraq was not responsible for the anthrax
attacks on this country."

"Rescue this nation from a war that is wrong, that
is unjust, that is immoral," Kucinich said.


March 27, 03
Some 125,000 U.S. and British troops are now  in Iraq. 

U.S. officials on Thursday [March 27, 03] said they planned to bring in another 100,000 U.S. soldiers by the end of April. 


Sky Pilots Return in Force:] 


US soldiers in Iraq asked to pray for Bush

They may be the ones facing danger on the battlefield, but US soldiers in Iraq are being asked to pray for President George W Bush. 

Thousands of marines have been given a pamphlet called "A Christian's Duty," a mini prayer book which includes a tear-out section to be mailed to the White House pledging the soldier who sends it in has been praying for Bush. 

"I have committed to pray for you, your family, your staff and our troops during this time of uncertainty and tumult. May God's peace be your guide," says the pledge, according to a journalist embedded with coalition forces. 

The pamphlet, produced by a group called In Touch Ministries, offers a daily prayer to be made for the US president, a born-again Christian who likes to invoke his God in speeches. 

Sunday's is "Pray that the President and his advisers will seek God and his wisdom daily and not rely on their own understanding". 

Monday's reads "Pray that the President and his advisers will be strong and courageous to do what is right regardless of critics".

2003 Australian Broadcasting Corporation


 Updated: 04:55 p.m. EST (2155 GMT) March 27, 2003
More U.S. troops headed for Iraq
Pentagon to send 120,000 more troops to region


Thursday, March 27, 2003
War Could Last Months, Officers Say
By Thomas E. Ricks Washington Post Staff Writer
Despite the rapid advance of Army and Marine forces across Iraq over the past week, some senior U.S. military officers are now convinced that the war is likely to last months and
will require considerably more combat power than is now on hand there and in Kuwait, senior defense officials said yesterday.


March 27, 2003
Bush Says War to Last However Long It Takes
Reuters Thursday,; 12:01 PM By Randall Mikkelsen


CAMP DAVID, Md. (Reuters) - Faced with new fears the Iraq war could go on for months, President Bush said on Thursday the conflict will last "however long it takes to win" with the removal of Saddam Hussein as leader.


Rooney: It's Just My Opinion

NEW YORK, March 30, 2003  (CBS)  A weekly commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.

We all find war more interesting than peace. Any time death is imminent, life is exciting and we're watching this war as though it was a video game.

On television, it's hard to know where to look to find what you want to know. There are pictures on top of pictures, moving print on top of those. There's more than the eye can see or the brain comprehend.

The generals are giving us the play-by-play action from their Hollywood studio in Qatar. They're telling us everything, but we don't feel we know anything.

Some reporters are attached to military units and we're getting stunning coverage from them. We're seeing war first hand.

We're all asking each other what we think, too. Strangers ask me what I think as if I was smart because I'm on television. I have opinions - no information.

Experts talk about precision bombing but on the ground, where bombs hit, it is not precise. People are killed, history destroyed. We didn't shock them and we didn't awe them in Baghdad. The phrase makes us look like foolish braggarts. The president ought to fire whoever wrote that for him. Just an opinion.

We haven't caught bin Laden so we're transferring the blame for 9/11 to Saddam Hussein. There are soldiers who think that's why they're fighting. Hussein is a bad man who didn't have anything to do with 9/11. Just an opinion.

When I see President Bush with soldiers, I wish he had been one at war himself. He'd know more about where he was sending those soldiers. Just an opinion.

It bothers me that America is hated. I don't like to be hated personally - which happens - and I don't like my country to be hated - which has happened.

I have one opinion I don't like having. We have stores of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in this country. If we were losing this war, would we, as a last resort, use them? I'm afraid we might.

Hussein has chemical and biological weapons. If he is about to lose this war, will he use them? I'm afraid he might.

I wish my America had never gotten into this war, but now that we're in it, I want us to win it.

WASHINGTON (Creators Syndicate) -- By now, we must have learned from truly painful experience that the nation's strength is ultimately measured by the will and resolve of the people of that nation to stand together -- in individual and universal sacrifice -- for the common good.

During the Vietnam War, American leadership failed to ask virtually anything of the vast majority of the country's citizens, while imposing an enormous and disproportionate sacrifice upon a relatively few men.

Nobody captured that failure better than Jim Webb in his memorable novel, "Fields of Fire." Webb -- a Marine platoon leader and company commander in Vietnam, where he earned the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts -- wrote these words for a Marine sergeant returning to Vietnam for a second tour after a visit home to the United States: " Lieutenant, you'd hardly know there was a war on. It's in the papers ... but that's it. Airplane drivers still drive their airplanes. Businessmen still run their businesses. College kids go to college. It's like nothing really happened except to other people. It isn't touching anybody except us."

Sound at all familiar? President George W. Bush, who lived through those Vietnam years, has failed in this war to ask anything -- except from the American men and women in military service whom he emphatically calls the nation's "best citizens" -- from those of us on the home front. Not only will we civilians not have to pay for the war, if we're successful enough we'll get a tax break for our troubles.

Bush's tax break won't do much for those Americans doing the fighting, you see, because the base pay for a staff sergeant is $21,247.20 and for a first lieutenant it's $30,182.40, which would mean an average tax-cut for all American service personnel in those ranks or below of approximately $148.

The president's logic must work like this: Obviously to serve in the military and to risk your life for your country qualifies you to be one of the nation's "best citizens" and is a great honor.

But to ask Rupert Murdoch or Leona Helmsley, fortunate billionaires (whose very freedom those brave "best citizens" are defending), just to pay their fair share of taxes would be a near-criminal imposition upon their liberty and a raid on their property. Go figure.

But don't worry, those productive civilians struggling to make ends meet and bringing home barely a million dollars a year would, under Bush's plan, get a tax cut of $90,222. Class warfare is now over -- the richest won.

Where is all this money going to come from? It will be borrowed, and the bill will be passed on to the nation's young people -- the same ones we're always insisting we care so much about. Since President Bush's last big tax-cut of $1.35 trillion passed the Congress some 23 months ago, the national debt we are passing on to our children -- including those brave young men and women who come back from Iraq -- has increased by close to $820 billion.

To put that last figure in perspective: Through the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, both World Wars, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and all the years in between, the federal government ran up less debt than it has in the last 23 months. Back then, American presidents challenged citizens to increase their own taxes to pay for the wars, and back then citizens answered that challenge.

The idea of giving tax breaks to the most privileged non-combatants and then passing the cost of those bequests on to the next generation of teachers, nurses, cops and returning Marines and soldiers would have been unacceptable. The 2003 War Against Iraq is the only war this nation has entered both without a military draft and with a tax-cut.

Mr. President, other than the loved ones of those in harm's way in the Gulf tonight, you have asked the vast majority of your fellow citizens to pay no price, to bear no burden. We are better than that. Challenge us. Begin by asking us to pay the bill. War is not and cannot be a spectator sport.

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