Sunday, October 02, 2005

Iraq Is Not Vietnam

Iraq is not Vietnam. Stop drawing the parallel because you are wrong.

America won Vietnam. It is losing Iraq.

I realize that this is not the conventional wisdom regarding the former, but it is true and I will tell you why.

Vietnam

Anyone with half a brain and a minimal knowledge of the "Cold War" understands that many of the conflicts that followed World War II were proxy wars. They are called proxy wars because, behind the scenes of the local fighting, lied powerful nations that provided the money, arms and training to the regional armies. When you have a superpower, you have client states. When you have two superpowers, the client states have a choice of master. Before the fall of the Soviet Union, the big daddy financiers of conflict in the world were the Soviet Union and the United States and it wasn't difficult to figure out who the client states were. Korea was a proxy war, Vietnam was a proxy war, Grenada, Cuba, etc.

The goal of a proxy war is not necessarily to win militarily. Wearing down the other side will suffice as a victory if the defeated opponent's client states ultimately have no choice but to come into your camp.

Vietnam is the perfect example of such a victory. The American public was sold the war with the recycled slogan that it was a fight for "freedom" but America did not see a loss of freedom because of the military defeat. That is, of course, because the war had nothing to do with freedom. It had everything to do with bleeding the Soviets dry. And it worked.

One need only look at the change in dynamics between the Soviet Union and its client states for evidence of this truism. The collective Arab nations went to war with Israel in 1948, 1956 and 1967, with the unflinching support of the Soviet Union. After Gamal Abdel-Nasser died in 1970, a then unknown military general named Anwar Sadat became president of Egypt. Reflecting upon the humiliating defeat by American-backed Israel in 1967 and watching the exhaustion of the Soviet Union in Vietnam, Sadat decided that Egypt's future lied with the U.S., not the USSR. Sadat provoked the point by attacking Israel in October 1973. The Russians were unable to provide the Egyptian army with reinforcement tanks and the Israelis, initially on the defensive, made strong offensive gains into the Sinai. After the U.S. stepped in to call a truce, Sadat declared his desire to make peace with Israel and offered Egypt as a client state to the U.S. The Camp David Accords are a direct result of America's victory in Vietnam.

Other nations around the world followed suit and, without the client states, the Soviet Union began the shrinky-dink process, from empire to nation. The 1982 Russian invasion of Afghanistan was a last ditch effort to maintain military control over strategic neighboring countries, but we all know the ending to that story. CIA training and religious zeal were married into a band of warriors who defeated what had been one of the strongest armies in the world. The Soviet Satellite States knew it was only a matter of time before the wall would come down. It took only eight years.

American military and financial hegemony over the past 25 years is the victory for which hundreds of thousands of American soldiers gave their lives in Vietnam.

Iraq

America remains the 100 pound gorilla of the world, but the war in Iraq, and recently Katrina, are siphoning resources and constraining the stretch of the empire.

All the while, client states and superpower competitors are making interesting moves. China has taken an active role throughout Africa, offering loans (to be paid back with oil and other resources), technical support and protection from the U.N. Security Council. Sudan, Angola, Zimbabwe and Nigeria are welcoming Chinese stewardship with open arms. Iran, backed by Russia and China, remains defiant about its nuclear program and, even Israel, the long-time golden client of the U.S., has been making overtures toward Europe and to the East. Notorious for re-selling the technology it receives from the U.S. to regimes with which the U.S. does not contract, the U.S. recently sanctioned Israel for selling spare parts for attack drones to China.

The American economy is now in the hands of the Chinese Central Bank, which has been purchasing Treasury Bonds that are issued to finance the Iraq debacle. Clinton left office with a surplus and Bush pissed it down the toilet on his war games.

And what do we have to show for this wild expenditure? A bunch of holy-rolling buffoons has the U.S. military bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan with no end in sight. Sound familiar?

Even if America "wins" militarily in Iraq (whatever that means), she will have been financially bled dry in the process. Bush will cut more and more domestic spending, he will continue to behave like a teenager with a credit card and devalue the dollar while China and Europe stay quietly busy in the background with their new clients. This will do far more damage than any terrorist could do (just ask the last of the Roman Emperors).

Vietnam was a victory. Iraq is an unmitigated disaster.


If you live long enough, you'll see that
every victory turns into a defeat
Simone de Beauvoir

17 Comments:

At 1:38 PM, October 03, 2005 , Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

Interesting. I guess that's one take. My view is that "victory" necessarily entails a measurement of the costs. So the lives lost and the deaths caused also has a play in that.

If you take those into account, was Vietnam a victory?

 
At 2:08 PM, October 03, 2005 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

If victory is measured by a score card of deaths on each side, then Vietnam was a disaster for both sides. I find it difficult to proclaim victory by saying we lost 200,000, but they lost 300,000 or vice versa. That doesn't sound like much of a victory to me.

That's why victory cannot be measured that way. WWII was not a victory because of a favorable death scorecard. It was a victory because Hitler was defeated and the U.S. inherited the ashes of the British and French empires.

 
At 4:49 PM, October 03, 2005 , Blogger Reign of Reason said...

While I don't totally agree with your analysis of our involvement in Vietnam, I do agree with your overall point: we're following the Soviet model -- bleeding money that is only weakening our position in the world economy that's coming... with China the next powerhouse.

We better get our act together -- and soon.

 
At 4:57 PM, October 03, 2005 , Blogger Pseudo-intellectual lunatic said...

a good blo

 
At 5:09 PM, October 04, 2005 , Blogger Mr. Wilson said...

whoever has the resources to write history and get their version accepted is who won the war.

 
At 7:56 AM, October 05, 2005 , Blogger Possum said...

Interesting thoughts, I'm now thinking your comment to me on the issue of Google and Taiwan on my blog was to challenge rather than be a jerk.

If you check through my archives, since I haven't spent time to make an index yet, you'll see I comment and report on any news relevant to the Chinese.

As for Google, it sickens me to see an American company bend over and take the communist line for profit. The act of calling Taiwan a state of China is nothing less than the endorsement of fascist actions for the sake of being allowed through the great red firewall.

I equate the actions of Google to endorsing fascism. Google's actions are none better than if they had endorsed Nazis against Jews or the Klan against Blacks. I have a big problem with Google doing this and, quite frankly, you should too.
... back to the topic:

As for Iraq, you are right, it isn't Vietnam. If we could control the Iraqi borders we might even beat the terrorists. Seeing as how many of the suicicide bombers are from neighboring countries instead of native Iraqis.

Also you should note that in Vietnam we didn't have a good reason to see the fight through to the bitter end. Unless you are riding a bicycle every day you have a vested interest in seeing an Iraqi democracy succeed as well!

 
At 12:39 PM, October 05, 2005 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Possum,

Regarding China and Google, the people of HK worried that when HK returned to the mainland, the government would try to make HK more Communist. In fact, however, the opposite has happened. The breakneck pace at which capitalism is burgeoning through China bodes well for more political participation, not less.

With respect to this post, access to Iraqi oil has nothing to do with democracy. It has everything to do with installing leaders who will let the U.S. control the oil. That's not democracy. The fantasy that a Constitution makes a democracy is not borne out in so many countries. Iran and Egypt both have Constitutions and neither can be remotely considered a democracy.

And, as to the entire point of this post, what good does it do for America if Iraqis can vote for their leaders, but the U.S. in financially bankrupt? Everything is about economics. Ideology is just a tool to get people to fight the rich man's battle.

 
At 9:49 AM, October 06, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, there is a cost associated with the war on terror, but there would also be a cost to a withdrawal from Iraq; emboldened terrorist groups with momemtum on thier side, and an unknowable level of insecurity here in the United States. 9-11 was the cost of years of inactivity against growing terrorist threats. After another 9-11, would we have to start the fight over from scatch?

 
At 11:30 PM, March 02, 2012 , Blogger Nike said...

Measure your bare foot from collezione hogan heel Moncler Outlet to the longest toe or you can place your bare foot against the wall then using a pencil mark the top of your toe and acquire correct measurement.It is really difficult to find a suitable pair of hogan, Belstaff Clothing so be sure to try wearing the hogan again and again until the appropriate pair turn up.Light in weight and unique in style these hogans maximizes comfort level and mark Nike Air Max Shoes their advent as one of the trendiest statement pieces in today's world of fashion.With a clear scientific research it has been found that light hogan are of great help in toning your muscular activity and ensures correct posture while standing or at work.If you do use anything damp when cleaning, Belstaff Mens Bags let your hogans dry out thoroughly before applying any type of wax or oil to them.

 
At 9:48 PM, December 05, 2014 , Blogger oakleyses said...

polo ralph lauren, prada outlet, oakley vault, christian louboutin shoes, cheap oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet online, true religion, michael kors outlet, coach outlet, prada handbags, michael kors outlet online, chanel handbags, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany jewelry, gucci handbags, burberry outlet online, kate spade outlet, michael kors outlet online, coach outlet store online, michael kors handbags, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet online, tiffany and co jewelry, longchamp outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet store, louis vuitton, nike air max, longchamp outlet, red bottom shoes, true religion outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet online, nike outlet, ray ban outlet, christian louboutin, nike free, nike air max, burberry outlet online, kate spade outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, coach outlet, longchamp handbags, louis vuitton handbags, coach purses, christian louboutin outlet

 
At 9:51 PM, December 05, 2014 , Blogger oakleyses said...

converse pas cher, nike roshe run, hermes pas cher, nike roshe, true religion outlet, ray ban pas cher, north face, nike air force, guess pas cher, mulberry, scarpe hogan, hollister, true religion jeans, ralph lauren pas cher, ralph lauren, sac michael kors, burberry pas cher, hollister, louis vuitton pas cher, michael kors uk, oakley pas cher, air max pas cher, nike free, michael kors canada, louis vuitton, nike air max, sac vanessa bruno, nike air max, chaussure louboutin, north face pas cher, vans pas cher, air jordan, nike blazer pas cher, longchamp pas cher, sac louis vuitton, louis vuitton uk, lululemon, tn pas cher, longchamp, air max, ray ban uk, lacoste pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, timberland, new balance pas cher, barbour, nike free pas cher

 
At 9:57 PM, December 05, 2014 , Blogger oakleyses said...

babyliss, new balance outlet, replica watches, vans outlet, mcm handbags, celine handbags, beats headphones, nike trainers, nfl jerseys, giuseppe zanotti, jimmy choo shoes, ugg boots, birkin bag, asics shoes, canada goose outlet, ferragamo shoes, insanity workout, nike huarache, chi flat iron, hollister, abercrombie and fitch, uggs outlet, north face jackets, north face jackets, mac cosmetics, soccer jerseys, canada goose outlet, uggs outlet, uggs on sale, bottega veneta, instyler ionic styler, ugg boots clearance, nike roshe, valentino shoes, lululemon outlet, ugg, marc jacobs outlet, ugg outlet, longchamp, ghd, reebok shoes, ugg soldes, p90x workout, soccer shoes, wedding dresses, mont blanc pens, herve leger, canada goose outlet, canada goose

 
At 10:04 PM, December 05, 2014 , Blogger oakleyses said...

ugg, gucci, canada goose, iphone 6 case, hollister canada, vans, canada goose, swarovski uk, pandora jewelry, air max, ray ban, pandora charms, moncler, timberland shoes, moncler outlet, moncler, canada goose, replica watches, louis vuitton canada, uggs canada, coach outlet, juicy couture outlet, converse shoes, thomas sabo uk, nike air max, juicy couture outlet, ralph lauren, hollister clothing, moncler, hollister, supra shoes, louboutin, toms outlet, oakley, canada goose pas cher, parajumpers outlet, moncler, wedding dress, baseball bats, converse, swarovski jewelry, links of london uk, lancel, moncler outlet, pandora uk, karen millen, moncler, montre femme

 
At 6:53 PM, September 23, 2015 , Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 09.24
oakley sunglasses, tiffany jewelry, tory burch outlet, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet, replica watches, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet, burberry, polo ralph lauren outlet, replica watches, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin outlet, oakley sunglasses, nike air max, gucci outlet, louis vuitton, michael kors outlet, ugg boots, tiffany and co, cheap oakley sunglasses, longchamp, longchamp outlet, prada outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin outlet, prada handbags, ugg boots, nike air max, ugg boots, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, ugg boots, nike outlet, michael kors, jordan shoes, louboutin

 
At 6:56 PM, September 23, 2015 , Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

burberry, new balance pas cher, michael kors, coach outlet, sac longchamp, true religion jeans, mulberry, oakley pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, louboutin pas cher, ralph lauren uk, nike free run uk, north face, true religion jeans, michael kors, ray ban pas cher, true religion jeans, sac guess, nike air max, air jordan pas cher, vans pas cher, nike air max, nike free, tn pas cher, coach factory outlet, air max, coach purses, nike roshe run, chanel handbags, coach outlet, hollister pas cher, converse pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, north face, true religion outlet, nike blazer, hogan, kate spade outlet, hermes, longchamp pas cher, lululemon, nike air max, timberland, nike free, hollister, michael kors, michael kors, kate spade handbags, air force, ray ban uk, lacoste pas cher

 
At 6:59 PM, September 23, 2015 , Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

instyler, nike air max, oakley, ferragamo shoes, herve leger, jimmy choo shoes, nike huarache, giuseppe zanotti, celine handbags, mcm handbags, hollister, north face outlet, ray ban, beats by dre, hollister, converse outlet, vans shoes, nike roshe, hollister, soccer shoes, lancel, ralph lauren, louboutin, insanity workout, valentino shoes, new balance, wedding dresses, mont blanc, abercrombie and fitch, asics running shoes, reebok shoes, chi flat iron, longchamp, nike air max, nike trainers, north face outlet, converse, p90x workout, soccer jerseys, vans, timberland boots, mac cosmetics, lululemon, ghd, baseball bats, nfl jerseys, birkin bag, nike roshe, gucci, babyliss, iphone 6 cases, bottega veneta, vanessa bruno

 
At 7:01 PM, September 23, 2015 , Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

pandora jewelry, marc jacobs, moncler outlet, coach outlet, canada goose, replica watches, bottes ugg, michael kors outlet online, canada goose, pandora charms, wedding dresses, ugg boots uk, doudoune canada goose, canada goose outlet, moncler, karen millen, louis vuitton, moncler, links of london, pandora jewelry, moncler, michael kors outlet, toms shoes, moncler, barbour, ugg pas cher, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, louis vuitton, supra shoes, swarovski crystal, juicy couture outlet, montre pas cher, thomas sabo, doke gabbana outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, canada goose, louis vuitton, moncler, sac louis vuitton pas cher, canada goose outlet, swarovski, michael kors handbags, hollister, canada goose uk, juicy couture outlet, moncler, moncler, canada goose, louis vuitton, barbour jackets, pandora charms
ninest123 09.24

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home