The Yellow Dog Blog

More meaningless ramblings from another guy you don't know

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Hitchens to the rescue

It has been one of the left's favorite arguments against any involvement in Iraq - that it will only turn into...ANOTHER VIET NAM. We've heard the invocation of the dreaded term, QUAGMIRE, over and over again in the last year by such stalwarts and Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi along with a rogue's gallery of the usual suspects.

Now comes Christopher Hitchens, one of the clearest and best writers on Iraq since the beginning, to draw clear distinctions between what happened in Viet Nam and the situation in Iraq today.

"Where it is not augmented by depraved Bin Ladenist imports, the leadership and structure of the Iraqi "insurgency" is formed from the elements of an already fallen regime, extensively discredited and detested in its own country and universally condemned. This could not be said of Ho Chin Minh or of the leaders and cadres of the National Liberation Front."

There was no popular uprising in favor of the cause of the Iraqi insurgents (basically, a return to the rule of Saddamites) that predated our involvement. We weren't fighting with a corrupt military-led government that commanded little popular support.

"In Vietnam, the United States relied too much on a pre-existing military caste that often changed the local administration by means of a few tanks around the presidential palace. In the instance of Iraq, the provisional government was criticized, perhaps more than for any other decision, for disbanding the armed forces of the ancien regime, and for declining to use a proxy army as the United States had previously done in Indonesia, Chile, El Salvador, and Greece. Unlike the South Vietnamese, the Iraqi forces are being recruited from scratch."

Read the whole thing. And while it's certainly wishful thinking, this should be the final word on any comparisons between Iraq and Viet Nam.


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