Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A New Chance To Win The Vietnam War

Its ok now to say that Iraq is like Vietnam, because we're refighting that war and we'll win this time. At least that seems to be the new meme.

I've met people who felt the US needed a do-over for Vietnam, that sending 50,000 more boys off to die, would be worth it if it helped Americans feel better about themselves. Not to mention that guys who love this idea are keen on how it will inflate their egos.

But I never thought this was a good reason for trying again to win such a war of conquest, to gain an empty victory.

If we ever made the sacrifices needed to really win in Iraq, what is it we'd win? Would it be a chance to sacrifice more, to rebuild what we have destroyed?

We've dropped every definition of victory that we have used over the past three years. Now we retain the word, but we have no idea what 'Victory' is in Iraq.

If 'Victory' is defined as defeating the insurgency, then that implies grinding the Iraqi people so deeply into the dirt, that they lose their will to govern their own lives. We have to force them to give up the idea of 'freedom'. Only when we crush their dream of 'Freedom', will that stop trying to wrest their 'Freedoms' back from us.

If this is the goal, we need more than a million new recruits in Iraq. 30,000 won't be enough to press the Iraqi people into slavery.

As I see it, the American people aren't prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to enslave the Iraqi people. As far as I can tell, only our greedy leaders crave this goal. So why are we trying to do this, with a plan that is doomed to fail?

The Keane-Kagan plan is not revolutionary. Rather, it is an application of a counterinsurgency approach that has proved to be effective elsewhere, notably in Vietnam. There, Gen. Creighton Abrams cleared out the Viet Cong so successfully that the South Vietnamese government took control of the country. Only when Congress cut off funds to South Vietnam in 1974 were the North Vietnamese able to win.


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