10.03.2006

No Shit, Sherlock.

Via Editor & Publisher:

NEW YORK Appearing with Larry King on his CNN show Monday night, Bob Woodward repeated much of what has already come out from his new book "State of Denial," but also added new information and commentary.

Highlighting why he feels so strongly about the book, he said the alternate title for it was, "Crisis." He explained: "This is a big war. Henry Kissinger said this is more important that Vietnam." Woodward said of the war: "It's going south."
Perhaps my view here is a bit skewed (Vietnam was over before I was born) but one would think that you don't need Henry Kissinger to tell you that the War in Iraq is more important than Vietnam.

Le me be the first to say that the most important war is the one you're currently fighting - especially for the people doing the fighting, Vietnam vets or those serving right now in Iraq.

That said, the major reason that Iraq is more important is that Vietnam was an unimportant piece of realastate. Granted, Vietnam was seen as part of a larger conflict, the 'Global War on Communism' if you will. But failure in Vietnam didn't mean the loss of any vital resources. While a Communist victory in Vietnam may have been a propaganda victory for the Soviets, they would have little of strategic value to show for the victory.

Vietnam didn't sit on top of 15% of the world's known oil reserves. Vietnam didn't share a border with an emerging world power as Iraq does with Iran. Vietnam wasn't smack in the middle of one of the most volatile and important regions in the world. Vietnam didn't have a Kurdish population antagonizing an E.U. state which shares a 220 mile border.

Most importantly, Vietnam wasn't a training ground for young men determined to spread anti-American and anti-Western violence around the globe. The Vietnam conflict was contained. The War in Iraq exports violence around the region, around the globe, and has made life on American soil more dangerous.

1 comment:

Jon Harrison said...

Iraq has become important as a result of our invading and destabilizing it. There was no terrorist threat from Iraq under Saddam Hussein. It's oil reserves are important, but not worth the grinding down of the Army and Marines to the point where their combat effectiveness is imperiled.

We would be better off leaving Iraq to its own devices. When we leave, the insurgents and terrorists will turn upon one another. They aren't going to come for us here, they are going to kill each other. More power to them in that!

It is quite correct that Vietnam was of no strategic importance to the U.S. Neither, in fact, is Iraq, oil or no oil. In both Vietnam and Iraq, pressure groups (the China Lobby as regards Vietnam, the Israel Lobby as regards Iraq) were crucial in goading the U.S. government into armed intervention. The gullability of the U.S. public - its inability to see deeply into the political background of U.S. foreign policy - allows these pressure groups to succeed. The media likewise has failed, but then little is to be expected of journalists.

The blogger, who states he was not born when the Vietnam War ended, should be forgiven for the apparent ignorance he displays on this subject. With age may come wisdom.