Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Stab in the back

Sigh. The neo-cons never seem to learn. According to them, the only reason we lost in Vietnam was because we didn't "stay the course". Because we "didn't use enough force" because our troops were "stabbed in the back" by dastardly liberals. Thus we can somehow "win" in Iraq, unlike in Vietnam, because our Dear Leader is "resolute" and will "stay the course" and "use enough force." Maroons. The whole bunch of'em. Reality, of course, was somewhat different.

Enough of the nonsense about how "we coulda shoulda won in Vietnam, if we'd just stayed the course." We killed probably 5,000,000 North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, and never came close to defeating them. We probably would have needed to kill three times that -- i.e., genocide -- to "win" domination over a defoliated landscape of demolished buildings and bones, but it's unclear, short of nuclear weapons, that we had the ability to do that even if we'd wanted to become a nation of mass murderers. And nuclear weapons would have meant WWIII with the Soviets.

Indeed, by the end of the war we were effectively bankrupt (at the peak of the war over 15% of the U.S. economy was going to pay for the war) and our army, the best in the world in 1965, had largely disintegrated into a poorly-led armed rabble more interested in scoring heroin than in killing NVA. This wasn't an issue of "staying the course". We had nothing left to stay the course with -- no army left that was worth the name (yes, there were still a few well-led units, but most of the army in 1972 was worthless), and no money to equip and pay them. We were defeated.

Get this straight, people: THE NORTH VIETNAMESE WHIPPED US. They bankrupted us just as badly as the Afghans bankrupted the Soviet Union. The stagflation of the 1970's was the U.S. Treasury frantically printing dollar bills in order to inflate the currency to the point where the Treasury didn't have to default on the Vietnam War debt, the act of a bankrupt nation repudiating its dept in the only way that modern nation-states ever seem to do, by printing money. We were whipped, folks. The "stab in the back" historical revisionist nonsense put out by the neocons is just as stupid and ill-informed as the "stab in the back" nonsense put out by Hitler (i.e., that the Jews "stabbed Germany in the back" and that's why Germany lost WWI).

But still, I hear this "stab in the back" myth for the Vietnam loss passed around neo-con circles like some piece of wisdom received from God Himself. The fact that 15% of the largest economy on the planet wasn't enough to win the war... the fact that the Vietnam War lasted longer than any of our nation's other wars and thus was hardly "cut and run"... those little facts just don't register on their little war-mongering minds. No wonder they persist in urging us to "stay the course" in Iraq, and why they want us to get involved into yet another guerilla war in southern Lebanon -- they haven't learned the lessons of Vietnam because they REFUSE TO SEE THEM. No blindness like willful blindness, I suppose...

-- Badtux the History Penguin

Posted by: BadTux / 7/27/2006 01:17:00 AM  


*gasp* These stabs in the back are responsible for Murka's lack of a clear-cut victory in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why do you hate Murka's troops so much?
# posted by K. Ron Silkwood : 27/7/06 9:28 AM  

Badtux, you got right again. Dubya's sucking our pockets dry.
The top four largest federal budget deficits in US History courtesy of King TexShit.
1. 2004 - $413 billion
2. 2003 - $378 billion
3. 2005 - $318 billion
3. 2006 - $296 billion
And it's worse than these numbers indicate because they do not include the $200 billion or so we're borrowing from the Social Security surplus. So the real deficit this year is more like $500 billion, or nearly a quarter of the federal budget.
For every four dollars Uncle Sam is spending, three come from taxes and one is borrowed from our children.
And the interest on that debt you ask? Currently around $350 billion a year.

This administration has absolutely no regard for the future.
It would be like me, who lives on a multi-generation family farm, living it up big on money borrowed against the property, and leaving nothing to my son. Blowing everything those before me worked so hard to achieve.

Hey Cheney! Can I borrow your gun?
# posted by cornfield jane : 27/7/06 2:37 PM  

What none of you ever consider is the fact that we cannot just leave the country in disarray. It takes time to train troops, but we are on our way. Use all the numbers and figures you want. The establishment of a stable Iraq is more important than most of you would like to admit.
# posted by Matt : 27/7/06 3:46 PM  

bad tux, one of the biggest wake up calls i ever had came a few months after the tet offensive. during tet we had a kill ratio of over 10 to 1, we produced even more unholy slaughter in the A Shau and other places and, in the final reckoning we still controlled less than 25% of the territory of the south. which is the exact same amount of control that we had in 1965 before the escalations. so, beyond killing thousands upon thousands, and totally leveling a city here and there, during tet we accomplished absolutely nothing from a military standpoint. we succesfully defended the ground at Khe Sanh and then abandoned it. we drove the Viet Cong out of Hue, and left behind a smoking, stinking ruin. in the end, the result of fifteen years of brutal conflict was the exact same result as we would have gotten in 58 if we had not gone in at all, only this time with a wrathful and implacable Northern victor. Nixon's vaunted bombing campaign (according to Defense Department auditors) spent $1000 for every dollar of damage inflicted. we're doing the same thing here. i have been hearing Macbeth words when ever dubya opens his mouth "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, meaning nothing"

nothing like a little afternoon optomism huh?
# posted by The Minstrel Boy : 27/7/06 4:02 PM  

Matty boy, a stable Iraq will happen when the Iraqis make it happen. We can no more impose a stable Iraq upon Iraq by force, than we could impose a stable South Vietnam upon south Vietnam by force. The best thing we can do now is get the hell out, then pay reparations to whoever comes on top for all the destruction we did to their country. Said reparations would be cheaper than the current course (which is costing over $100 billion dollars a year for... what?), and let's face it, a fat and happy people with a hundred billion dollars worth of new infrastructure are unlikely to do much attacking of America or anybody else for fear of jeopardizing that brand new infrastructure...

But hey, that notion (let the Iraqis settle their own quarrels!) just makes too damned much sense for anybody to listen to it... so we're going to continue pounding the country to sand, until we've bankrupted the nation and destroyed the military, and then all that will be left to do will be the final withdrawal via helicopter from the embassy roof in downtown Saigon oops Baghdad and an implacable enemy in a part of the world where we don't need one...

# posted by BadTux : 27/7/06 4:27 PM  

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I am a black and white and yellow multicolored penguin making his way as best he can in a world of monochromic monkeys.

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