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, September 14, 2006

The lessons of Vietnam: what the wingnuts learned

It's popular, amongst anybody who knows anything, to decry that the Bushies and similar wingnuts apparently did not learn the lessons of Vietnam and the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Otherwise, goes the thinking, the Bushies wouldn't have put our troops into no-win situations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the wingnuts did learn from Vietnam. What the wingnuts learned from Vietnam was simple: that it's not war that Americans dislike. Americans *love* war. What they don't like is wars that are expensive and that kill kids that others care about.

As far as the wingers here in 'Merka are concerned, they learned the lessons of Vietnam just fine. Said lessons being, the reason we lost in Vietnam was because the war was too expensive and the soldiers being killed were a cross-section of Americans. So now they fight wars on the cheap with an all-volunteer army made up of America's untermenschen -- rural crackers from the South and from the Central Valley of California, and Hispanics, for the most part -- people that most Americans never really think about or care about. And they figure that as long as this is true, they can make as much war as they want, in as many places as they want, and the American people won't raise a fuss.

And thus far, they're mostly correct. Nobody's complaining about the death toll amongst American troops in Afghanistan or Iraq, well, except for a few rabid pacifist lefty types of course, but you know how that goes. Not all that many people are even complaining about the expense, which, by historical terms, is almost trivial -- the Vietnam War was sucking up 10% of the U.S. GDP at its peak, the Iraq war isn't even sucking up 2%. If it was just the expense or death toll, there'd be no fuss at all about Bush's policies from the majority of Americans.

Of course, the American people *is* raising a fuss, about Iraq at least. It appears that the Bushies forgot one thing. You just can't *win* a war on the cheap like that. They misunderestimated America's long-term willingness to put up with failure. But the Bushies *were* right -- just not 100% right. America will withdraw from Iraq not because of casualties. America will withdraw from Iraq not because of financial reasons. America will withdraw from Iraq for neither of the reasons that America withdrew from Vietnam. America will withdraw from Iraq because its policy in Iraq has been an utter failure, and the American people will put up with putting lipstick on a pig for only so long.

-Badtux the History Penguin

Posted by: BadTux / 9/14/2006 02:21:00 PM  


they didn't learn shit did they? and the guys who did figure out what was going on, john paul vann, david hackworth, larry evans, and a few other brave commanders who were actually out in the field getting shot at with the rest of us all got drummed out. there was nothing that was on the table in paris that wasn't on the table in 1958 before we escalated ourselves into a full on hobo clusterfuck. the most visible result of our 15 year intervention was that the victors from the north were vengeful, angry and almost psychotically implacable. one of the biggest mistakes of u.s. military evaluations is that they take a point of view which regards us as the only actors on the stage capable of independant action. if we had only done this, or if that had happened. like the enemy would not have adapted and overcome that strategy also. and now, we have these revisionists making a hash of our current policy. mercy.
# posted by The Minstrel Boy : 14/9/06 3:20 PM  

You're doing great Tux, keep up the good work.
# posted by BBC : 14/9/06 7:34 PM  

In the neocon mind, this war is also a repeat of Vietnam. They see "teh lefties" losing the war from dissent and protests and a "liberal media". Many still contend that Vietnam would have been won had we just "stayed the course"

Considering that the country was lost to the evil communists and we now are Vietnam's largest trade partner, it just seems to me to be a tragic loss of human life for no long term advantage. There's a difference betweeen sticking your thumb in the dike and sticking it it the wood chipper.
# posted by NewsBlog 5000 : 15/9/06 5:51 AM  

I also shop at Walmart. Not many choices in this town, I have friends that work there and they need the jobs and like the work. Benefits could be better though. Like every thing else, Walmart is an evolution and will continue to exist until someone else starts doing a better job.

But I don’t spend anymore money there than I do other places, I spread it around and look for the best value, and the best value isn’t always at Walmart.
# posted by BBC : 15/9/06 7:26 AM  

It breaks my heart when people I know say that "it's a volunteer army" and I should stop worrying about it cause they "wanted to go".

I say bring back the draft.
# posted by BlondeSense Liz : 16/9/06 6:43 AM  

Sometimes, BT, you scare the shit out of me. And this is one of those times.

'Scuse me wilst I change my boxers...
# posted by Mimus Pauly : 16/9/06 10:35 AM  

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