June 30, 2005

Richard Cohen Looks At Iraq, Sees Vietnam - Sigh!

I watched Edward R. Murrow as a kid, I liked Edward R. Murrow, I wanted to be Edward R. Murrow (when I didn't want to be a truck driver) and you, Richard Cohen, are no Edward R. Murrow.

In today's WaPo editorial section Cohen makes the argument that he has long fought against the Iraq = Vietnam Quagmire meme but now, that he has listened to President Bush, he is a believer that it is indeed another Vietnam.

Well, let us look at the record that you have left behind and then at your current arguments Mr. Cohen. From your current column:

About two years ago I sat down with a colleague and explained why Iraq was not going to be Vietnam. Iraq lacked a long-standing nationalist movement and a single charismatic leader like Ho Chi Minh. The insurgents did not have a sanctuary like North Vietnam, which supplied manpower, materiel and leadership, and the rebel cause in Iraq -- just what is it, exactly? -- was not worth dying for. On Tuesday President Bush proved me wrong. Iraq is beginning to look like Vietnam.
Ok, there is still no long standing nationalist movement, there is still not a single charismatic leader. The terrorists do have sanctuary in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Iran however. And what did you say about the "rebel cause" not being worth dying for? You mean Mr. Cohen, that islamofascists have not been committing suicide bombings until recently and this helped convince you that Iraq = Vietnam? Really, you don't mean that do you... 'cause I thought those murdering bastards have been collecting their 72 virgins, peanuts, whatever, for a long-assed time.

In '03 you did indeed argue:

...the differences may be more important. Among them is the nature of the insurgency. The Vietnamese independence movement was both long-standing and widespread. (Ho Chi Minh lobbied for independence from France at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.) That cannot be said about whoever is behind the Iraq terrorism attacks -- bitter-end Baathists or Islamic zealots taking a short cut to heaven. Neither embodies Iraqi national aspirations.
You also noted:
That some people think we are is evident from a quick scan of the Nexis database. It shows more than 800 links in the past week alone where the words "Iraq" and "Vietnam" appeared together. Some of them are surely my own since in certain limited respects, I, too, have made the comparison.
What, you were comparing them in '03... Why Mr. Cohen! And, you ended that column with:
As Sept. 11 proved, the world is a lot more dangerous now than it was in the Vietnam era. The danger is not just "over there" but right here as well. So it was all the more stunning that the Bush administration went to war with a cockamamie plan for what was to follow, a muddle of wishful thinking that history will judge criminally stupid.

Finally, where Iraq is really different from Vietnam: There can be no premature, chaotic and shameful withdrawal. In the end, Vietnam didn't matter. Iraq does.

Well, Mr. Cohen, that was then, and since then you have upped the Iraq = Vietnam Quagmire too frequently for you today to say that you haven't supported that notion until you heard the President's speech. In fact, not too long ago, you wrote:
"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" a young John Kerry asked back in 1971 about the war in Vietnam. Now it is all these years later and a different war is starting to look more and more like the one Kerry came to question.
In the beginning, Mr. Cohen was what was called a "War Liberal," in other words, a liberal who still supported the idea of taking out Saddam and the Taliban. Indeed Cohen made some fairly decent arguments in favor of the war, even if he didn't like Bush, Republicans, or Rumsfeld, let alone Cheney or Halliburton. Yet, here he is today singing the Vietnam song and I have to wonder why?

Well, here's my theory, and mind you, its only a theory, but there seems to be some rational reason for it. You see, it's all the fault of the Beaver. And Father, who knows best, and Pa Cartwight, and Donna Reed, and Matt Dillion and Pallidin, and Karl Maulden in the Streets of San Francisco and all those other TV shows in the 50's and 60's that stated the problem, worked on the problem and solved the problem in 1 hour or less. So many of those who grew up in that time frame now expect decades long problems such as the war on terror to be solved in a similar expiditious manner. So too does Mr. Cohen who after resisting lo these many months, now see that he was wrong as wrong could be and Iraq really is like Vietnam, that we really are in a quagmire that its all the Bushies fault.

Mr. Cohen, go back to school, you need more education on the history of war, on the concept of strategy, on history for that matter. This isn't like Vietnam, for the same reasons that you stated in '03. This is a global war, like WWII but unlike WWII it is not against a state, it is against an ideology that wants to do nothing but destroy anyone and anything that does not accept their fundamentalist crap. This may, in fact, be another 100 years war and you and your like thinking buddies better get used to that fact, or you better purchase your prayer rugs now.

Posted by GM Roper at June 30, 2005 11:15 PM | TrackBack

The Iraq war is even worse than Vietnam: we're losing it much faster at this stage than when we were at the same stage in Vietnam.

Also, we have more censorship, a dumber president, a dumber citizenry, and a stronger enemy (although, I don't consider Iraqis my enemy, and I see Bush as the terrorist).

Posted by Corruption Exposer at June 30, 2005 11:54 PM

I think the problem lies with your malice for the commander in chief CE. In many countries making statements like that will get you arrested, beaten and sometimes even killed. You should feel fortunate that you live in a country with the lack of censorship we do.

I do, however, recognize that you are following the Daily KOS handbook rather closely. That IS your moonbat mothership, is it not?

As for you ignorant Vietnam references. They don't hold enough water to fill a thimble. The only resemblance to vietnam that I can see is how the liberal/democrats are trying to pipe in the same failure rhetoric they piped in during Vietnam. Hell, they even have they original guy himself, Kerry.

Lokk, something you may not realize is that we are actually doing something over there. They have a stabalizing government. They have more elections coming soon. They are training more and more people to be Iraqi soldiers in spite of the terrorists threatening their lives. These Iraqis want their freedom from terrorists.

When you read this and want to respond with a misrepresented quip, or a single pointed assault on one point of what I have just laid out do the world a favor and think again. Read the whole piece for what it is. Pulling out a single non-factoid only validates the rest of the argument and you will lose, just like your DUmocratic party is doing.

Posted by Jeremy at July 1, 2005 01:20 AM

Corruption Exposer... interesting name to choose. Perhaps the corruption you choose to "expose" to the world is from your dark little pinko commie heart that is rotten to the core. But I digress.

Your little troll droppings I assume are more intended to inflame passions here at GM's than reflect any real beliefs or convictions that you hold.

For instance, you say that we are losing the Iraq conflict faster at this "stage" than when we were at the same "stage" in Vietnam. Pray tell what exactly that means? Do you mean that after comparing the first three years of each conflict you have come up with ths magic formula to determine "victory"? I believe that if you truly hold that dear and true to your heart that you are nothing more than a Bush-hating defeatist who hates the Bush and the Republican party so much that you actually have an entire cheering section for the our enemies in the hopes that the U.S. loses and you and your democratic liberal communist allies can further take this country down the road to destruction.

Censorship? Bah! Apparently you have never studied WWII and the amount of "censorship" that the military and the government wielded then. You would not see as much defeatist language in the press back then as you see today I guarentee.

A dumber president? If I remember correctly he got better grades than the Democratic nominee while in college.

A dumber citizenry? I might concede that to a point. I do believe that a majority of Americans are oblivious to the Iraq conflict and are not personally affected by what is going on there. Are they dumber? Not the right word. Blissfully ignorant. More likely. But alot of Americans have more information through the internet and are better informed now than in Vietnam. The fact the MSM tries daily to undermine the war effort by running the latest casualties non-stop.

I do not hold the Iraqis as our enemies either. The majority of the insurgency are Islamofascists, both Iraqi and foreigners, and I do consider those people my enemy. As for being stronger than the North Vietnamese or Viet Cong, that is laughable. Numbers wise the NVA, and the Viet Cong until the failed Tet Offensive, were superior in numbers to the Iraqi insurgency so the NVA beats out the insurgents. The NVA followed a strong nationalist desire to create one Vietnam albiet under communist rule, and the Islamofascists desire to create a one world caliphate under sharia law. I think that is a tie on strength of conviction. So just looking at those two items you want think you want the insurgents to be stronger in your own little mind.

And Bush as the terrorists. This is little bit of info is all I really needed to know about you. Only a died-in-the-wool bleeding heart latte-sipping basement-communist would see Bush as the terrorist. A man who frees to countries from the hands of totalitarian regimes who truly tortured and murdered its citizens (not just turning up the temp or flushing a book) and allowed the seeds of democracy to be sown there would be considered an enemy of such democracy.

At home, Corruption Exposer, you are my enemy. You wish the failure of the United States and its allies in a time of war. You bleet out "quagmire" and "Vietnam" in the hopes that you and your leftist brethren can bring America another defeat. But myself and many other true Americans who love this country are not going to let you. It is people like us who remember how you guys created a culture in this country who would spit on soldiers and call them baby killers. This time you are not going to have your way without a fight...

Posted by Duncan Avatar at July 1, 2005 07:50 AM

Game, Set, Match.....checkmate......it's going way waaaaaaayy baaaaccckk...and It IS GONE!!!!!! and the giants win the pennant, the giants win the pennant....cleanup on aisle 5, we have shredded moonbat flung EVERYWHERE!!!!!

Just a few examples of phrases that let you know that someone has won, and someone else got SMACKED THE HELL DOWN!!!!!!!!

Posted by Kender at July 1, 2005 08:33 AM

all corruption exposer is exposing is a complete ignorance of the history of the vietnam war and what is truly going on in iraq.

how can anyone who has his head buried next to his colon and lives with utter hatred and disregard for our country, its leaders, and its police, and its military have an accurate view of what is going on in iraq?

seriously, the only news this troll reads is disseminated by people who frequent the DU, Micheal Moore, MoveOn.org realm.

So why assign him any relevance? He is full of sh*t and he can't prove otherwise, how can you when your world view originates from Berekley, CA?

Posted by jcrue at July 1, 2005 09:50 AM

In Vietnam we lost a total of over 58,000 troops, and there are still MIA POWs. In Iraq over a 3-year period we've lost less than we lose to breast cancer or who die in SUV's in one year. I don't understand how it's "worse than at this stage" when we were in Vietnam. Exactly what stage is that, Mr. Know-it-all? In 1969, U.S. combat deaths in Vietnam exceed the 33,629 men killed in the Korean War. How exactly does that compare to 1700 dead in Iraq?

I don't see today as much different than yesterday--it's the same communist voices--you know, the anti-war people like Jane Fonda and John Kerry who don't even conceal that they're commies anymore--who complain about american imperialism just like the terrorists we're fighting.

Too many leftists are repeating the "vietnam" and "quagmire" meme. Don't you realize that it was the anti-war activists who conspired with the enemy and which prompted our withdrawal from Vietnam? Up until then, we were winning the war in Vietnam. The communists credit the media and the anti-war people with their "win"--not to things that were accomplished in the battlfield.

Oh I get it. It's worse today because there are more people aware of the left's agenda and conservatives are better organized to fight it. Well on that score, you're right.

Bush rattled the terrorists so badly that the terrorists issued an unprecedented response: they're so concerned about their "image" that they immediately announced the creation of an "All-Iraqi Suicide Bombing Brigade".

heh. Everybody knows Al Qaeda is comprised of foreign fighters who were somehow lured with khat and money to fight American interests. Or perhaps they're just muslims who want to murder the Christian crusaders.

The rhetoric is the exact same whether it's socialists/communists or terrorists. The Baathists were members of the Iraq Socialist party. They all stand for the same thing; totalitarianism and the destruction of freedom. The difference, though, between the American left and the Islamofascists is--once they have the upper hand, the Islamofascists will go after everyone else.

Posted by Cao at July 1, 2005 10:36 AM

Boy, oh boy...communism has been viewed as a bankrupt philosophy for what, 60 years or so now, and Cao stills sees commies under every bed. How loony is that?

And when he says "Bush rattled terrorists so bad...", well, I have to laugh. Taking out the Taliban was entirely justified, and had a positive effect on the region and the world, vis a vis American interests. Iraq has had the opposite effect, giving Bin Laden exactly what he wanted...the best recruiting tool for terrorists he could have asked for, with Bush the poster boy. Suggest you read the latest CIA report. And then tell me, please, how the increased terrorism we have helped generate strengthens the hands of the governments in the region we CAN deal with.

"The rhetoric is the exact same whether it's socialists/communists or terrorists."

Well, on that we agree. With the commies it was "if we don't stop 'em in Nicaragua, the next thing you know they'll be at the Texas border. How laughable was THAT?

Same nonsense with the Islamo's...we must fight them over there, to prevent them from coming over here!

Well, excuse me boys, but your giving those nutcases a relevancy and stature that they just wouldn't have otherwise. The invasion just ain't gonna happen. Armageddon just ain't around the corner, no matter how eager many of you seem to be for it.

Which leaves, what, for the enemy, now that invading our shores is out of the question? Do you really think further terrorist attacks on our shores are going to magically convert our citizens to a Islamic fundamentalist beleif system? Puh-leeze! It ain't going to happen.

Are our troops on a noble mission in Iraq? Damn straight. Will democracy spread through the middle east like a wildfire? Well, most likely not in our lifetimes. Are we stuck in Iraq until we can assure that
we have not helped create an Islamic state where one did not exist before? Yes.

But, guys, you really have to take a hard look at your rhetoric if you want to be taken seriously.

Posted by jim hitchcock at July 1, 2005 12:47 PM

Your Vietnam theory ain't too convincing GM. I doubt you find that much more support for the war among those raised in the 40's or 30's. There never has been much support for the invasion or current occupation of Iraq...

Posted by steve at July 1, 2005 07:12 PM

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