August 23, 2007

The President, Iraq and Vietnam

Mac Owens

The president has taken a lot of heat for his reference to Vietnam in yesterday's speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. it appears to be the case that he is the only person in the United States who is not permitted to refer to Vietnam when speaking about Iraq. My take on the reaction to his VFW speech is here on NRO. The title of the NRO piece refers, of course, to Bugs Bunny's second best known line: "What a maroon."

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Precious few of the neocons actually served. Not difficult to see why some might be offended.

Posted by: PDM at August 23, 2007 7:23 PM

I served. In fact my first night in boot camp was election night November 3, 1992. I recall quite clearly when the Company Commander came into the squad bay and said "I regret to inform you that Bill Clinton will be your Commander-in-Chief" and a collective groan went up among the 125 of us in the room.

I'd say between 7 and 9 out of every 10 people I served with were Conservative, neo or otherwise.

I sometimes wonder why there were so few liberal service members.

Posted by: Greg at August 23, 2007 7:50 PM

So, PDM. You are a Libertarian. I'm not sure a Libertarian has ever commented here. Why did you become a Libertarian? Does the Libertarian party have much of a presence here in Rhode Island and will you support Michael Badnarik in the primary if he runs again?

Posted by: SusanD at August 23, 2007 8:24 PM

I served as an MP in the US Army. My experience was more Sgt. Bilko than Sgt. Rock.

Susan - actually I am aries. I am conservative. I am constitutionalist. Without that , there is not much to conserve.

Posted by: PDM at August 23, 2007 10:01 PM

From Mac's NRO article: "the president’s reference to Vietnam [had to do with] the consequences of defeat: the abandonment of allies to the tender mercies of Vietnamese and Cambodian Communists, resulting in the death of millions in Cambodia and thousands in Vietnam, the “boat people,” and re-education camps."

I thought that GWB made that very clear. The detractors have misrepresented the comparison that the President presented to the country.

He could just as well as made the comparison with our temporary abandonment of the Kurds a decade ago. Or with Fallujah more recently. Or with certain parts of Afghanistan's southeast provinces. The people there know a thing or two about what abandonment would mean for all of Iraq.

In fact, GWB could have made the comparision with Iran where the very same tactics now used by Al Qaeda were "perfected" as extensions of the radical islamist takeover of that country by liquidating opponents, each in bloody turn.

Or how about Hezbollahistan?

The choice is a strategic choice, but above all it is a matter of moral principle to now help Iraqis to stand-up before we stand-down -- in the defence of liberty and security for Iraqis and for ourselves.

Are we supposed to choose defeat over victory?

How would that be a morally superior option, the detractors don't actually say.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi president is making progress toward turning the country's factions against their common enemy.

Yes, they have met the enemy, and, no, he is not us. I don't believe the Iraqis would choose them over us so why should we choose them over the Iraqis?

The detractors don't say.

Posted by: Chairm at August 24, 2007 12:15 AM
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