Thursday, August 24, 2006

Vietnam versus Iraq: A Fair Comparison (Part 2)

Allow me to take a fast second to remind you, the audience, that what follows was written in 1968, shortly after the Tet Offensive.

That being said, I resume where I left off.
-Comrade Kevin.

  • [A] fateful combination of myth and experience seemed to me to expose Americans to the temptation of believing that they were somehow immune from the forces of history, that "history is something unpleasant that happens to other people," and that it lay within their power to compel history to conform to the patterns of their dreams and illusions.

  • In the meantime, the innocence and virtue with which we assume American virtues are natively endowed, especially in relations with other nations, had become a stock subject of jeers and ridicule even among our friends and allies. Not only were we threatened with failure and defeat in a commitment of national honor, but we were convicted of guilt and perfidy in the court of world opinion.

  • With more power than ever before, more than any nation has ever had, we enjoy LESS security than we did in the era of National weakness.

  • And we have found that all our power and fabulous weaponry can be ineffective in a war with a weak and underdeveloped nation torn up by a civil war of its own.

  • -C. Van Woodward, 1968.

    The current administration seems to have conveniently forgotten many lessons of Vietnam. Let us hope that a wiser generation of Baby Boomers now in positions of power will reverse the course we have taken.

    Tomorrow, I focus primarily on how anti-war attitudes on the Left haven't changed all that much since Vietnam. I will propose a more effective means by which we can get our point across to the American people.

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