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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Iraq isn't like Viet Nam

Iraq is not like Viet Nam. The liberal cowards have been comparing our present, incredibly ill-advised excursion in the Middle East with our totally awful decision to send troops to Asia 30 years ago. I agree with President Bush when he said recently that the war in Iraq has been a “catastrophic success.” At least I think that the president is half right with that statement.

President Bush is correct in calling the war in Iraq a catastrophe. He could even call it a successful catastrophe which actually makes more sense than saying something is a “catastrophic success.” You could call the war in Iraq a successful disaster, just don’t say that Iraq is like Viet Nam. Republicans are really touchy on that point.

Iraq isn’t like Viet Nam. Our troops face a much greater cultural gulf with the nation hosting our present excursion than U.S. soldiers experienced in Viet Nam. As much of a hellhole that Viet Nam was for our troops at least they could go to Saigon on R&R, get drunk, score some drugs, and get laid. Iraq isn’t like Viet Nam because Iraq is just the hellhole part with no vices. It is like a Mormon idea of hell. R&R for our troops in this war is in Bahrain—the party capital of the Muslim world.

Viet Nam had jungles where the enemy waited to ambush American soldiers. Iraq has urban slums where the enemy waits to ambush American soldiers. That’s a big difference unless you happen to be a U.S. soldier waiting to be ambushed. It is silly for me even to try and illustrate the many, many differences between Iraq and Viet Nam.

Let’s use another analogy for Iraq instead of using another U.S. foreign policy debacle like Viet Nam. Iraq is like a baby bald eagle that we found and are helping to nurse back to health so it can soar on its own. We are nursing the little eagle back to health by using military force and 130 billion dollars of U.S. taxpayer’s money. Who cares that we have sacrificed our credibility in the world to help the baby eagle. It will all be worth it when the eagle can fly off to democracy. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

Maybe Iraq is like Puerto Rico. Iraq is so grateful for our help that they aren’t even sure whether or not they ever want us to leave. Iraq is like Puerto Rico but their basketball team can’t beat us in Olympic competition. It would be easy enough to rewrite Westside Story with Maria as an Iraqi immigrant.

After we leave Iraq, after we have given up on whatever it is we are trying to do there, will we be flooded with Iraqi immigrants who were even remotely sympathetic to our occupation and are now persecuted there? Not that being flooded with persecuted immigrants is such a bad thing—Seattle has lots of great Vietnamese restaurants staffed by our foreign policy failure in their country. We could use some good Iraqi restaurants. Iraqi food is not like Vietnamese food.

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