The United States lost the Vietnam War not because we didn't kill enough or weren't committed enough or got cheated somehow. We lost because we saw the war the the lens of the Cold War and we were convinced that the conflict was more about a global ideological struggle rather than the nationalist inspirations of the Vietnamese people. When Robert McNamara sat down with the foreign minister of Vietnam, a fellow named Thach, in 1995 he asked why the Vietnamese had fought so doggedly losing 3 to 4 million people to expell the Americans. To our way of thinking it seems so stupid and McNamara said as much to Thach. Thach replied:
"Mr. McNamara, You must never have read a history book. If you'd had, you'd know we weren't pawns of the Chinese or the Russians. McNamara, didn't you know that? Don't you understand that we have been fighting the Chinese for 1000 years? We were fighting for our independence. And we would fight to the last man. And we were determined to do so. And no amount of bombing, no amount of U.S. pressure would ever have stopped us."
In the last week I have read a couple of op-ed pieces by Henry Kissinger, Peter Rodman and William Sharcross. They point out what a disaster pulling out of Iraq will be and they lament that they real history of the Vietnam War and the American pullout has either not been written or has been missed. I honestly wish them suffer in hell for their words. Kissinger no doubt will be consigned to that imaginary place. But what galls me to no end is the willingness of our leaders to denigrate the idea of democracy and freedom. These bastards do not believe in democracy. They are fixers, like McNamara, smarter then you and I about the realpolitik world that matters. Fuck them. They hate all commoners. They give elitism a bad name.
The lens of deceit that motivates those who argue for our extended presence in Iraq was minted in the lying regime of the Bushies. Stupid is as stupid does and here again we have been sold a story about what Iraq means in the larger global war on terror. Iraq is not about terrorism. Terrorism is about war and terrorism is certainly taking place in Iraq but the terrorists in Iraq are not the one's we need worry about. Why would we allow our enemies to define the time and place of our battles? Why would we encourage the weak minded to become fundamentalist bombs? The lens that we see Iraq through will be proven in a generation to be as clouded as the Cold War lens that we saw Vietnam through. The problem is not in how the question is being defined as much as who is doing the defining. The proles do have enemies. They are here at home and it is these homegrown devils that we have the most to fear from. They are working, whether they want to or not, to deliver us a terrorism war here in America. They don't believe in freedom and they don't believe in anything but power. They will bring us nothing but pain.