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View Full Version : Is Iraq turning into another Vietnam?



banquo's_bumble_puppy
2003-Oct-27, 02:00 PM
Okay- this is a simple yes no poll- no comments please.

Humphrey
2003-Oct-27, 06:08 PM
No.

This was discussed somewhat in this (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=8950&postdays=0&postorder=asc&star t=0) thread.


Basically it is nuthing like veitenam. It is not large force on large force combat. There is not a widespread peasant support. The war is over and it is a occupation now.

If you are to relate it to something think of it as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict with less popular support for the Iraqi side.


This is getting close to the border of what should be allowed, so i am going to stop here.


[p.s. I am anti-war in Iraq. But i can still see that it is not Vietnam]

Pi Man
2003-Oct-27, 06:39 PM
Doh! #-o BA's a'gonna lock this one....

(I know... fluff post, but I gotta show my sig somehow!) :lol:

Tito_Muerte
2003-Oct-27, 06:45 PM
I voted 'no'....but, an interesting set of numbers:

Number of US troops who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last two years: 354
Number who died in Vietnam in 1963 and 1964: 324

(source: Harper's Index )

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2003-Oct-27, 07:37 PM
I only wanted numbers. Not commentary...

"Okay- this is a simple yes no poll- no comments please."

Humphrey
2003-Oct-27, 08:27 PM
I feel it is necessary to give a reeason why it was that certain vote. In this poll comentary is necessary.

Jim
2003-Oct-27, 10:08 PM
And I wasn't going to comment, but since others have...

It might be enlightening to break down the votes to show those from folks who lived Vietnam and those who see it as a page or two in their school history books.

Also, you might relate the question to a particular phase of the Vietnam war. (See Tito's and Humphrey's posts for what I mean. They are speaking of two entirely different phases of that war. Iraq at the moment is analogous to 1963-64 in Vietnam, although the attitude is more 1968-69.)

What's interesting is that, despite the Administration's claims to the contrary, the Pentagon has begun to treat Iraq like Vietnam. Troops are on a definite tour of duty and they are given R&R part way through that tour (both designed to keep up morale), the troops are engaged in "winning the hearts and minds" of the populace, the military is being tight-lipped about its own losses and is developing a decidedly "the media are the bad guys" attitude toward reporting, and so far at least, we have no exit strategy beyond "win the war and give the country to the good guys" without clearly defining what that means.

Ilya
2003-Oct-27, 10:23 PM
Iraq at the moment is analogous to 1963-64 in Vietnam, although the attitude is more 1968-69.)

Hardly. We were neither occupying nor administering Vietnam in 1963-64. Actually, at NO time was Vietnam as thoroughly under American domination as Iraq is now.



What's interesting is that, despite the Administration's claims to the contrary, the Pentagon has begun to treat Iraq like Vietnam. Troops are on a definite tour of duty and they are given R&R part way through that tour (both designed to keep up morale), the troops are engaged in "winning the hearts and minds" of the populace, the military is being tight-lipped about its own losses and is developing a decidedly "the media are the bad guys" attitude toward reporting, and so far at least, we have no exit strategy beyond "win the war and give the country to the good guys" without clearly defining what that means.

That's because Administration can not, for political reasons, to come out and say outright "We are now an imperial power, our security depends on dominating Middle East, and we are there to stay."

Do you realize that US is the first hegemonic power in history constantly in search of exit strategies? Did British have an "exist strategy" in India? No, they were there to stay, and stay they did until global geopolitical situation India turned into a liability rather than asset. Surprisingly few people (even among Administration's opponents) admit it, but invasion of Iraq was an "entrance strategy" into Middle East. Not very well thought out strategy, but I happen to agree that we needed one.

I suppose the "exit strategy" is simple - kill or demoralize every Muslim fundamentalist. Which will take about as long as British were in India.

Humphrey
2003-Oct-27, 10:29 PM
Good points Jim.
It is similar to the early vietnam war. But i still do not think it is the same thing. There are parallels of course with what you said Jim, but i disagree with the motivations behind the enemy and the motivations for the allies.
From what i have read from documents on kennedy, johhnson, and Ho chi minh it was not the same type of war we are fighting today, even in its early forms.
After the fall of the french colonial regime we stayed in the country to protect the newly formed south vietnamese govt after the geneva convention seperated the country. We entered into the war itself to stop the spread of communism in the south pacific, or so i got from the documents i read.
The army back then had a large number of draftees, now it is all voluntary. Different types of soldiers.
The north vietnamese had a ideological unification and greater prosperity for Vietnam in mind. They did not want another neocolonial state below them. Plus thewre was communism , russia, and china backing them.

russ_watters
2003-Oct-28, 01:11 AM
Similarities: Um..... can't think of any. Closest thing to a similarity Jim posted was the "winning hearts and minds thing." But thats still a stretch - every war has a psychological aspect. I guess you could say its also an undeclared war. But thats not an unusual distinction these days.

Differences: Type of conflict, tactics, deaths/deathrate, purpose, goals, political situation, local (in Iraq) support, home front support, history, etc.

In short, Iraq is nothing like Vietnam at any stage of that war.

Doodler
2003-Oct-28, 04:08 PM
I posted 'no' yesterday, but to add another difference to the two conflicts.

We're in Iraq with a 100% volunteer force. There is no draft in effect, so much of the upheaval about people being forced to go to war against their will is just not there. As for objectors in uniform, they ought to get an honorable discharge from an M-16 at point blank range, just my $.02.

Secondly, American culture is not in the state of uproar it was in the 60's and 70's. The struggle for domestic support, while not easy, is more manageable. The American people have developed a level of sophistication to hold responsibility in the hands of the leadership in Washington for anything that happens over there, not the people on the ground. Soldiers coming home from duty in the Great Sand Box are not coming home to protests and abuse as many Viet Nam vets were exposed to upon returning. This is quite possibly the MOST important improvement over the the Viet Nam era.

Oh yeah! This time out, as with the last Gulf War, Washington is NOT playing armchair general, letting the leadership in the field do its job without interference. Critical improvement here too.

Different time, different war. I would compare the current occupation more with the Post WWII occupation of Germany than Viet Nam.

SirThoreth
2003-Oct-28, 04:24 PM
I posted 'no' yesterday, but to add another difference to the two conflicts.

We're in Iraq with a 100% volunteer force. There is no draft in effect, so much of the upheaval about people being forced to go to war against their will is just not there. As for objectors in uniform, they ought to get an honorable discharge from an M-16 at point blank range, just my $.02.

Secondly, American culture is not in the state of uproar it was in the 60's and 70's. The struggle for domestic support, while not easy, is more manageable. The American people have developed a level of sophistication to hold responsibility in the hands of the leadership in Washington for anything that happens over there, not the people on the ground. Soldiers coming home from duty in the Great Sand Box are not coming home to protests and abuse as many Viet Nam vets were exposed to upon returning. This is quite possibly the MOST important improvement over the the Viet Nam era.

Oh yeah! This time out, as with the last Gulf War, Washington is NOT playing armchair general, letting the leadership in the field do its job without interference. Critical improvement here too.

Different time, different war. I would compare the current occupation more with the Post WWII occupation of Germany than Viet Nam.

Good points all. I think people tend to forget that the occupation of Germany wasn't all sunshine and roses. We lost people during that, too.

Part of the problem, I think, is that the U.S. military is so incredibly successful and capable on the battlefield, that most Americans tend to get an overinflated opinion of what the military can do. Yes, we're losing people, and, yes, we've lost more in the occupation than in the war itself. But, to be honest, occupations suck. They're never easy. The people we're trying to root out now are the heavily dug-in, hidden fanatics. The major difference between this and Vietnam is that, unlike Vietnam, we have the support of the vast majority of the civilians over there.

So Vietnam? No, I don't think so.


It might be enlightening to break down the votes to show those from folks who lived Vietnam and those who see it as a page or two in their school history books.


I'm only 29, so I wasn't alive during that time period. On the other hand, I have the benefit of being best friends with someone whose dad wasn't only alive during that period, but was ARVN (and, oddly enough, originally from northern Vietnam). Gives me access to an interesting perspective.

russ_watters
2003-Oct-28, 06:13 PM
We're in Iraq with a 100% volunteer force. Damn, how could I forget that one? That's huge.

frenat
2003-Oct-28, 06:38 PM
Heck we're still in Germany! Where's our exit strategy there? :D

SollyLama
2003-Oct-29, 04:08 PM
I say it's not like Vietnam for many of the same reasons others have already listed.
Aspects are though. For example, every single Vietcong was, by definition, a terrorist. Not one could pass the test of the Geneva Convention for being a legitimate combatant. As it is currently with Iraq.
Every single one of them could be tried as a common criminal, not even a war criminal.
Another parallel is tha tthe terrorists in Iraq, like the VC, are fighting against the ideals of the US. They care not a whit about the people of Iraq, except to re-subjegate them. They are not trying to 'liberate' the people from the US- they are simply using the population as shields. At the same time the US is trying to protect the people there.
The current wave of terror there is actually a boon to US intelligence. All these groups are mobilizing and moving around, which is what we need them to do. We can see where they were hiding and how they manage transit, weapons procurement, etc. Essentially you have to kick the beehive to find out how the bees sting.
The other positive aspect (if one can be found) of the attrition is that the US population frankly needed a wake up call. Even planes flying into our buildings didn't seem to snap people out of the LaLa-Land they are living in.
Example: People complain about terrorists getting into the country, but when the administration actually takes steps to stop it, the liberals get all up in arms. The Patriot Act is a good example of people complaining more about the solution than the terror. I guess airplanes as missiles is a better option.......
I don't buy the line that people today don't spit on soldiers because they support them, but not the war. That's like saying that the holocaust was wrong, but the nazi's themselves were okay. It's just a fence sitter, wishy washy position. And being so close to the military (after more than a decade of my own service) I can tell you that the GI's don't buy that ** either. Just more cowardice from people who couldn't be bothered to serve their own country.
America is all about what's trendy. The treatment of soldiers returning from 'Nam was an embarrassment, so now people found a way to cop-out on that too. It's trendy to be anti-US while being from the US. It's all PR, and the hippy wannabes are more concerned with their image than the issues they think they know anything about.

jkmccrann
2005-Nov-01, 01:13 PM
I voted 'no'....but, an interesting set of numbers:

Number of US troops who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last two years: 354
Number who died in Vietnam in 1963 and 1964: 324

(source: Harper's Index )

No, they're not the same and they never will be the same.

I would expect pressure for the exit of American forces to begin to rachet up in the New Year as a new, more independently minded, Iraqi administration comes to power following December elections for a new parliament in Iraq. The ratification of the constitution by the Iraqi people clears the way for this and I would expect the new Iraqi administration would be keen to establish their independence from the Americans by distancing themselves from so-called `occupying' forces.

In any case, this is probably not appropriate subject matter to be discussed here (I have to admit though the issues have a deep interest to me I was most surprised to find this), so I would invite anyone interested in this sort of thing to join in the discussion at the following address.

http://politics.abovetopsecret.com/97/pg1/srtpages

Cheers.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Nov-01, 01:19 PM
this is the last post that I wanted to have resurrected

I'm sorry that I posted it here in the first place

Lianachan
2005-Nov-01, 01:21 PM
this is the last post that I wanted to have resurrected

I'm sorry that I posted it here in the first place

Actually, it's quite a good one to revisit - given that the question is still relevant (maybe even more so) 2 years down the line.

Moose
2005-Nov-01, 01:44 PM
Lianachan, it's relevant somewhere, just not here. The topic is clearly political and partisan in nature, and thus quite inappropriate for this forum.

Jkmccrann, it's bad enough that you seem determined to exhume every moldy old thread you can dig up, despite our objections, but could you please at least show a little discression about which ones you choose to bury us under?

Lianachan
2005-Nov-01, 01:48 PM
Lianachan, it's relevant somewhere, just not here. The topic is clearly political and partisan in nature, and thus quite inappropriate for this forum.

Yes, well, what I meant was that it hasn't lost any relevance through time. Whether it belongs on these boards or not is a different question (and one which I'd say "no" to).

farmerjumperdon
2005-Nov-01, 02:02 PM
They appear to be 2 very different mistakes. One WAS a big mistake, one IS a big mistake.

Wolverine
2005-Nov-01, 02:12 PM
Moose is absolutely correct.

Locked.