Wednesday, November 02, 2005

No Similarities to See Here . . . Move Along, Move Along



Hyman recently claimed that there are absolutely no parallels between the Vietnam War and the invasion of Iraq. None--save that those who opposed the conflicts don't understand history.

This position is, to say the least, a bit shaky.

Let's start with the most obvious problem: Hyman's suggestion that it is only critics of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, many people have suggested parallels of various sorts between the conflict in Iraq and Vietnam, including those who are at the very least neutral on the topic, if not administration supporters.
Henry Kissinger has drawn some parallels, as has the military itself. Then there's Joseph Galloway, a longtime war correspondent and currently a columnist on Military.com. Not exactly a bunch of lefties among these folks.

But apparently Hyman knows more than all of these folks, since he says only people ignorant of history would draw any parallels at all between Iraq and Vietnam. He must also know more about the Vietnam War than, say,
Republican Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, who has openly suggested ominous parallels between the two conflicts.

Obviously, there are a number of parallels between Iraq and Vietnam, from the
trumpeting of election "successes" in the two countries to the construction of communism/terrorism as forces that must be faced abroad lest they come to our shores to the policy making practices that led to both conflicts and the ambivalence of Americans toward using military force in each country.

Hyman's right that there are many specific, tactical issues that are markedly different, and even those who draw parallels between the two conflicts acknowledge that there are more differences than similarities. But to point out differences (as Hyman does) is not to say that there aren't significant parallels (which is exactly what he claims).

The relevant questions are these: what are the parallels and are they significant?

Even a casual glance at both conflicts reveals some similarities that are troubling. These similarities don't mean the conflicts are identical and will end in the same way (any more than pointing out the obvious differences means that the conflicts are nothing alike and won't both end up as tragic failures). They are, however, worth noting for their own sake.

My particular interest is in the similarities involving the way the conflicts were/are discussed publicly. A short list of the rhetorical parallels between the Vietnam conflict and the invasion of Iraq follows:

Both the Vietnam conflict and the war in Iraq were based on faulty information, if not outright lies, that policy makers refused to acknowledge (Gulf of Tonkin, WMDs).

In both conflicts, American politicos equated imposing American-style democracy on a people with allowing them the freedom to govern themselves.

In both conflicts, those who opposed or even questioned the war were labeled as "un-American" by supporters.

In both conflicts, opposition to the war started out small, but grew as casualties mounted and the truth about the motivations and rationalizations for the war emerged.

In both conflicts, when the majority of the American people disagreed with government policy, apologists for the policy still attempted to portray those who were against the war as an out-of-touch minority.

In both conflicts, those who advocated sending young people do die in large numbers also claimed that they were "supporting the troops" and that those who advocated bringing troops home were "giving comfort to the enemy."

In both conflicts, the media paid relatively little attention to the horrible toll civilians were paying in the course of their "liberation."

In both conflicts, policy makers and their supporters argued that, once all other rationales for the conflicts had disappeared, we needed to stay the course in order to "honor" those who had already died.

In both conflicts, members of the Bush family vocally supported the war, but no one in their family actually served.

And in both conflicts, supporters of the wars insisted that "history" was on their side.

Nope, no parallels at all, are there?

And that's The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 3.50

4 Comments:

At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Hyman, the attempted leftist comparison of Iraq to Vietnam is apples to oranges and largely disengenuous.

Sickofspin
http://www.sickofspin.com

 
At 5:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted fabricates: The relevant questions are these: what are the parallels and are they significant?

Yes, let's look at your bogus 'counter-points shall we?

Ted writes: A short list of the rhetorical parallels between the Vietnam conflict and the invasion of Iraq follows:

Ted fabricates: Both the Vietnam conflict and the war in Iraq were based on faulty information, if not outright lies, that policy makers refused to acknowledge (Gulf of Tonkin, WMDs).

While I would agree on the faulty intelligence, the claim of 'if not outright lies' is outrageous, unproven, unsubstantiated, without a basis in fact when it comes to the war on terrorism. You folks like to pretend Bush lied, but you have no evidence, all you have is black helicopter theories. The 9/11 commission didn't uncover any of these so-called lies and neither did the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation. Quit spinning!

Ted fabricates: In both conflicts, American politicos equated imposing American-style democracy on a people with allowing them the freedom to govern themselves.

Iraq now has its own Constitution, structured as THEY see fit, they've debated, protested and held elections. Their culture, their rules, their ballots, their creation of laws - how is that NOT an example of freedom and self-governance?

Ted fabricates: In both conflicts, those who opposed or even questioned the war were labeled as "un-American" by supporters.

Those who fly flags upside-down, slander our military, stereotype our forces as 'inherently evil', call the administration stupid while ignoring the obvious fact of success that we haven't had another 9/11 like attack - ARE un-American.

Ted fabricates: In both conflicts, opposition to the war started out small, but grew as casualties mounted and the truth about the motivations and rationalizations for the war emerged.

Where is your TRUTH in the motivations for the war against terrorism? Hmmmm? I haven't seen any coming from you. And regarding casualties, this war (remember, it IS a war after all) is being managed quite well and casualty rates are WAY below the rates for Vietnam. You want to play the numbers game with the truth right? Why won't you do a number by number comparison if you care to be intellectually honest?

Ted fabricates: In both conflicts, when the majority of the American people disagreed with government policy, apologists for the policy still attempted to portray those who were against the war as an out-of-touch minority.

You don't debate honestly, so it's a fair statement to say you and your ilk are out-of-touch.

Ted fabricates: In both conflicts, those who advocated sending young people do die in large numbers also claimed that they were "supporting the troops" and that those who advocated bringing troops home were "giving comfort to the enemy."

Perpetuating and exaggerating Abu Grahib WAS giving comfort to the enemy. Putting all military members into an 'inherently evil' pot IS giving aid to the enemy. Liberal Dick Durbin putting the U.S. military in the same class as Nazis and Russian death camps WAS aid and comfort to the enemy. Never mind his statement was posted on Al Jazeera huh?

Ted fabricates: In both conflicts, the media paid relatively little attention to the horrible toll civilians were paying in the course of their "liberation."

That's blatantly false. The left leaning media has done everything it can to paint a negative picture of the war despite the many successes such as new and/or rebuilt houses, schools, hospitals, roads, community centers, etc. Don't get me wrong, civilian tragedy has occurred, but we are talking about war after all. Why do you totally ignore how the U.S. military goes out of its way to avoid the very thing you're crying foul on?

Ted opines: In both conflicts, policy makers and their supporters argued that, once all other rationales for the conflicts had disappeared, we needed to stay the course in order to "honor" those who had already died.

'Rationales'for the war against terrorism have disappeared? Folks are saying we should stay the course simply to 'honor' the dead? Examples please.

Ted fabricates: In both conflicts, members of the Bush family vocally supported the war, but no one in their family actually served.

George H.W. Bush served his country and did so with honor as a fighter pilot in WWII. He left the service nearly two decades before heavy U.S. involvement in Vietnam. To say 'members of the Bush family did not serve' is a bogus charge.

George W. Bush was in the National Guard during the Vietnam era and it is simply intellectually dishonest to say he didn't serve. Oh, and never mind that he is currently the Commander In Chief huh? That to, is serving. Your distortions are disgusting.

Ted opines again: And in both conflicts, supporters of the wars insisted that "history" was on their side.

TRUTH is on our side. Too bad you choose the path of leftist agenda driven spin, manipulation, distortion and deceit.

Ted drips in self-gratifying sarcasm: Nope, no parallels at all, are there?

No, as defined and distorted by you, no, there are no parallels.

Ted boasts (false sense of bravdo): And that's The Counterpoint.

Not really, you don't seem to have a valid point and with such weak rhetoric I can see why Hyman exposed you for the fake you are.

sickofspin
http://www.sickofspin.com

 
At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Joe from MN said...

Thanks for the GENIOUS blog as always Ted. Keep bustin' Hyman!

Whoever the wacko nutjob who posted before me is, just ignore him. I'm sure he will find a way to craft his own reality no matter how logical or truthful the opposition is.

The similarities are obvious, and even if there weren't any similarities, like you said Ted, it doesn't change the fact that it was a pointless war. Even if people advocate war and "fighting the enemy over there" it's very clear that there are more urgent threats to our security than a 3rd world country with a violent dictator.

Thanks again Ted, and keep up the great work! Open minds will rule the world again some day!

P.S. Why is it apples to organges "sick of spin guy"? Just because the terrain/geography is different, doesn't change the points that Ted made.

 
At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Sickofspin said...

And just WHAT points would those be Joe? Ted didn't make ANY valid points. I refuted each one by one and you did nothing whatsoever to 'counterpoint' them (pun intended). Hollow arguments and hot air, that's all you folks have and pretend that speculation is fact.

 

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