Monday, November 21, 2005

A short history lesson for the cut and run crowd

I used to argue with people who said that Iraq was Bush's Vietnam.

With the recent call by Congressman Murtha to immediately withdraw, followed up by Earl Blumenauer's piece in the Oregonian calling for us to get National Guard troops out right away, I'm starting to see some eerie parallels. I'm thinking Iraq is indeed just like Vietnam, but not in the way the left means.

The whole point of our presence in Vietnam was to prevent the North Vietnam communists from taking over South Vietnam, and to keep the Pol-Pot led Khmer Rouge from taking over the Cambodian government led by Lon Nol.

The anti-war left in American hated the war, because we were preventing the spread of their ideology. Jane Fonda and her husband, former radical turned congressman Tom Hayden, organized an "Indo-China Peace Campaign" to try and lobby Congress to cut off aid to Cambodia and South Vietnam. They even took a camera crew to certain parts of "liberated" South Vietnam to make a propaganda film showing how if the communists took over they would create a utopian agrarian society based on justice and equality.

Nixon negotiated a truce with North Vietnam and we pulled our troops out in 1973, but U.S. aid to Cambodia and South Vietnam continued. Nixon hoped that with the aid, the governments of Cambodia and South Vietnam could be preserved.

But he resigned in disgrace shortly thereafter, and in the next election, Republicans got hammered. A bunch of anti-war lefties were swept into Congress, and in their first act of the 1975 session, they rescinded all aid to both South Vietnam and Cambodia.

Republicans at the time warned that if we end our involvement, there would be a bloodbath. John Kerry argued that Republicans were just trying to "stir up anti-communist hysteria."

Within days, communists had overrun Saigon, executing tens of thousands of Vietnamese, and more than a million fled. The Pol-Pot led Khmer Rouge swarmed into Phnom Penh, which led to the slaughter of about two million souls in the "Killing Fields."

You'd think the left would learn. But the same basic story played out in China and Russia before Vietnam, and there too, the political left in the U.S. didn't see them as a threat.

Now they want us out of Iraq. People like me say if we leave there will be a bloodbath, as Sunni's and Baathists take back what they think is theirs. The left has no credible response, but people like Earl Blumenauer want us out anyway.

I've never seen Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, John Kerry, John Dallums, Bella Azbug, David Bonior, or any one of the prominent anti-war crowd from the Vietnam era ever admit that they succeeded in enabling the slaughter of millions of Indo-Chinese.

And if the left succeeds in getting us out of Iraq prematurely, and the inevitable happens there, don't expect Early Blumenauer to apologize for the carnage.

Hey - I guess I'd be reluctant to admit it if the ideology I spent my life spreading had resulted in the mass murder of more than 100 million people in a single century.


David said...

Brilliantly written, thanks.

By the way, I heard you on Lars's show today. Next time you're on you should try to convince him to start blogging as well :)

Well, I understand how busy you two are, trying to continue the conservative movement in the state and all. But it's an idea.

Keep it up! (KXL is the ONLY station I listen to.)


activist kaza said...

David: KXL is the "only" station you listen to? That's a great way to stay so uninformed.

As for Rob's rant about Vietnam etc. do you REALLY honestly, truly believe that everybody who opposed the Vietnam war was some kind of communist sympathizer? By correlation then, do I take you to mean that everybody who is opposing our involvement in Iraq is a "terrorist sympathizer"?

C'mon guys...there is an intelligent, articulate response to those of us on the left. This ain't it. But it is right up there with Rep. Jean Schmitt's floor-of-the-House tirade last week against Jack Murtha.

Notice that she at least apologized about 10 minutes later (unfortunately for her, it won't salvage next November's election).

Rob Kremer said...

Where did I ever say that everyone who was against the Vietnam war was a commie sympathizer?

And I certainly didn't say people who are against the Iraq war are pro-terrorist.

You really ought to refute arguments that someone actually made. It makes for better debate.

I stand by the parallel I drew - that after Vietnam, there was a bloodbath, which was predicted by those who supported the war.

Same thing for Iraq. If we withdraw, not only will there be a bloodbath, but a country that we are well on the way to bringing into the fold of functional society will become a snakepit, and will be a huge threat to the US.

Why don't you deal with the point I actually did make?

gus miller said...


There is a bloodbath going on in Iraq today. The Shiites, some with government authority, are rounding up and incarcerating, torturing or killing Sunnis. The Sunnis are blowing up Shiites in mosques with increasing frequency. The civilian death total in Iraq has reached 50,000 and is rising at an increasing rate.

Thus far, our invasion of Iraq has made the U.S. the do-gooder who has done great harm. Had we refrained from invading Iraq in 2003 we could have done a much more thorough job purasuing Bin Laden and pacifying Afghanistan. Instead, Afghanistan's warlords and druglords control much of that country and the Taliban is still doing harm in many areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

By invading Iraq, we hastened the collapse of their water and electric systems subjecting the population to severe conditions. Iraq's oil exports are erratic at best putting strains on energy prices worldwide. Saddam would also have kept a lid on terrorists had he remained in power until his infrastructure collapsed of his neglect within a year or so of our invasion.

History is going to show that the invasion of Iraq turned George W. Bush into a failed president.

Earl Blumenauer makes a good case for a phased withdrawal from Iraq, setting up a regional strike force to quell factional violence and bringing in help from that region to restore civil order in Iraq.

Anything beats more of the same failed policies from George W. and Don Rumsfeld.

Anonymous said...

There was a great bit on, I think, a George Carlin album back in the VietNam days. If I remember, it went:

"Pull Out? Doesn't sound manly to me."

Sharon said...

Oh come on Gus

You haven't got the electric, water or oil production right at all.

Where do you uget that stuff? from Randi Rhodes.

Go here and read

gus miller said...


I followed your suggestion. Nothing there changes my thinking on "electric, water or oil production".

I get my information from what I believe to be unbiased print and media reports and try to read between the lines. For example, I saw a report on TV where a former Iraqi WMD scientist admitted to interrogators after Saddam's defeat that he had been lying to Saddam for years about the readiness of equipment to manufacture chemical weapons. Based on that I believe that Saddam behaved as though he had WMDs and the CIA and George W. Bush thought he did as well.

Invading Iraq was a blunder though as we had flyover authority in Northern and Southern Iraq and could have hurt Saddam from afar any time we chose while devoting the bulk of out ground efforts to neutralizing Bin Laden and the Taliban in Iraq.

Sharon, If you can't add to the conversation with valid points of your own, don't wast my time with superficial denials or references to other peoples' blogs.