Vietnam not irrelevant to today

· Geopolitics

I heard from Harry Shearer’s Le Show that the U.K. is about to rotate a third of its troops out of Iraq (mostly Basra, I imagine) in a “routine” changing of the guard, and that the 60 civil engineers from New Zealand are leaving soon as
well.
Shearer also mentioned that the Col. Tim Collins, whose exhortation to his men was so widely distributed online, has now retired from the Royal Irish Regiment and is speaking freely about the war in Iraq, saying its about as morally correct as “common assault” and complaining about the lack of a plan to deal with the power vacuum that resulted inevitably from toppling the Ba’ath regime.
Bush has not just recapitulated his father’s presidency as farce but has now also rekindled the horrors of imperial overreach (“Vietnam syndrome”).
I recall that one of the ways Kerrry beat Weld was in debate, when challenged on his then-blanket opposition to the death penalty, where he said “I know something about killing [or words to that effect],” and went on to suggest the idea that state-sanctioned killing degrades us all.
Swift Boats and Killian memos actually aren’t irrelevant to today’s adventures in the middle east. The Kerry campaign needs to remind us that Kerry learned from Vietnam not to spawn war for no good reason, and that the right-wing pro-Vietnam war-evaders internalized entirely the wrong lesson and have now done something worse than any of the “Democrat wars” (as Dole so bitterly put it) of the previous century.


This entry appeared in a slight different form originally in the Well’s politics conference, called How Will Bush’s Bombing of Iran Backfire?.