Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Considering his previous insistence that Iraq would not be another Vietnam, it is puzzling that President Bush would make comparisons between the Iraq conflict and the wars in Asia. Yet he pointed to the turmoil that followed our pullout from Vietnam. He warned against the evil that lingers in North Korea because we did not beat them. And he praised the great democracy that rose in Japan after we defeated them, extolling it as the model that should be followed in Iraq. Okay, so let's say we do that: which cities in Iraq are we going to nuke? I'm not advocating that, but if you put up Japan as the example to follow, how do you exclude the atomic bombs that reshaped that country, physically and culturally? Seems like a pretty short-sighted comparison to me.

CateGoogles: political_silliness
Mood = unimpressed


Bush makes really bad analogies


  1. Sumocat,

    I believe you are focusing on the wrong aspects of those wars.

    In the case of Japan, yes, we (as a nation) made the choice to use a nuclear weapon, but the point being made was that Japan, at that time, was under a leadership that would have been dangerous to *everyone* not just us. The defeat of that leadership is what allowed us to introduce them to a democratic, capitalist way of life. They embraced it in their own right, regardless of our influence. That's the point. It's in our interest that they did, yes, but it's their own interest as well and has proven prosperous to them.

    In the case of Vietnam, we lost there, because of several reasons. We were unprepared for an ideological war at that time, and we used the wrong tactics then. Bush's point, in my interpretation, is that if we "simply" pull out of Iraq and leave them on their own, the same thing will happen... It will leave a divided, war-torn nation to fend for itself in an ideological war. That doesn't exactly bode well for the already turbulent nature of that region.

    For what it's worth,

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/24/2007 08:55:00 AM

  2. Actually, my point is we can't just focus on one aspect or another. We can't point to the great democracy that rose in Japan, and leave out what happened to make it that way. If Bush wants to say "Look how good Japan turned out," he must also acknowledge what it took to get that way.

    Likewise, he can't just say Vietnam was a disaster because we pulled out and not recognize the missteps that led to that retreat. The ones you cited have all been repeated in the Iraq invasion. Look up the Rumsfeld doctrine. Rummy sent us in with a light, nimble force with air superiority. Now we're fighting a ground war against insurgents that can't be bombed from the air. He predicted quick victory. Now we're fighting a prolonged war. Cheney said we'd be welcomed as liberators. Now we're stuck between competing factions. If you're right about the reasons why we lost in Vietnam, then we've already lost in Iraq.

    That said, there are more options than Bush's "with us or against us" mentality allows. It's not a stay or leave proposition. We can build a new secured settlement, away from the dug-in insurgents, and relocate the willing there. We can let the Iraqis sort out their issues without interference from us or anyone else by redeploying our forces to the borders. We could withdraw to Baghdad and aggressively expand the Green Zone, rebuilding that city from the inside out. There are many options, not just stay or leave, and some are bloodier and more expensive than others. Victory requires sacrifice, but it requires real sacrifice, not just patience as Bush has asked. His more-of-the-same approach is wasteful and aimless.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 8/24/2007 11:04:00 AM

  3. Just one note for Aaron:

    Japan did not willingly embrace democracy. Actually right after the war, almost everything were decided by the slightly stronger United States, then followed Soviet Union. US were quite concern that Stalin had his whole plate over Asia. This is part of reason US took Japan in and transformed the economy under massive aids and reforms.

    One more comment, Japan was already a capitalistic country even before WW1. Honosuke founded the Panasonic in the 1920's. And many more... (even though many were accused of war crime but many US corporations at that time sold technologies and natural resources to Germany and Japan too, sigh... the world indeed is never black and white)

    Japan was simply not a democratic country yet it was a highly effective capitalistic economy just like Singapore today.

    I have to say so what if it is a democratic country. The largest democratic country in the world is as poor as China. Just look at India.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 8/24/2007 11:32:00 AM

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