I have to stop reading Google News.
I said some time ago (sorry, too lazy to look it up right now) that Iraq was a sort of Vietnam at 781. It has gone through the same general stages that the American presence in Vietnam did, just a whole lot faster. I think that the speed of the Iraq devolution is attributable to two major things:
- The information age. More people are getting more information from more sources. We know more about Fallujah, for example, and faster, than we knew about My Lai. We're hearing from ordinary Iraqis. We're hearing from people in countries nearby. We're hearing from people whose voices were not heard during the Vietnam war.
- The pretext for the war in Iraq is flimsier than the pretext for war in Vietnam. Both were entered by an administration that manufactured a crisis for ideological reasons, but at the time of America's initial involvement in Vietnam, the advancing threat of Communism was real. It should be clear by now that the alleged threat from Iraq was not. (The argument over the presence of WMD is a false one, in any event. The question isn't whether or not Iraq had WMD2, it was whether or not Iraq was a threat to the United States. Anyone who still maintains that it was is a hopeless ideologue.)
The writing has been on the wall for some time now. The best that the Bush administration can manage now is a handoff of power that allows them to claim victory and get out. That, at least, they'll have over the Vietnam experience.
- If you don't know what that means, you're young. At the risk of being horrifically redundant, vinyl records were recorded to play at various speeds. Anyone who had one of those cheapy stereos will remember the standard ones: 16, 33, 45, 78. Kids often played 33s at 78, laughing hysterically at the speeded up chipmunk voices.
- The whole idea that WMD are a credible terrorist threat is pretty weak, anyway.
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UK phone cards
USA phone cards