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"We say Iraq is Just like Viet Nam, even if we have to make it!"

Every day, it seems, another anti-war twit on the left (which is not all of them, but apparently the most vocal) trots out the Viet Nam/Iraq connection. Never mind that this time we are not facing an organized government with support from two superpowers, skip the desert terrain vs. jungle, don't bother with the incremental level of our involvement in one with our diminishing presence in the other, omit the establishment of a freely elected native government, gloss over the casualty figures that are a fraction of the prior conflict, and a horde of other differences -- the important thing is that the Viet Nam war was bad, and the war in Iraq is bad, so we must make every single parallel we can.

This morning, one of the Boston Globe's pet whackos slipped out of her straightjacket and got access to a computer again. Joan Venocchi's grand idea? Bring back the draft!

Now I don't know much about Ms. Venocchi, but I'm pretty comfortable in assuming she was against the draft when it was actually a relevant topc 30 years ago. What's convinced her to switch her position? She believes that it will increase opposition to the war.

The unspoken presumption behind this is that if we send enough unwilling people to Iraq, eventually they and their families will rise up, join the anti-war side, and end the US involvement in Iraq. It's an interesting theory. "Interesting," as in the "I don't think I've seen so much concentrated stupidity in one place before" sense. Let's take a look at a couple of the problems with Ms. Venocchi's notion:

1) The idea of Iraq as a meat grinder that is destroying the heart and soul of our military is flagrantly false. One only need look at the reinlistment rates: they are higher among those serving in Iraq, on average, than among troops stationed elsewhere. The ones who are seeing and living with this war are among the most willing to continue to serve.

2) The abolition of the draft was, ultimately, one of the finest things that ever happened to our armed services. We ended up with the most professional, most competent, most skilled, and simply the finest, the best, the greatest military ever seen in history. Many knowledgable people attribute a direct causal relationship between the abolition of the draft and that result -- the services began to be populated with those who not only wanted to serve, but had to work hard and prove they were fit to wear our nation's uniform. No longer did they have to deal with those just looking to do their time and get out, those who did NOT want to be there, and wanted nothing more than to get the hell out.

3) One of the main points I've heard argued against the war in Iraq is that it is distracting us from fighting the real terrorist threats elsewhere in the world. Venocchi's plan to reinstate the draft will achieve her short-term goal of ending the war, but at the price of inflicting grave damage on our military as it stands today. How the hell are we to fight the "real terrorist threat" elsewhere if we cripple the armed forces in the process of ending the war in Iraq?

4) This is not a quick fix to the war. This strategy will take years to come to fruition. To endorse this as a plan is to acknowledge that the anti-war movement has given up on a quicker solution, such as swaying lawmakers or winning elections.

But that doesn't matter to Venocchi and her ilk. The only thing that matters is achieving their immediate goals. They won't have to deal with any fallout from their actions. It'll be up to the president (most likely the next one, as this is the sort of thing that'll take a few years to pull off) to repair the damage done by their "victory." The ones who are pushing for the draft will have a new cause by that point, and they'll leave it for others to clean up the mess their "solution" left behind.

As always.


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Comments (28)

Here is John McCain, <a hre... (Below threshold)

Here is John McCain, is he loony left?

Here is General Zinni, who endorsed Bush/Cheney in 2000, is he loony left?

I like Edwin Luttwak (Paleocon) and his view that Viet Nam is the wrong analogy, and instead the experiences of Napoleon in Spain are better. Is he loony left?

There are Democrats for the war, and Democrats against it.

There are Republicans for the war, and Republicans you seem to pretend don't exist.

The US Government is not being honest about this war in Iraq, just as they were not honest during Iraq.

Check out the PBS Frontline episode on the Insurgency released this month.

There are Democrats for the... (Below threshold)

There are Democrats for the war, and Democrats against the war.
There are Republicans for the war, and Republicans you seem to pretend don't exist.

The US Government is not being honest about this war in Iraq, just as they were not honest during Iraq.

Check out the PBS Frontline episode on the Insurgency released this month.

General Zinni supported Bush in 2000, says the war is like Viet Nam.
General Hoar is a lifelong Republican, who says it is graver than Viet Nam.
Edwin Luttwak is a paleocon, and he thinks it is more like Napoleon in Spain ("The Logic of Disengagement", Foreign Affairs, 2005) but that's what you get for being educated.

She might be on to somethin... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

She might be on to something. Lets take a page from Uncle Joe Stalin's playbook: punishment battalions.
The Soviets would take political prisoners and put them in the front line against the Germans. Behind them were better armed secret police troops. The politicals were given a choice, fight the enemy and perhaps survive or try to turn tail and face certain execution.
So lets draft the left wing scum, send them out to fight the terrorist scum ( with bolt action rifles)and shoot on sight any deserters or stragglers. Dead terrorists, dead lefties. A win-win situation and inspired by one of the chief commie gods Joseph Stalin.

William F. Buckley Jr. also... (Below threshold)

William F. Buckley Jr. also opposed the war. Your point?

Jay Tea makes an outstanding point and rather than argue the points made, Josh "Maury" Narins sets up a straw man about partisanship. That is such a familiar tactic on the blogs that I now see it as a sign that the poster really scored

And Jay Tea has

Kudos

Waiting for monkey-poo from... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Waiting for monkey-poo from Lee starting in....1,2,3,

Since the Republicans seem ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Since the Republicans seem unwilling to admit that were are mired in Iraq, and they have no plan for fixing that except praying that Osama will have a heart attack and die (at which point Bush will declare victory and begin a withdrawl), it is wise to consider the possible outcome of Bush's ineptitude with respect to Iran and N Korea.

Considering reopening the draft is prudent, given that the current administration would like nothing better than provoke Iran and N Korea into war, or at least - they seem clueless as to how to solve this mess by any other means.

Democrats/leftists revel in... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Democrats/leftists revel in some perverse glory taken from a couple of America's darkest times--Vietnam and Watergate. They absolutely romanticize those terrible times. They've staked their political future these days on our failure at war. They can all go straight to fucking hell.

Josh - are any of the gener... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Josh - are any of the generals you mention active duty and in Iraq currently? Or are they the minute handful that the media is trumpeting as demanding Rumsfeld's removal? FOr every ex-general that wants Rumy gone, there are hundreds who don't. But the media never talks about them--or to them.

Education's a real bitch, ain't it.

Old Coot shoots, he scores,... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Old Coot shoots, he scores, he wins the thread!

Hell, Lee even followed up with high-grade monkey poo, without one actual real fact in his entire statement. Bonus points to the Coot.

Iraq is Vietnam because I s... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Iraq is Vietnam because I say it is and because I'm incapable of look at any war though any other historical lens, so there!

/moonbat off

No, the only parallel between Iran and Vietnam is the fact that both are media wars. The enemy CANNOT defeat us on the battlefield, so his only hope is that enough hippy dippy lefties succeed in turning America against the war, causing the current or the next administration to end the war by leaving.

Then it really WILL become another Vietnam. Only this time, the loss of prestige, respect and power will be much more permanent, and not even the second coming of Ronald Reagan could left us out of such a malaise. Defeat in Iraq, which, I'm sorry to say, the left craves because it hates Bush so much, will be a long-term defeat for America. It will take several decades or more for us to recover.

Such are the consequences of taking counsel from the Defeaticrats and liberals, who can only snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Thanks God George W. Bush doesn't take counsel from the fools and idiots of the left.

Big Mo,There are a... (Below threshold)

Big Mo,

There are a few issues here, and it is important to keep them separate.

There are Republicans, some of them Generals, against this war. I think Norman Schwartzkopf gets some credit, even if he didn't serve there. Some of them were Commanding Generals in Iraq.

Then there are those who say it is like Viet Nam. I pointed to Republicans who said this war was like Viet Nam. That's what this post seemed to say, that only loony leftists do it.

The third issue is the question "Is this war like Viet Nam?" Of course, all wars have some things in common, and all wars are unique. One critical thing that makes Viet Nam and Iraq like each other is that in both cases, the locals wanted us the hell out. Over a year and a half ago a super-majority of Iraqis viewed us as "occupiers" and not "liberators". Years ago super-majorities of Iraqis wanted us out (at longest) within a year. Now super-majorities of US troops want to be out within a year, and 29% want out now.

I think there are other ways the wars are similar, but the clear fact that most Iraqis are against us is the fundamental reality. The longer our military has stayed, the less they like us. We can never "win" if they don't want us to win.

Josh - the problem with you... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Josh - the problem with your "the Iraqis want us out" is that while I, Bush and most US soldiers and Iraqis would agree with you, the interpretation is different.

You look at that as a huge negative, e.g., get the F out of my house NOW!!!

But that's not how they see it. We're welcome there by most Iraqis, but they do want us to leave as soon as practicable. Of course they view us as occupiers because that's what we are. But the majority know that we want to leave and turn things over them as soon as we can. And that's what we're doing.

That's a big difference.

Most Iraqis are NOT against us. If they were, then they would not be participating in droves with what we are doing there and setting up for them. Every one of them would be fighting us in the streets, and that just isn't happening.

Your contentions are just plain false.

And you didn't answer my question. Are those generals retired or in the field? I'm guessing they're retired, because in the field, they aren't Democrat or Republican. They're U.S. soldiers. And if they're retired, their opinion of matters on the ground over there carries as much weight as yours and mine does regardless of what they did before.

Dear Josh (or should I use ... (Below threshold)

Dear Josh (or should I use "Maury"... which forces flashes of Connie writhing around in that retarded dress on top of the piano):
From your joint: "I really do like getting comments. Off topic doesn't bother me.

It makes me sad that I don't get many. I'd also like some more links from outsiders."

Beggging for conversational traffic at a dumb, flaccid Blogsnot spot is no way to go throw life, son."

I'm billing you the time I lost skipping over and thereby wasted from the hourglass of my life.

Of course, noone's talking ... (Below threshold)

Of course, noone's talking about the most critical pull-out we need.

When the HELL are we getting out of Germany? It's been what - SIXTY-ONE YEARS and ONE MONTH since "VE Day"? We've been through SHAEF, SHAPE, and now NATO... isn't it time to end the occupation?

(Do I really need the sarcasm tag?)

And Japan.And S. Kor... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:

And Japan.
And S. Korea.
And Cuba.
Etc.

Only liberals would equate ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Only liberals would equate 2,500 dead American soldiers with 65,000 dead American soldiers. Now we know why liberals never major in mathematics or hard sciences. They simply cannot add.

What Vietnam and the Iraq war have in common is that there is a vocal anti-American element within the country that is helping the enemy through an anti-American progaganda compaign. In Vietnam, liberals caused us to lose, and thus far in this war, they hope for America to fall, but they grow more rabid by the day because they haven't yet succeeded.

Big Mo,I don't kno... (Below threshold)

Big Mo,

I don't know where you are getting your data.

Supermajorities say they see as occupiers and not liberators.

Polls show that nearly half of Iraqis support attacks on us. That is not a question, as you say, of "interpretation." That is the fact that they don't want us there right this very second.

Oct 2005 British Ministry of Defense Poll says that 82% are "strongly opposed" and under 1% think foreign troops are helping.

Under 1% agree with what you think the majority if Iraqis think, Big Mo.

Time for you to start reading some better stuff.

Another slightly more recent poll is here

Josh,I'm generally... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Josh,

I'm generally dismissive of polls. Even if you posted a poll that said the exact opposite, that 82% of Iraqi's viewed us as liberators, I'd feel the same.

How does one get an accurate cross section of a country at war? The quick answer is you don't.

The poll was conducted for WorldPublicOpinion.org by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland and was fielded by KA Research Limited/D3 Systems, Inc. Polling was conducted January 2-5 with a nationwide sample of 1,150

Seems like a broken science. You poll 1,150 people in a country of roughly 27 million and then say based on your findings that 70% of Iraqis say this or that.

Therefore, it seems talks of supermajorities is a bit baseless.

Pipe-Dream (if I smoked):<b... (Below threshold)

Pipe-Dream (if I smoked):
I am all for mandatory 2 year service for all citizens (or wannabees) in homeland projects from education support, infrastructure development and maintenance, health care, border protection, etc. that could be offset only by voluntary military service. No deferments unless you are totally disabled. Funding to be the major drawback, though I'd propose a one-time tax on those without military service or significant community service since age 18 to give things a kick-start.

Without 90% support of the population, the draft would destroy our military, which is likely the true goal of those proposing its reinstitution.

Heralder,There is ... (Below threshold)

Heralder,

There is no other way to talk about what Iraqis are saying. If I could ask them all, I would.

Big Mo is saying Iraqis want us to stay and finish. No polls show that. None at all. All the polls consistently show that Iraqis want us to get the duck out of Dodge! The only exceptions are a few polls published by the IRI, a Republican Party led group.

But please don't doubt the mathematics of statistics. Your little quip about "1,150 people in a country of roughly 27 million" makes you sound like you don't know the appropriate mathematics.

It is a great day for Ameri... (Below threshold)
moseby:

It is a great day for America when kerry and his pack of faggots get a thumping.

Josh:But please... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Josh:

But please don't doubt the mathematics of statistics. Your little quip about "1,150 people in a country of roughly 27 million" makes you sound like you don't know the appropriate mathematics.

It wasn't a quip, it was a legitimate concern. They cross-sectioned such a small amount of people relative to the whole then extrapolated the numbers...in a country that is at war which complicates further the logistics of running a poll. As I said, I don't trust polls regardless of whether they happen to coincide with my politics, or diverge from them.

Ah, the irony of a call for... (Below threshold)

Ah, the irony of a call for a draft from the liberals. Note that there is zero discussion of the effect this would have on the military; the only consideration from Phony Joany is the effect it woudl have on the peace movement.

So lets draft the left ... (Below threshold)

So lets draft the left wing scum

How old are you, cubanbob? Are you under 42? If so, what are you doing sitting on your ass reading blogs? You believe in this war wholeheartedly -- so why aren't you fighting it?

Brainster is right, but the... (Below threshold)
Waffle King:

Brainster is right, but the heart of the "Reinstate the Draft" movement is complete disdain of the military and a desire to see it castrated and defanged - it doesn't need to be effective if you have no intention to ever use it. To those who still live in the heady days of the anti-Vietnam War movement, the US military is a tool of the (currently right-wing) political establishment - and US foreign policy would have to be less militarily aggressive if our military were less skilled, less motivated, and less loyal to the command structure.

Makes sense...in a perverted, masochistic kind of way.

Steve M, your little commen... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Steve M, your little comment is an excellent example of the illogical liberal mind. By correlary, tell me if you believe in eating vegetables, and then why you are not a farmer.

McCain:Look at it ... (Below threshold)
Mr. Nobody:

McCain:

Look at it this way...if Steve refuses to grow his own vegetables, he isn't sending anyone to die growing them for him.

Cubanbob, on the other hand...

What's less logical? Insisting that chest-thumping warhawks should handle their own fucking guns, or suggesting that political opinions should be enough to get someone dragged out and shot?

Never mind...I suspect I already know your answer.

I'm surprised how little m... (Below threshold)
Joe:

I'm surprised how little most people know about the draft, most are clueless.The draft if executed correctly inducts a cross section a America. When I was drafted I had teachers, chemists,professionals whose defferments had run out etc in my platoon. Vietnam, tell me about Vietnam I was there in the infantry. World War Two was fought by 75% draftees, Korea, Vietnam. Vietnam, I almost felt sorry for the dinks , we were so effective, we lost the war at home. So rewrite history, teach the children , they don't know any better..




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