Friday, August 11, 2006

Nope, Not Vietnam

Vietnam analogies are dead wrong when it comes to Iraq, particularly when made by right-wing talking heads and their media whore enablers. There is not some kind of peacenik neo-hippie movement out there being an internal enemy and underminging the nation from within with all their uncouth, unwashed behavior. That didn't even happen in the 60s. We did have Gov. Reagan ordering the teargassing of residential neighborhoods in Berkely to keep people off the streets, and hordes of armed thugs in uniform wandering around beating the crap out of paecefully protesting citizens and brandishing fists and weapons at families in a public park (I was there). The 60s were marked by unreasonable violence by the state against Vietnamese and Americans.

The real analogy is of more recent vintage. Iraq stands in relation to the US as Afghanistan stands in relation to the former USSR. Superpower stomps on regional pipsqueak and gets its ass handed back to it on a silver platter by a home-grown insurgency. The nation, devastated by war, devolves into perpetual anarchy, while the world turns its back and pretends not to notice. The war bankrupts the superpower and demoralizes the nation, causing a centrist, moderate backlash against the arrogance of the state. The house of cards crumbles.

The big difference, of course, is that Iraq sits on top of a huge crude oil reserve, and the USSR has more internal oil and gas reserves than the US.

Wonder where that's going to lead us...


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