Iraq and Vietnam [Cliff May]
Much as I hope to see a free and democratic Iraq, I don’t think democratization is the key distinction – or the key issue.
We lost in Vietnam because we didn’t have the will and the skills to prevail. Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese boat people and millions of Cambodian victims of the Khmer Rouge paid the stiffest price.
Americans went home and got on with their lives. But notice was taken of America’s failure.
That led to the seizure of our embassy in Tehran in 1979. When we responded fecklessly to that act of war, the Ayatollahs let loose Hezbollah to slaughter U.S. Marines, diplomats and intelligence agents in Beirut. We retreated again.
And we were tested again – in Mogadishu in 1993. We did not pass that test either.
So Osama bin Laden was inspired to train thousands of terrorists in Afghanistan. We knew what he was doing. We did nothing serious in response. Before long, they came after us – in Kenya and Tanzania, off the coast of Yemen and then in New York and Washington.
Eliminating Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaeda’s commander in Iraq, was a great victory. But it’s important to continue to pursue the enemy – not stop fighting prematurely as we did in both 1991 and 2003.
If we fail to prevail against al-Qaeda and the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, why would we not falter also in Afghanistan? And why wouldn’t the same strategy and tactics lead to victory for the Islamo-fascists in Jordan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia and elsewhere?
We either develop the will – and the military and intelligence skills — to defeat the enemy we now face on the battlefield in Iraq, or we retreat not just from Iraq but from anyplace our enemies don’t want us.
We either overcome our enemies or we resign ourselves to cowering behind concrete barriers for the remainder of this century.
Posted at 1:13 PM
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
We Either Develop The Will To Win - Or We Retreat
Cliff May, speaking from The Corner: