Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Last Battle of the Vietnam War

Robert Tracinski muses on the parallels of Iraq and the lost cause of Vietnam:

In political battles--and all too frequently in war
itself--victories are rarely complete, defeats are rarely final, and the real
significance of a battle is often not evident for years, even decades
America's defeat in Vietnam, for example, was seemingly a triumph
for the anti-war left, which had long proclaimed the war to be unwinnable
quagmire. Yet the years following that defeat--the era of American retreat and
"national malaise"--proved so traumatic that the American people have never
wanted to repeat them. Thus, what the anti-war radicals regarded as a
vindication ended up discrediting the left on foreign policy for a generation.
You could say that they won the political battle over the war--but they lost the

The article echoes something I wrote earlier, that a consequence for victory in Iraq would be vindication for our Vietnam vets. Right after the First Gulf War, the senior President Bush declared "we've finally licked the Vietnam Syndrome", or something to that effect. Yet, many felt afterwards the war wasn't a total victory, with Saddam still a threat to the region. Now things will be different, thanks to our brave and brilliant troops, and a President who never gave up hope.