All we are saying...

Slate has a nice collection of photos from anti-Vietnam war demonstrations in 1969. I think I saw Carruthers in one pic trying to untangle his love beads from his beard. Link.

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Blah blah blah... The problem that the Western powers get into with running a war is not vanquishing the enemy -- that part is easy. The tough part comes afterward when we hang around to do "nation building" on the ground. As soon as that happens, guerilla groups start getting organized and casualities start piling up.

So why do this in the first place? Frankly, it's because we have a moral regard for the innocent victims in war and we try (despite periods of suffering) to leave the country better for the long run. Unfortunately, these humanitarian goals (even just delivering food in Somalia) are not consistent with efficient warfare, or minimizing costs of the conflict in terms of dollars or the lives of our brave armed forces.

Ultimately, we need to rethink how things are done. If the war is entered in the interests of our nation, it should be exercised in such a manner consistent with the interests of our nation, and everything else needs to be de-ranked. This means eliminating the post-war nation building. Let the Iraqis (or whomever) figure that out. If they do it on their own (like we did after the American Revolution) they will value freedom a lot more. If the "wrong people" get in power there, yet aren't a threat to us, that is unfortunate, but not our problem. If they are a threat though, we just need to take them out again and let them start over.

Qadafi (pick a spelling, any spelling) is not our 1st choice as a leader in Lybia, but he has (apparently) stopped sponsoring terrorism that threatens us, so we leave him be. Saddam was treated this way after the '91 Gulf War; he would have been left alone if he minded himself and abided by his prior surrender agreement. He didn't and brought today's result upon himself and his nation.
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Carruthers, dearest - the Vietnam card was played because this post happens to be about Vietnam. When corresponding with me, please try extra hard to keep up with the rest of the class, OK?

And please leave your wingnut revisionist history lessons at home. Every adult in the world knows the score in Vietnam and - you embarrass yourself by bringing these fantasy stories into play.

After 20 years of Franco-American alliance fighting in Vietnam and millions of casualties on all sides, it comes down to "peacenicks on the side of the communist north." If only those darn peaceniks hadn't been on the side of the communist north, THEN we would have whipped 'em!

The mistake you armchair warriors make every time here is confusing is confusing "opposition to war" with "taking the side of the communist north." If you can't see the difference then there is no hope for you. Note that this is a mistake that many of you have been making for several years with regards to the Iraq situation as well. No, Carruthers, the 70%+ of Americans (and 90%+ of the world population) that wants us out of Iraq aren't on al Qaeda's side... We're on the side of humanity that understands that "war is not glorious - war is bad." Imagine that.

I'll add a little bit of extra complexity to that, if you'll allow me... That is that war always produces unforeseen consequences, over which some all parties involved may completely lose control.

I don't remember Bush, Cheney, et al raising the spectre of creating an Iran-aligned government in Baghdad fighting a proxy war against al-Qaeda and the Sunni establishment through armed Shiite militias at a cost of $500BB+. Do you?
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You lefties love to play the Vietnam card, thinking it trumps everything. Kennedy was the first to send troops, followed by Johnson who sent hundreds of thousands more. Nixon got the U.S. out of Vietnam. Having said that though, the war against communism was a just one and was fought over decades in myriad different ways, some with a great loss of life like Vietnam. Also, if you know anything about actual warfare, which I suspect you don't as it's too awful to think about, you'll know the "infamous" Tet offensive was a decisive victory against the Viet Cong instead of the defeat that Cronkite reported. The vietnam war might have had a different outcome if the peacenicks weren't on the side of the communist north.
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