Something About Howard Rich, More About War
Once upon a time, a president from Texas convinced us all that the People's Republic of North Vietnam had sent rowboats out to attack our navy's destroyers. And, we were stuck in a quagmire, called Vietnam. The Texas president's term was ruined, and in early 1968, with the TET offensive, the country turned against the war.
The Democratic Party tore itself apart, although the primary voters gave the nomination to Bobby Kennedy, who promised to get us OUT OF VIETNAM. Sadly, on the day he secured the nomination in California, Sirhan B. Sirhan assassinated him.
Richard Nixon won the presidential election in a squeaker, beating Hubert H. Humphrey, the Vice President, with Nixon's "Secret Plan To End the War."
Now -- this is the important part -- neither party nor candidate was willing to admit that we should just get out. We had to "save face" or else "no one would trust us," and everyone would see that the USA was a pussy.
The communists would triumph, sliced bread would come to an end, and the sky would fall.
So: Nixon's first term managed to rack up the majority of the 58,000 US combat casualties -- AFTER everyone had agreed to leave Vietnam.
It was called "Vietnamization," and, although the Nixon tagline WASN'T "We'll stand down when they stand up," it might as well have been.
And we left, and Vietnam fell, and the whole anti-commie hysteria never noticed that nationalism was more powerful to the Vietnamese than communism, and they had two quick wars with their fellow communist countries China and Cambodia.
And, if we had just pulled out in January of 1968, the final outcome would have been no different, and all those American boys who died AFTER we realized that Vietnam was a mistake never had to die.
They died for the "macho" of a bunch of liver-spotted politicians, they died so that we could "save face."
Why is the life of ONE soldier less important than the ego of the powerful? It is an unjustifiable and monstrous hubris.
And now, again, those who lived through Vietnam, that huge possum-sized lump in the anaconda of American history, the Baby Boomers, have forgotten that lesson, as we now engage in what none dare call "Iraqification."
Vietnamization didn't work then, and Iraqification won't work now. As Santayana said: Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.
The only issue now is "saving face." Well, I don't know about you, but I am unwilling to sacrifice ONE soldier's life to salve the national ego. We screwed up, we need to stop flushing good blood after bad. The people of Iraq will self-determine, whether we are there or not, and occupation will never work. Period.
And, again, we're making the mistake of thinking that ideology will trump nationalism. This is, once more, the basis of our "thinking" about Iraq.
So: in the name of all those kids who died needlessly AFTER we realized that we could not win in Vietnam, leave Iraq. Leave Iraq now. Don't sit here and lecture us about how we'll look to the world. We already look like monstrous horses' asses. Killing our kids to "save face" is as insane under Bush as it was under Nixon.
There's even the sub rosa movement to invade Iran, just like Nixon managed to invade Cambodia, even though he'd been elected promising to wind DOWN the war, and not to expand it.
Recall that famed quote of the Vietnam war: "We destroyed the village in order to save it."
We've collectively decided to leave Iraq. Now let's have the cojones to admit we made a mistake and leave. Or, every politician who insists on "stability" or any other rationalization for not leaving is an active participant in the murder of every US soldier killed in Iraq, and every Iraqi killed by a US soldier.
The waters have changed time and time again since Johnson escalated an attack from a couple of rowboats on some US destroyers (which may not have ever happened) into the decade-long Vietnam war. Now, as baby Bush fiddles and Rome burns, we've been there, post "shock and awe" almost four years. If we don't watch it, we'll be there for ten.
Oh, and one other little thing. The press is on vulture watch: we're at (as I write this) 2945 dead troops in Iraq, according to the radio. (see http://www.icasualties.org/oif/ for more complete stats)
They're waiting for that "magic" moment when US casualties top the death count for 9-11 -- about 3,000.
I got's news for ya's kiddies: we passed that death number a long time ago. According to the WASHINGTON POST:
So, Americans killed as a direct result of this war passed 3,000 a long time ago.
Census Counts 100,000 Contractors in Iraq
By Renae Merle
The Washington Post
Tuesday 05 December 2006
There are about 100,000 government contractors operating in Iraq, not counting subcontractors, a total that is approaching the size of the U.S. military force there, according to the military's first census of the growing population of civilians operating in the battlefield ... About 650 contractors have died in Iraq since 2003, according to Labor Department statistics....
Let's show the world that we can be the high-minded moral pricks that constantly have all the ethical answers -- as we remind them on a near-constant basis -- and admit we made a mistake. Let's do the honorable thing and leave. Let's be less afraid of being laughed at by other countries than we are of murdering our own sons and daughters.
And let's stop murdering Iraqis. We were going after Saddam, and now our kangaroo court has caught, tried and convicted him, and sentenced him to death. We had no other issues with the Iraqi people. Can we please stop killing them now?
Bring the troops home, NOW. http://www.bringthemhomenow.org/