Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Future Promise From Past Mistakes

Despite elections, the Iraqi war is now nearly intense for American soldiers as Vietnam was back 1966, according to blogger Phil Carter.

Gothamimage thinks and/or hopes that Novak and some other well-sourced conservatives may be correct when the say the Bush administration quietly recognized that they cannot stay in Iraq and are now look for ways to be in a position to extract at an opportune time, should that be necessary.

So we want to recall at previous post about what happened in 1967 in Vietnam:

In 1967 American soldiers were fighting and dying at increasing rates in an increasingly unpopular war thousands of miles away from home.The White House was occupied by an inarticulate Texan who had succeeded a popular, charismatic , and roguish liberal.

President Lyndon Johnson despised the New York media elite, with special malice reserved for the New York Times. Johnson, with some justice, felt the Times never gave him credit when due and always excused his predecessors (JFK''s)failings.

Yet, on one day in 1967, Lyndon Johnson could not have been more pleased with the New York Times than is he had written the article himself:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.....A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson's policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam. The election was the culmination of a constitutional development that began in January, 1966, to which President Johnson gave his personal commitment when he met Premier Ky and General Thieu, the chief of state, in Honolulu in February.The purpose of the voting was to give legitimacy to the Saigon Government, which has been founded only on coups and power plays since November, 1963, when President Ngo Dinh Deim was overthrown by a military junta.- Peter Grose, New York Times'U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote,' September 4, 1967.

We now know that LBJ and his advisors had already lost confidence in the war.

Yet, the number of casualties exploded and ripped our country apart from 1967-1975.

Indirectly, this led to Nixon being elected and Nixon resigning, because 'Watergate' began with an attempt to plug leaks of the "Pentagon Papers," which dealt mostly with LBJ's deceptions.

That's the irony of this tragedy.

Tragic was the trumpeting of seeming good news, while actually knowing or thinking things were actually much worse.

We fear we now may be making the same mistakes.

So if we plan on leaving, we hope the administration errs on the side of an early exit, which could have positive unintended consequences.

Since the fear of chaos is the only thing that you can accurately predict, that fear can serve as pre-emptive catalyst to get the various factions to face reality.

Also, Bush can "declare victory" in the way that one General suggested we do early on in Vietnam.

In fact, for Bush it would be easier, because he could just revert to the original reasons stated for the war.

Bush could say we had to confirm no WMD's, verify terror links, and remove an enemy to peace in the region.

The money saved could be used for better treatment for US soldiers and vets, incentive aid for Iraqi to move in the right direction politically and economically, development aide for Egypt and Jordon tied to the develpment of private economies, helping them broker more regional trade deals with Israel that would serve to create countervailing power bases that make conflict less attractive, continued aid for Israel and help in final border status negotiations with the Palestinians and Syrians, and a host of other things that would ultimately add to our wealth, rather run us into more debt.