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InvisibleXlea321
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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Iraq isn't another Vietnam
    #2700611 - 05/19/04 12:10 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Iraq isn't another Vietnam - it's much worse. The images of abused prisoners demonstrate not just American depravity, says the philosopher John Gray, but the folly of waging war as a moral crusade
19 May 2004


Misguided from the start, the war in Iraq is spiralling out of control. Any legitimacy the occupying forces may ever have possessed has been destroyed, and there are signs that Iraqi insurgents are coming together to mount a movement of resistance that could render the country ungovernable. With even more damning images likely to find their way into the public realm in the near future, the United States is facing an historic defeat in Iraq - a blow to American power more damaging than it suffered in Vietnam, and far larger in its global implications.

The inescapable implication of currently available evidence is that the use of torture by US forces was not an aberration, but a practice sanctioned at the highest levels. Undoubtedly there were serious breaches of discipline, and the blank failure to understand that they had done anything wrong displayed by some of the abusers does not speak well for the levels of training of sections of the US military.

Abuse on the scale suggested by the Red Cross report cannot be accounted for by any mere lapse in discipline or the trailer-park mentality of some American recruits. It was inherent in the American approach to the war. American military intervention in Iraq was based on neo-conservative fantasies about US forces being greeted as liberators. In fact, as could be foreseen at the time, it has embroiled these forces in a brutal and hopeless war against the Iraqi people. From being regarded as passive recipients of American goodwill, they are now viewed as virtually subhuman. If, as seems clear, British forces are innocent of anything resembling the systemic abuse that appears to have been practised by the Americans, one reason is that they do not share these attitudes.

The resistance mounted by the Iraqi insurgents can be compared to the anti-colonial liberation struggles of the 1950s, but the closest parallels with the intractable conflict now under way are found in Chechnya, which remains a zone of anarchy and terror despite the ruthless deployment of Russian firepower and the systematic use of torture for more than a decade. It was the prospect of an intractable guerrilla conflict that led many soldiers in the Pentagon to express deep reservations regarding the war. When the civilian leadership launched the invasion of Iraq, US forces were plunged into a type of conflict for which they are supremely ill equipped.

In the wake of Vietnam and Somalia, American military doctrine has been based on "force protection" and "shock and awe". In practice, these strategies mean killing anyone who appears to pose any threat to US forces and overcoming the enemy through the use of overwhelming firepower. Effective in the early stages of the war when the enemy was Saddam and his regime, they are deeply counter-productive when, as in Iraq today, the enemy comprises much of the population. As Douglas Hurd has observed, filling the hospitals and mortuaries is not the best way to win hearts and minds. The effect has been to make the conflict more savage. It is in circumstances such as these that torture becomes routine. In Iraq over the past year, as in Chechnya, and before that in Algeria where the French fought a similar dirty war, anyone could end up a victim of torture.


In Iraq, the Bush administration evaded international law by a different route. They outsourced security duties at Abu Ghraib and other American detention facilities to private contractors not covered by military law and not regulated by the Geneva Convention. In effect, the Bush administration deliberately created a lawless environment in which abuse could be practised with impunity.

The Bush administration's self-defeating approach to terrorism is symptomatic of a dangerous unrealism running right through its thinking. For Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Defense Secretary, and other neo-conservatives, the solution to terrorism was to "modernise" the Middle East. For them, that meant overthrowing many, if not most, of the area's regimes and replacing them with secular liberal democracies. They appear not to have noticed that the region's secular regimes were authoritarian states such as Syria and Iraq. In the Middle East today, as in Algeria in the past, democracy means Islamist rule.

In part, the attack on Iraq was simply another exercise in the type of neo-Wilsonian fantasy that is a recurring feature of US foreign policy, but it was also an exercise in realpolitik - and a resource war. A key part of the rationale for the invasion was to enable the US to withdraw from Saudi Arabia, which had come to be seen as complicit with terror and inherently unstable.

If it was to pull out from Saudi Arabia, the US needed another source of oil. Only Iraq has it in sufficient quantities - hence the drive for regime change. In this Dr Strangelove-like vision, once Saddam had been removed and Iraq remodelled as a Western-style democracy, the oil would start flowing. The war would be self-financing, and the world economy would move smoothly into the sunlit uplands.

Things have not turned out quite like that. Oil prices have risen, not fallen, and they could easily rise further. Partly this is a result of the increasingly desperate security situation in Iraq. The Americans did more than overthrow Saddam's despotic regime; they also destroyed the Iraqi state, with the result that the country is now in a condition of semi-anarchy.


If he decides to cut and run, Bush may yet survive the d?b?cle in Iraq. No such prospect beckons for Tony Blair. It was his brand of messianic liberalism that dragged Britain into the war. For the Prime Minister, going to war in Iraq offered an intoxicating feeling of rectitude combined with the reassuring sense of being on the side of the big battalions. But American invincibility was a neo-conservative myth, and the notion that Blair can survive the hideous fiasco that is unfolding in Iraq is as delusional as the thinking that led to the war in the first place. It cannot be long before he is irresistibly prompted to seek new avenues for his messianic ambitions.

In the US, American withdrawal will be represented as a reward for a job well done. The rest of the world will recognise it as a humiliating defeat, and it is here that the analogy of Vietnam is inadequate. The Iraq war has been lost far more quickly than that in South-east Asia, and the impact on the world is potentially much greater. Whereas Vietnam had little economic significance, Iraq is pivotal in the world economy. No dominoes fell with the fall of Saigon, but some pretty weighty ones could be shaken as the American tanks rumble out of Baghdad.

The full implications of such a blow to American power cannot be foreseen. One consequence is clear enough, however. The world has seen the last of liberal imperialism. It died on the killing fields of Iraq. It is no consolation to the people of that country, but at least their sufferings have demonstrated the cruel folly of waging war in order to fight a liberal crusade.

John Gray is Professor of European Thought at the LSE.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=522568


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OfflineTao
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: Xlea321]
    #2700739 - 05/19/04 12:41 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

I didn't read this whole thing but there's no way (at least at this point in time) that this is worse than vietnam was. Vietnam had more deaths, less hope of success and much worse reasoning (at least we were attacked by the middle east, we were never even attacked during the cold war. and as for the abuse scandals, im sure if there were digital cameras and the internet back then, we'd have abuse photos to. John McCain himself was abused by the other side wasn't he? I'm sure there was that on our side too.


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: Tao]
    #2700822 - 05/19/04 12:57 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

"less hope of success"
hardly

the same reasoning caused this war, mind you that Iraq nor did ANY nation attack America


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OfflinePNutButta
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: Xlea321]
    #2701052 - 05/19/04 01:40 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

at least we were attacked by the middle east




thats kinda a broad statement...


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: Xlea321]
    #2701447 - 05/19/04 03:08 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

I didn't read this whole thing but there's no way (at least at this point in time) that this is worse than vietnam was.



Or anywhere near as bad. Not yet, anyway, and probably never.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: Xlea321]
    #2701910 - 05/19/04 04:53 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Iraq isn't another Vietnam - it's much worse.



  :lol:

You'll post anything you see that attempts to portray America in a bad light, no matter how stupid it is.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineTao
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: vampirism]
    #2702042 - 05/19/04 05:31 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Morrowind said:
"less hope of success"
hardly




in vietnam we never even toppled the opposing government. we've already been more successful than vietnam
Quote:


the same reasoning caused this war, mind you that Iraq nor did ANY nation attack America




well, governments allowed the terrorist camps to exist and sometimes funded them. im not saying this is GOOD reason, but its better reasoning than killing massive numbers of people in order to prevent an ideology from spreading.


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OfflineTao
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: PNutButta]
    #2702052 - 05/19/04 05:33 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

PNutButta said:
Quote:

at least we were attacked by the middle east




thats kinda a broad statement...




sorry, i couldnt be bothered to explain the logic there earlier. i mean im assuming iraq was an attempt to eliminate terror networks in the middle east by trying to force democracy upon them. at least we were provoked by terrorism in the middle east. in vietnam, its not like we had been attacked by communism or communist governments.


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Offlined33p
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: Tao]
    #2702098 - 05/19/04 05:47 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

TaoTeChing said:
Quote:

Morrowind said:
"less hope of success"
hardly




in vietnam we never even toppled the opposing government. we've already been more successful than vietnam




Why do people tend to be so ignorant about the Vietnam war? I mean it is America's longest war and people know nothing about it.

We were never going to invade the north, we couldn't. We could have easily taken the north but the consequences with communist nations may have been very bad. We were ONLY there to stop the north from taking over the south.

We accomplished this goal and signed the parris peace accord and got the fuck out. Ford cut our monetary support in half and then the North's massive campaign in '75 finally secured their victory.

And we were attacked by Vietnam, it was called "The Gulf of Tonkin Incident"


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: d33p]
    #2702162 - 05/19/04 06:01 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

And we were attacked by Vietnam, it was called "The Gulf of Tonkin Incident"



Maybe I'm mistaken, but wasn't that later proven to be a hoax?


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineMetaShroom
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: d33p]
    #2702177 - 05/19/04 06:05 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

d33p said:
And we were attacked by Vietnam, it was called "The Gulf of Tonkin Incident"




The Gulf of Tonkin incident didn't involve any attack by Vietnam. Also, the ship that wasn't attacked had been covertly attacking the Vietnam coast.


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Offlined33p
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: MetaShroom]
    #2702196 - 05/19/04 06:12 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

The maddox was collecting intel from the north, and not attacking so sorry.

On august 2nd patrol boats attacked the maddox and aircraft were sent to repel them. On aug 4th the captain of the maddox believed they had been attacked due to his instruments. He later stated they may not have been attacked on the 4th.

The incident was however misrepresented to congress and the resolution was bullshit.

I wasent supporting the vietnam war, it was shit. I was only stating facts.


--------------------
I'm a nihilist. Lets be friends.

bang bang


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Offlined33p
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: MetaShroom]
    #2702269 - 05/19/04 06:35 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

MetaShroom said:
The Gulf of Tonkin incident didn't involve any attack by Vietnam. Also, the ship that wasn't attacked had been covertly attacking the Vietnam coast.




Serriously what the fuck are they teaching you people in the UK about America. And sometimes i wonder how people think the way they do. :rolleyes:


--------------------
I'm a nihilist. Lets be friends.

bang bang


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: d33p]
    #2702282 - 05/19/04 06:39 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

i wonder how people think the way they do.



:lol: Most don't think at all.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: Tao]
    #2703709 - 05/20/04 12:51 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

and as for the abuse scandals, im sure if there were digital cameras and the internet back then, we'd have abuse photos to. John McCain himself was abused by the other side wasn't he? I'm sure there was that on our side too.




So we should ignore it then?

I'm sure there was lots of abuse in Vietnam, but the fact is, these photos mean a LOT to the Arabic world. The fact that you can see it with your own eyes means everything.






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OfflineTao
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: Learyfan]
    #2703880 - 05/20/04 01:29 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

You seem to have lost sight of the original question of the thread which is whether iraq is doing worse than vietnam was.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: Tao]
    #2703893 - 05/20/04 01:32 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

The original question of the thread was that the blow to America of fucking up in the middle east will be worse than Vietnam.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: phi1618]
    #2703897 - 05/20/04 01:33 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Or anywhere near as bad. Not yet, anyway, and probably never

That's not the point he's making. Read the article.


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: Tao]
    #2703912 - 05/20/04 01:37 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

I'm really saying that even though fewer people have or will die in Iraq, in the end this war will be seen as being in the same concentric circle on the disaster dart board as Vietnam.






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InvisibleCJay
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Re: Iraq isn't another Vietnam [Re: Learyfan]
    #2704941 - 05/20/04 11:31 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Yes it is as bad or probably worse than vietnam. And it will get a lot worse! Heh heh! Man it?s just ridiculous beyond belief! The brainwashing, lie constructing and apathy inducing arms of government have done a great job! Which is amazing. Bravo

Vietnam was obviously 2 superpowers jousting, using someone else?s home for a battlepitch. Not good. Very bad actually!

Iraq ?

Un un-elected ?president? (dictator of America, Afganistan and Iraq)
Fabricates a case for war
Against first Aphganistan, then Iraq
Using a poor and vague excuse as leverage, based on the activities of a small group of non-state endorsed people called terrorists who are not the agents of either of the governments of the countries attacked.
It?s obvious for everyone to see and the largest anti-war demonstrations in the history of mankind are held, yet in our supposed democratic societies the people?s opinion is ignored and the lies defended by the old ?secrecy for your own protection? clause are continually fed to the people.
The UN is ignored (but in reverse of this is used as a diplomatic shield, when desired) Powell pulls out some (impressive) intelligence photos, that look like selection of blurred pics of a pickup truck in Arizona. Undoubtably these pictures show Saddam?s massive nuclear arsenal is real (ahem)
Yet despite this overwhelming ?evidence? which cannot actually be produced (ahem)??not one morsel of  proof has surfaced. Military intelligence once again proves it?s own oxymoronity. 

Sure the USA has committed one atrocious war after another like this, and so have most nation states when they are able to too. But the amazing thing about this is most people weren?t genuinely hoodwinked. Yet most people hid from the truth. And yet we just watch as politicians backtrack and say anything they want to cover their lies. Also amazing is the lack of memory of the news and media as to what was said before (ahem).

(Was everyone blind ? or just dying to be brainwashed because the truth is that the burgers and coke will stop flowing if a lie is not believed and the oilfields not secured. Fuck conscience, gotta keep the burgers flowing! Or is it just too much too believe the truth about politicians for most people. I mean like they said it would be the first war without civilian casualties, I know a lot of people who swallowed that! Unbelievable, don?t people know what war means? Ah well, soon it will be unavoidable and the truth will stare everyone in the face ? like it or not)

Not one of the war?s objective has been met. Not one of the reasons for these objectives was true.

Except of course for the objectives of the arms industries, oil industries, and Mr Bush?s personal agenda

And even those are failing rapidly!

However America is much more desperate than in the Veitnam days, they gotta get Iraq or they won?t be the richest country in the world much longer! That?s the issue.

It?s a total f**kup

As for Taoteching's comment ?at least the USA was attacked by the middle east? hmmmmmm

- the ?middle east? ? that?s a subcontinent made up of many states. Saying ?middle  east? is like saying ?South America?,
? oh and any proof mate?
? And if it was terrorists, well I can?t imagine England declaring war and flying the bombers into Ireland because the IRA set off a bomb in London. It does not compute. Terrorist groups do not = countries (unless u r dumbass Bush of course)
? The Bin Ladens, George Bush?s old associates??hmmmmm this is starting to add up!



D-A-R-K

The state and it?s protective wings prevail again, making it easy for all good people to sleep at night.

50,000 people in the middle east die, but Bin Laden is never caught. Well directed revenge on your friend Bush!
Sadam shaves his beard, gets a new name and a house in Florida ? still in the club.

Everyone?s happy! Justice prevails!
:grin: :sun:


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