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You Keep Using That Word; I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

The image of Vizzini from The Princess Bride kept quite annoyingly cropping up as I read this latest salvo from Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard (h/

The image of Vizzini from The Princess Bride kept quite annoyingly cropping up as I read this latest salvo from Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard (h/t Kevin2).

Absolutely convinced of his own genius and sounding very authoritative in military matters, he sets up analogies and parallels that show any person with more than two braincells to rub together don't actually apply. And it's completely clear that the lessons that the rest of us learned from Vietnam are not the same ones Fred did:

...Indeed, they might, for certain parallels between Iraq and Vietnam are uncanny. A new general, David Petraeus, is taking over in Iraq with a credible new strategy, counterinsurgency. Four decades ago, General Creighton Abrams became the American commander in Vietnam, also with a new strategy. It called for taking and holding the villages and hamlets of South Vietnam. In a word, it was counterinsurgency, and it worked. Now in Iraq, Petraeus has as good a chance of success, starting with the pacification of Baghdad, as Abrams had. And the painful lesson of Vietnam applies in Iraq: Don't give up when victory is at hand.

Those in Congress who advocate retreat in Iraq refuse to acknowledge this lesson. And they may have their way, whatever Petraeus accomplishes. With their calls for troop withdrawals and fund cutoffs and their antiwar resolutions, they have put America on a slippery slope in Iraq. And we know where it leads: to defeat while victory remains quite possible. This happened in six descending steps in Vietnam, and today's coalition in Congress of antiwar Democrats and vacillating Republicans has started pushing us down that dangerous slope.

What kind of hellacious Kool-Aid are they serving down at the Weekly Standard? How can anyone with even a slight grasp of reality say that "victory is at hand"? Their selective hearing in hearing only Bush/Cheney's words and ignoring EVERYONE else who says that this is an unwinnable quagmire makes them criminal in their support. I hope the ghosts of all those unnecessary deaths of troops and Iraqis alike haunt them the rest of their days.


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