Vietnam & Iraq – Wars of Ego

Vietnam & Iraq – Wars of Ego

I have a mixed attitude about the war in Iraq. On the one hand I have tremendous sympathy and compassion for both American young people who are sacrificing their normal life and actual life and limb as well as the civilians of Iraq. On the other, I don’t want to hear any more about deaths, injuries and the total catastrophe this war represents because it is too painful and seems to be a situation without a Iraq solution. I just want it over and the killing and wounding stopped. That may not be a realistic attitude, but that’s how I feel, so I hesitate to write about it again, but syndicated columnist Maureen Dowd has written an article which expresses how I feel.

She writes about the obvious similarity between Vietnam and Iraq. She correctly observes that with Vietnam LBJ and Robert McNamara were driven by ego and the need for face saving in maintaining our presence with young people being maimed and killed in a war that they knew could not be won. She sees the Bush administration in exactly the same situation now in Iraq. As she says: "Now the Bush administration finds itself at the same hour of shame. It knows the surge is not working. Iraq is in a civil war, with a gruesome bonus of terrorists mixed in."

It’s clear there is no available military solution and the "surge" was a failure except in killing and injuring additional troops. Now Shite clerk Muqtada al-Sadr sneaks back from Iran telling his followers that America is Satan, while Mr. Bush repeats he will never "retreat." On top of all of that, it seems clear that Iraq experts were right all along when they argued, before we invaded Iraq, that democracy would never work there anyway given the religious, political and ethic differences which are centuries old. So Americans are left with a situation where the original invasion was based upon deceit and lies of the Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld trio to invade Iraq in order to teach Saddam and the area a lesson. Instead of "mission accomplished" we ended up in a total quagmire which has killed and injured hundred of thousands of people, likely bankrupted our country and leaves no acceptable way out. Even if we were successful, it would have been for naught as democracy cannot function in the present political, ethnic and religious setting of the region. Iraq is in a shambles with destroyed buildings and total lack of infrastructure. American young people are dying in a civil war with no military solution and the Iraqi people are dying with them. All of this because of the egotism, deceit and abuse of power of the Bush white house.

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