Saturday, August 25, 2007

One Lesson from Vietnam

Lately I have been pondering the fact that so many Democratic Senators, left leaning pols (including some wavering Republicans) have been visiting Iraq recently, only to return with the message that the surge has been working.  Nonetheless, they seem to be saying, we need to bolt out of there anyway.

Along come this piece in the Times of London (it is actually a Sunday piece) that says, in essence, that historians of Vietnam say, better not to cut and run.  An excerpt:

[T]he lessons of Vietnam have provoked intense discussion among historians and in current affairs magazines such as the neo-conservative Weekly Standard.

Bush has been quietly paying attention and had been thinking for months about the right moment to bring Vietnam into the debate, according to a White House official....

James Q Wilson, a social scientist who is revered by conservatives, argued in The Wall Street Journal last year: “Whenever a foreign enemy challenges us, he will know that his objective will be to win the battle . . . among the people who determine what we read and watch. We are in danger of losing in Iraq . . . in the newspapers, magazines and television programmes we enjoy.”

It's still a left leaning piece, but the general concept of staying the course to avoid a calamity of the innocent is nonetheless as valid as ever.

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