Friday, January 08, 2010

Coincidence or Karma?

The first real blemish on the so-called American Century was the war in Vietnam, where the greatest military force the world had ever known was bogged down for years fighting an army of indigenous insurgents who could blend in with the local population at will.

The current version of the greatest military force the world has ever known has been bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan for years, fighting armies of (largely) indigenous insurgents who can blend in with the local population at will.

The American Revolution was begun when indigenous insurgents who could blend in with the local population at will bogged down and harassed the greatest military force the world had ever known.

The parallels can’t be pushed too far. The Viet Cong won because American public opinion turned against the war; they were routinely hammered on the battlefield. The American colonies were eventually able to build an Army that gave the British enough of a beating for them to go away. We’re likely going to be able to declare victory and leave Iraq and Afghanistan on more or less our own terms, though who—or what—will fill the vacuum is unknown and worrisome.

Still, it’s a little disconcerting, and worth noting to anyone who complains because these rag heads won’t fight fair.

1 comment:

Charlieopera said...

In the Vietnam fiasco we were attempting to stop the so-called domino theory regarding the spread of communism. Before we withdrew, we involved a neutral state (Combodia), fostered communism there under the Khmer Rouge (which resulted in a 2nd cultural revolution and the killing fields) and once we were gone, North Vietnam had its way.

Since then we haven’t been attacked so obviously all that war and death we caused was much ado about nothing regarding stopping the flow of communism.

I’m not sure what the hell we’re doing in Afghanistan anymore. I can only assume we went to Iraq for some measure of control of the oil flow (in spite of the three-to-ten excuses the Bush administration came up with regarding WMD, regime change, the spread of democracy, etc.).

We’re in over our heads. Your point is valid. And it isn’t going to make an iota of difference to us (unless we’re looking to glom the oil in Iraq) what happens once we leave. Once again, we’ve facilitated the bad guys from having their way by invading and occupying countries that didn’t ask for our intervention.

That isn't me blaming America, by the way. It's me blaming capitalism, make no mistake.