I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Another Vietnam-Iraq Analogy

The Diem Option
Over the past few days, we've seen a marked shift in statements from American political and military leaders regarding Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. The shift began last weekend with an op-ed in the Washington Post by former interim prime minister Ayad Allawi, a Shiite strongman who would like to once again run Iraq.


The op-ed by Allawi was dangerous enough; he was clearly sending up a trial balloon to see what the world would think of a coup. We effectively answered him by saying "go ahead dude!" Although the statements from Warner, Levin, Casey and Bush contained some caveats that we would welcome a democratic change of government, that subtlety is likely to be lost on those who want to stoke chaos in Iraq. We may have opened a Pandora's Box with these intrigues... and I don't think this was the best move to make.

So... what does this have to do with Ngo Dinh Diem? Not much. Except that 44 years ago, a group of America's best and brightest thought they could engineer the situation in Vietnam by removing a corrupt and incompetent regime from power. They were wrong. Allowing a coup to topple the Diem government started that country down a death spiral from which it never recovered. We should exercise a great deal of caution here, both in what we do and what we say.
I'm 61 years old - I was in the Army from 1968 to 1971. I remember those coups against corrupt and incompetent regimes in Vietnam. Yes Iraq is like Vietnam.

Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die Rag (Next Stop Vietnam)
Country Joe & the Fish

Come on all of you big strong men
Uncle Sam needs your help again
he's got himself in a terrible jam
way down yonder in Viet Nam so
put down your books and pick up a gun we're
gonna have a whole lotta fun

And it's one, two, three, what are we fighting for
don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam
And it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates
ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee we're all gonna die

Come on generals, let's move fast
your big chance has come at last
now you can go out and get those reds
cos the only good commie is the one that's dead and
you know that peace can only be won when we've
blown 'em all to kingdom come

Come on wall street don't be slow
why man this war is a go-go
there's plenty good money to be made by
supplying the army with the tools of its trade
let's hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
they drop it on the Viet Cong

Come on mothers throughout the land
pack your boys off to Viet Nam
come on fathers don't hesitate
send your sons off before it's too late
and you can be the first ones on your block
to have your boy come home in a box

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