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.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Running from the myth

Yesterday I referred you to a commentary by historian Rick Perlstein, Why Democrats can stop the war, where he explained that it's not only possible for the Democrats to stop war monger George but necessary for them to do so. Well over at The New Republic he has another great article,
Legend of the Fall
Are congressional liberals to blame for Vietnam?
He debunks the myth that it was congressional liberals that lost the war in Vietnam and wonders why the Democrats are still running from that myth.
[W]hen Senator Hillary Clinton stepped up to the microphones Wednesday to introduce her new anti-surge bill, the language was so defensive you'd think she was proposing to outlaw Christmas--not to stop one of the most unpopular ideas a president has ever dared to propose. She framed her bill not as an effort to keep President Bush from adding more troops to Iraq (though a Newsweek poll suggests that only 23 percent of Americans support adding troops) but as a bill to add troops to Afghanistan. Most importantly, she made sure to emphasize, "I do not support cutting funding for American troops." (She repeated that on the NewsHour the next evening: "Instead of cutting funding for American troops, which I do not support because still, to this day, we do not have all of the equipment, the armored Humvees, and the rest that our troops need... .")

If Americans didn't think so irrationally about war and the politics of ending it, more people might have thought to ask: Who had suggested she had? Who was she defending herself against? Why would the most cautious politician in the Senate commit anything so morally enormous as "cutting funding for American troops" as they faced a dangerous enemy on the battlefield?
Hillary was indeed running from the myth that the Democrats were responsible for losing the unwinnable war in Vietnam. It is a myth spread by those in denial like the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and various neocon organizations. Of course it is a myth because you can't win a war when you are fighting the entire population of a country. That was the case in Vietnam and has at least become the case in Iraq. Perlstein explains what actually happened at the end of the Vietnam war.
The first time the Senate actually voted to suspend funding for American military activities in Vietnam was in the summer of 1973, two months after the last American combat brigades left, by the terms of a peace treaty Nixon negotiated. That amendment passed by a veto-proof majority--encompassing Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals--of 64 to 26.
That's right, the funding was cut off after the last American had left Vietnam. Go read the entire article for the complete time line and the lies that continue. So Hillary listens to the consultants and refuses to state the obvious. Perhaps the new engineer of the "straight talk express", Jim Webb, will continue to call it as he sees it.

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