It’s hard to be 61-years-old. There are things, mistakes you’ve been through and you see them being repeated. So it is with Joe Biden’s visit to Iraq. He is indicating that while our military presence will dwindle, our diplomatic presence will increase. He said from Bagdad “We’re going to be just fine. They’re going to be just fine.” If only words could cause fact. Robert McNamara said before he died in his book that Vietnam was an error. In the 1960’s he preached as Secretary of Defense it was a war that was mandatory even suggesting nuclear war.
Lara Jakes and Qassim Abdul-Zahra, Associated Press Writers, have posted an article titled “Biden says US won’t abandon Iraq.”
Iraq is a country that hasn’t truly decided on a government. How can they be expected to maintain any kind of valid military force? Also, their enemies are not your regular enemy. They are facing terrorists like al-Qaida and Baath Party loyalists.
Many years have passed since 1975, 35 years to be exact. I was there in 1970 and served until 1971. Richard Nixon had employed a withdrawal plan because public opinion against the war was so high. The fact is we accomplished nothing. As soon as America stopped warring, North Vietnam toppled the South taking over Saigon in 55 days.
My wife and I tutored a Vietnamese family in 1980 and they told stories (they ultimately were boat people) about the executions in 1975 against the South Vietnamese.
Why did South Vietnam fall like that? It fell because the North had motivation to fulfill their dream of a unified Vietnam under Communism. The South was fighting for our reasons not theirs. They were peasant farmers who cared as much about politics as their water buffalo did.
That is what we’re dealing with in Iraq. America knows it hasn’t a prayer of winning. Why is that? The same thing applies to Iraq as applied to Vietnam Iraq does not have a unified dream or desire to build a specific government. Therefore the terrorists who do have a burning desire to complete their mission at any cost will continue the fight and ultimately win the fight.
If this happens the best place to be is at the negotiating table and that is our plan. As our reference article reports we can have the largest embassy in Bagdad and if we aren’t taking part in military action it does no good.
Young men and women die in these “wars.” We need to use our capabilities to take care of our own people.
Personal Experience and Knowledge
Associated Press Website, Lara Jakes and Qassim Abdul-Zahra, “Biden says US won’t abandon Iraq”