View Full Version : History repeating itself

04-09-2004, 09:41 AM
One of McNamera's "lessons from Vietnam" was that it's crucial to understand the mindset of your enemy. We saw Vietnam as a fight against Communism, whereas the Vietnamese saw it as a fight for their freedom, a fight against the latest foreign occupying power.

The same thing is happening today in Iraq. The Middle East views our fight against the "insurgents" as a fight against Islam itself. We are bombing their mosques. It's a holy war. Regardless of whether that's objectively correct, I'm afraid that's how it's perceived, and that's what matters the most.

Bush in an idiot. He doesn't have the intellectual curiousity to even begin to understand the historical, political, or religious impact of what he's done. And I'm afraid he's got no one around him, save Colin Powell, to tell him otherwise.

The American people should be spending this long weekend seeing this movie and then seriously re-examining their beliefs about this war. Instead they'll be "remembering the Alamo" and celebrating the resurrection of a man who died 2000 years ago.

We live in Disneyland. We expect the rest of the world to see things exactly as we do, and then when they don't, we're confused.

04-09-2004, 11:27 AM
Well said JustAfied. The latest escalations in Iraq are horrifying, in part because of the bloodshed, but more so because of the utterly misdirected response. Two different wars are being fought, and history shows us that we can't "win" such a situation without embracing the viewpoint of our "enemy". If we did, we might find less of an "enemy" which is precisely what Bush fears - that there may be little place for the kind bang-them-over-the-head approach to installing Democracy that he has pinned his name to. What a fool.

Most important in times like these is the dialogue between citizens/Americans that could possibly bring into question the motives and consequences of such a policy. The unfortunate part, as you mention, is that the American populace seems more interested in bolstering a moral/religious right to do as we will. I wonder what the historical precedents are for civilizations that turn inward for answers and ignore the thousands of years of cultural history that surrounds them and could serve as a most reliable guide.

04-11-2004, 10:44 PM
Originally posted by pmw
The latest escalations in Iraq are horrifying, in part because of the bloodshed, but more so because of the utterly misdirected response.

Completely agree, Peter. U.S. citizens are killed, insurgents attack, and we vow revenge to the death. Revenge against whom? "Bring 'em on" says Bush. Great. Playing right into the fundamentalist Shiite's hands. Wouldn't it help to understand the mindset of the enemy here, as McNamera suggests, instead of simply trying to overpower everyone and everything?

What's going to end up happening, I'm afraid, is that we're going to hurry out of Iraq to avoid more casualities, Sadr and the fundamentalist Shiites will have dominant control, Iraq will look similar to Iran, and, ironically, it will end up being less safe for the U.S. then it was during the Saddam regime. What exactly are we trying to achieve at this point? How did we think it would end up being any different than this?

Bush, as a fundamentalist Christian, does indeed "turn inward for answers", as you pointed out. Remember when he met Putin and said he could see into his soul? Putin, an ex-KGB guy, was probably was trying to keep from laughing.

I didn't mean to bash the Christian tradition of Easter here, but it just seems like we need more reflection on and understanding of current events first and foremost. Everyone's rushing to see
The Alamo when there are real-life battles going on right now. It's frustrating. What are the long-term implications of this war? It's not just something you can return to the video store when you're done viewing, but that seems to be the mentality.

Here's hoping the numerous hostages are released safely.

05-17-2004, 09:01 PM
In his Oscar speech, Errol Morris said he thought we were going back down the rabbit's hole in this war in Iraq. How true that's become, even more so in the two and a half months since he said it. More killing today, more chaos, no apparent way out for the U.S. besides the quickest, easiest way. The Bush Administration has made mistake after mistake since putting us in this damnable position, and now we're in the thick of it. And America, engrossed in its reality t.v., has chosen to change the channel.