One bonobo's view of the world...and stuff.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's one damned thing after another.

"History is written by the victors", says the slogan. In fact, in the case of the Vietnam, it has now been re-written by the losers - as evidenced in George Bush's speech to US veterans yesterday.

In fairness, it didn't start with Dubya. There is a current of popular mythology that says that the war could have been won if the US hadn't soft-pedalled to appease the lefty peaceniks (and if the draft dodgers had done there part...oops better not mention that). Bush is playing on this when he talks about the US 'withdrawal' from Vietnam. That's 'withdrawal' as in 'kicked out.' The US were licked fair and square. Despite their overwhelming advantages in firepower and logistics they had no choice but to 'withdraw'.

Nevertheless, they shouldn't make the mistake of withdrawing again. Last time, we're told, that led to the horrors of the Khmer Rouge killing fields. He has a point there. The US left the region in a shocking state. Part of the mess was the power vacuum created in Cambodia, in large measure due to 'Operation Breakfast' and 'Operation Menu', the covert carpet-bombing of Cambodia which Kissinger used to destroy peace talks and to suppress Viet Minh elements that were in opposition to Pol Pot's faction of the Khmer Rouge. Cambodia and Laos were to be sacrificed to buy time in Vietnam. In so doing, the US shares a large part of the blame for creating a monster.

And who was it who sorted out the mess? In 1968, Cambodia was liberated by Vietnam.
Tip o' the hat to this guy for his photo title.

1 comment:

noggin said...

There is certainly some similarity between Iraq and Vietnam.

In neither case has/had the US any realistic criteria as to what would count as a victory, or a realistic exit strategy. It's hard to see the current situation not dragging on indefinitely.