Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Venerating Vietnam--UPDATE

You know how a teenager feels triumphant when he gets permission to drive to a party and drinks and feels so adult. And then, in his drunken stupidity drives home and causes an accident where an innocent stranger dies? The Democrat party waxes nostalgic about their first car ride and party and conveniently forgets the deaths they caused after their joy-ride. I have never been able to understand the Left's veneration of Vietnam. To me, it is proof positive that their high-minded war strategies end in death. But they got to drive the car, man. They got to drive!

How is a strategy that ends in the deaths of half a million people a winning strategy? Well, it's absolutely fantastic if you're craven enough to leave all those people to die so that your party will win back power--assuming that winning power back will be the result. The only problem is that now, Americans, seem to have a stronger conscience and better memory than the Democrats and the progressive leftists, and aren't particularly enthused about living with the blood of a million or two people on their hands. They do take responsibility for this choice--even if the Left seem determined to pin it on President Bush.

Jonah Goldberg points out what Americans remember:

Yes, but those arguments were right. Our withdrawal from Vietnam did contribute to a great bloodbath. More than a half-million Vietnamese died at sea fleeing the grand peace Kennedy and his colleagues orchestrated. And more than 1.2 million Cambodians died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, thanks to the power vacuum created by our "humanitarian" withdrawal. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., a presidential candidate, insists that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq can't make things any worse. In 1975 he took a similar line: "The greatest gift our country can give to the Cambodian people is peace, not guns. And the best way to accomplish that goal is by ending military aid now." Someone rent Dodd a DVD of The Killing Fields.
Goldberg includes this nice sum up:
As my colleague Rich Lowry said in regard to Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha's effort to sneakily thwart the Bush surge: "It used to be that the war had to end because it was a failure; now it must fail so that it can end."
How did the Democrats win in Vietnam? Personally, I think the doped-up counter-culture anti-establishment types felt vindicated, listened to, and powerful. That was the "win". The little, narcissistic guy, triumphed. America certainly didn't triumph. Now, these same hippies are in power and continue to try to be anti-establishment. They are the establishment. The loathed parent. If they "win" in Iraq by contributing to America losing there, what have they won? And are they so sure the populace hates the President the way they do that the loss in Iraq will be perceived by average Americans as a win for them? Are they willing to stake their political futures on it?

Finally, on what principle does the Left want out of Iraq? What over-arching American good will losing there serve?

H/T Betsy Newmark

UPDATE: Protests just like Vietnam. And uncivil intercourse, just like Vietnam, too. Ah, the good old days.


Anonymous said...

Doc, VIETNAAAAM! The Myth now bears no resemblance to the actual long-running Cold War skirmish campaign on the East Coast of a small peninsula at the SW corner of Earth's largest continent. Just as JFK The Myth now bears little resemblance to John Kennedy the man.

And there were actually two 1960s, separated by a cutoff point around 1968. ("When Sauron finally got the Ring", according to one wag of a blogger.)

The first (pre-1968) 1960s was the world of The New Frontier, The Space Program, and the Sean Connery Bond movies. (Austin Powers is a parody of "Mod" fashion and style of the later part of that period.)

THE SIXTIES (TM) is actually the post-1968 period after the ongoing counterculture achieved critical mass (and actually lasted through the 1970s). Check the music archives; the music of the first 1960s shows a lot of variety and experimentation; those of THE SIXTIES (TM) are either "Dope is Groovy!" or "Get Out Of VIETNAAAAM!"

And the Myth of VIETNAAAAM! and the Myth of THE SIXTIES (TM) are still with us (just look at Indecision 2004); the first 1960s are all but forgotten.

The first 1960s would have gotten us the 21st Century of 2001 and the original EPCOT. THE SIXTIES (TM) gave us the 21st Century we see today.

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