Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Let's Not Nuke Iran-Yet

Writing in the New Yorker magazine Seymour Hersh claims that the Bush Administration is formulating plans to invade Iran, plans that include the use of nuclear weapons. While this sounds like a great idea, I don't think we should rush into things before we take care of some unfinished business.

It is said that generals are always fighting the last war, which is a pretty good strategy as it confuses the enemy who mistakenly believes you are fighting the current war. In the first Iraq War, Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf were actually re-fighting the Vietnam War again, determined to get it right this time. In the latest War in Iraq, President Bush has been fighting the last Iraq War--and Vietnam. I think you see the pattern here. So before we move on to nuking Iran, there's one war we need to win once and for all: The Vietnam War. The specter of the Vietnam War is always going to hang over our country until we win this war decisively. That's why I think the next country we should invade is Vietnam.

I think a new Vietnam War is one we could actually win. Vietnam has not fought a war since it invaded Cambodia 30 years ago, while we have had a lot of practice. We would certainly have the advantage of surprise. It would prove to the world that we are interested in more than just oil (although some liberals might accuse us of "trading blood for rice"). And I think it would give the Swift Boat Veterans the sense of closure they so desperately need.

I think we have learned a lot from our mistakes the first time around. Everyone knows that it was the press' fault that we didn't win in Vietnam. But I don't think we would have to worry too much about the press undercutting our efforts this time around. In the first Vietnam War the press was allowed to run around and report whatever they wanted to. But in Vietnam War Redux all we have to do is "embed" reporters with the troops and feed them selectively leaked "scoops," and they will be happy to report only good things about the war as long as we can get it over with quickly before they get bored.

Another problem we had during the first Vietnam War was that nobody knew very much about Asia in the government then. Unfortunately, virtually all of the experts on Asia had to be fired when it was discovered during the McCarthy era that they were Communists. Now, most of the people in the government are neocons who know a lot about the Cold War but not so much about the Middle East. It might be nice if we give them a little more time to bone up on the Middle East and build up their confidence by letting them win an easy one.

We already have a plan for winning the Vietnam War that was never given a chance for success. General Curtis LeMay, who was the model for General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove, believed that we should threaten "to bomb Vietnam back to the Stone Age." Unfortunately, he was fired in 1965 before that could be done. President Nixon then proposed a similar theory, which he called "the Madman Theory." As he explained to his advisor H.R. Haldeman, ''I want the North Vietnamese to believe that I've reached the point that I might do anything to stop the war. We'll just slip the word to them that for God's sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can't restrain him when he's angry, and he has his hand on the nuclear button, and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace."

The problem with this strategy was that Vietnam believed they were idle threats because we never backed them up. But if we follow through on these threats by invading Vietnam and unleashing our arsenal of nuclear weapons on the Vietnamese people, I don't think there will be any doubt that the Bush Administration is capable of anything. While it may be difficult for some people to believe that President Bush himself has gone over the edge, a few leaks to the right people would be enough to convince everyone that Vice President Cheney was behind the whole thing. That would leave the President free to say to Iran, "You better negotiate with me because there's no telling what Cheney might do. Look what happened to Vietnam." In a sense, Bush and Cheney would be playing Good Cop and Bad Cop, which always works on TV.

In 1979 former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick said, "Vietnam presumably taught us that the United States could not serve as the world's policeman; it should also have taught us the dangers of trying to be the world's midwife to democracy when the birth is scheduled to take place under conditions of guerrilla war." It's just this kind of dangerous pre-9/11 thinking that could be refuted by a new, better Vietnam War. I believe it was the Grammy Award winning guitarist Santana who said, "Those who do not study history, are doomed to repeat the class." By invading Vietnam, and doing it right this time, we could change history.

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Storm Bear said...

Great post.

You forgot anotother great reason to go to Vietnam, we know the lay of the land... been there and all of that. We already know all the pinch points on the river systems and know where spider holes are.

I linked my cartoon to you this morning!

Anonymous said...

funny post - just until I imagined you might actually be serious... are you?

Patricia said...

How about if Bush and Cheney go there this time? Might make all the difference in how it comes out.

Anonymous said...

You know, we could go ahead and nuke Russia too. I never felt that cold war ended quite to my satisfaction.

Anonymous said...

JS - I really really needed a way to laugh at all this just now. Thank you!

BlondeBlogger said...

Did you leave a nasty, sarcastic remark on my blog today, or was that someone impersonating you? (under my Schiavo post in my Haloscan comments....they left the name "Naive Steve" and a link to this blog.)

Just want to know if I should forever stay away from your blog and hate you or not, lol.

Kel said...

That's a very, very funny post. I'm a liberal, but it's great to come across a Republican with your sense of humour.

Keep up the good work.

This site is a great addition to the blogosphere. I'll be back!

Anonymous said...

You my son -- are a genius!

benmerc said...

"Unfortunately, virtually all of the experts on Asia had to be fired when it was discovered during the McCarthy era that they were Communists"

"It might be nice if we give them a little more time to bone up on the Middle East and build up their confidence by letting them win an easy one"

It's just to much daddy-o!

Anonymous said...

The thing about the generals fighting the last war is, there are generals on both sides. So the other side won't be confused, because their generals are fighting the last war too.

This suggests that we might be better off to eliminate the generals from the planning stage and hand the whole thing over to the lieutenants. After all, they're the ones whose asses will be blown off if the planning isn't done well…

Henry Bateman said...

When I get my breath back I will comment.

Anonymous said...

I think a new Vietnam War is one we could actually win. Vietnam has not fought a war since it invaded Cambodia 30 years ago, while we have had a lot of practice.

Not true, Jon. They had a spat with China 20 years ago and actually invaded. I think the Chinese invaded first.

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sportsbook said...

I find the word 'yet' amusing. But today everybody wants to bomb Iran instead of focusing on our own problems.

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Dr. Amit K Devra said...

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