Will Iraq be America’s second Vietnam? (Guest Post)

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A news report by the website Mail Online that ISIS is only one mile away from Baghdad has raised alarm bells. Fierce fighting was reported to be taking place between Iraqi government forces and ISIS militants.

Six weeks of intense bombing by America and its allies has failed to stop the ISIS juggernaut that has conquered vast swaths of Iraq. Wherever they conquered, there were massacres and rapes. More than 1,000 Iraqi troops were killed in the outskirts of Iraq’s capital in the recent round of fighting.

Will Baghdad fall? This conjures up images of the fall of Saigon in 1975. There certainly are many similarities between the two wars. In Vietnam, it was Communism that was the threat. In Iraq today, it is Islamism. Both Communism and Islamism are totalitarian ideologies.

The Islamist seeks to conquer the world so that Sharia (Islamic Law) may be obeyed throughout the world. In a similar way, the Communists believed that the whole world should be communist and tried to export revolution all over the world.

In both Vietnam and Iraq, America tried to plant the seed of democracy in difficult conditions. South Vietnam held elections, albeit imperfect ones. But the Communist promised no elections at all, only totalitarian rule. In Iraq, elections were also held.

This attempt to bring democracy to Iraq was a challenge to the ideology of Islamism. The seed of democracy was planted in the barren soil of the Middle East. It faced the competing ideology of Islamism. In addition, tribal loyalties complicate matters. For it to have even a slim chance of success, the US needed to keep its military presence for a generation at least to prevent the nascent democracy from being overthrown by Islamist forces like the ISIS or by Iran, an Islamic state.

The US remained in Europe after World War II to protect Europe from another totalitarian ideology. Had the US withdrawn prematurely, Europe would have gone communist. So the US should have done the same in Iraq as it did in Europe.

Islamists want totalitarian rule based on Sharia (Islamic Law). Sharia is a misogynistic, Islamic supremacist ideology where other faiths are treated unequally. Sharia law rejects democracy which puts man as sovereign. For them only Allah is sovereign. See the picture below.

Islam Protest Woman

This picture says it all about their ideology. The protester rejects democracy and advocates Sharia. She wants it for all the world. Islamists consider democracy as a kind of idol worship because it places sovereignty on man instead of on Allah. Man, through the ballot box decides what laws he should live by.

This, according to the Islamist, is a great offense to Allah who solely has the right to decide what sort of laws man should live by. These laws are the Sharia. From the poster she was carrying, we can see that her ideology is opposed to democracy.

The second similarity is that in Vietnam as in Iraq, it was the left who aided these totalitarian forces. Leftist groups in America agitated to bring the troops home from Vietnam, paving the way for a Communist victory in Indochina, at a time when some believed the war was won. Today, it was again the Left that urged American withdrawal from Iraq, at a time when the Islamist forces, then known as Al Qaeda in Iraq, were defeated. ISIS is simply the offshoot of Al Qaeda, sharing in its ideology, though it differs from the tactics.

Do not forget that President Obama promised his leftist voters in 2008 that he will withdraw if elected. When he finally withdrew in 2011, he reminded his voters that he had kept his promise.

Obama said, “As promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year.”

The American Left has in both Vietnam and Iraq acted in a manner that helped America’s totalitarian enemies. Was this deliberate?

It does seem to be more than a coincidence that the Left again advocated and ultimately achieved a course of action that helped an enemy whose ideology is opposite of what America stands for.

As a result, Baghdad may fall to ISIS. Just as there was during the American withdrawal in Vietnam, will there be another picture of a helicopter rescuing staff at the US embassy?

A successful businessman and author, Robert H. Lee has spent years extensively researching the history of nations for his book Saving Democracy from Suicide. (LINK: www.savingdemocracyfromsuicide.com) A self-professed Americaphile, Lee resides in Singapore with his family, but he previous lived in the United States where he went to the University of Michigan for his MBA.

11 Responses to “Will Iraq be America’s second Vietnam? (Guest Post)”

  1. 1

    John

    It was Bush who had made that original promise and not just verbally he signed a solemn pledge to remove our COMBAT forces of course if he hadn’t the Iraqis would have been able to try our military in Iraqi courts
    Yeah Iraq is like Vietnam we got pushed into both by lies (WMD/Tonklin)
    Now of course Vietnam is our friend and we are getting ready to sell arms to it
    And we sure do like all that shrimp they sell us I know I do
    Oh and Nikes and tshirt a gotta have that stuff too
    The same clowns who told us the Vietnam war was needed and Iraq War II was needed now tell us that 3.0 will be awesome cheaper faster better all around and yes just like IW 2 was against our former friend Saddam this one will also be against our former friends and now for extra flavor we will be fighting alongside Syria and Iran !!
    And strangely enough? We have yet to receive an invite from Iraq for combat troops

  2. 3

    Greg

    The American Left has in both Vietnam and Iraq acted in a manner that helped America’s totalitarian enemies. Was this deliberate?

    It does seem to be more than a coincidence that the Left again advocated and ultimately achieved a course of action that helped an enemy whose ideology is opposite of what America stands for.

    It was the right’s course of action that removed Iran’s single greatest regional adversary at a projected long-term cost to the United States of at least 4 Trillion dollars, not to mention 4,488 American lives. The situation that has followed was clearly predicted by our own intelligence community before the invasion of Iraq was even undertaken. It’s also a fact that the timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq was finalized in a binding Status of Forces Agreement that could not by changed by unilateral decision the month before Obama was sworn into office. In spite of all this, the right insists that the whole thing has somehow been Barack Obama’s fault.

    Our involvement in Vietnam was a result of actions undertaken by both Democratic and Republican administrations. We left because a majority of the American public had finally had enough of it. (I left because my year long tour of duty was over. I had also had enough of it at that point.)

  3. 4

    retire05

    @Greg:

    Our involvement in Vietnam was a result of actions undertaken by both Democratic and Republican administrations.

    Perhaps you should re-review history. It wasn’t a Republican Administration that got us involved in Vietnam, or a Republican Administration that had such large body counts.

    We left because a majority of the American public had finally had enough of it.

    And why did public opinion change? Could it have had anything to do with LBJ’s lack of ability to run a war, or the fact that the Communists had infiltrated the college student movement and were actually funding the anti-war protests? Mao’s Little Red Book was a big hit at those rallies. Along with anything else Communist.

  4. 5

    Greg

    @retire05, #4:

    Perhaps you should re-review history. It wasn’t a Republican Administration that got us involved in Vietnam, or a Republican Administration that had such large body counts.

    Truman began sending military aid to the French in Vietnam back in 1950. That continued during the Eisenhower years. It was Eisenhower who stated in 1954 that the fall of the French colonial government could produce a domino effect, turning all of Southeast Asia communist. That became the generally accepted theory. Direct U.S. military aid to the new Vietnamese government in Saigon began in January 1955, after the French pulled out and Vietnam was partitioned. The Eisenhower administration kept anywhere from 750 to 1,500 U.S. military advisors in country from 1955 through 1960.

    My history is in fairly good order. Increasing U.S. involvement in Vietnam was clearly a bipartisan project.

  5. 6

    Pete

    @Greg:

    Interesting numbers from your Brown University website, which make all kinds of interesting additions to the alleged costs of the war, like including Operation Noble Eagle (which was about spending on Domestic security in response to 9/11 – which you might just recall happened BEFORE we went to war against Afghanistan and Iraq) and counts all military veteran health care spending as part of the cost of war, which is inaccurate given that there is a huge chunk of the veteran health care costs that have little to nothing to do with the cost of the Afghan and Iraq wars.

    http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/costs_of_major_us_wars.htm

    This analysis, dated from July 24th 2008, just 7 months before Obama occupied the Oval Office, reports a cumulative cost of Iraq/Afghanistan/GWOT in 2008 dollars at $859 billion. So if we are to accept your leftwing cost estimates, even subtracting the bogus $1 trillion thrown in for “estimated of obligations for veterns care, NPV 2015-2053” that leaves $3.3745 trillion in the Brown estimate of the cost. So, subtracting $0.859 trillion from $3.3745 trillion means that we are to believe this leftist propaganda that for the last 6 months of Bush’s term, and the 6 years of Obama’s term, that the war cost an additional $2.515 trillion despite the fact that the majority of combat operations were completed? Let us not forget, US forces were withdrawn from Iraq in 2011, 2.75 years into Obama’s term, so that means the costs of major combat operations in both countries beginning in 2002 in Afghanistan and 2003 in Iraq, through the first half year of 2008, totaling 10 country/years of combat operations under Bush amounted to $0.859 trillion, while under Obama we have $2.515 trillion for 7.75 country/years of military operations.

    And despite triple the spending in a shorter period of time, Obama managed to let Iraq become a meal for ISIS.

    Now if only these leftists whining about the cost of military spending would start looking at the far more wasteful and worthless trillions flushed down the welfare toilet….

  6. 7

    Greg

    @Pete, #6:

    The Navy’s estimates of Costs of Major U.S. Wars includes this statement:

    “All estimates are of the costs of military operations only and do not include costs of veterans benefits, interest paid for borrowing money to finance wars, or assistance to allies.”

    The $4 trillion figure includes all estimated costs to the U.S. economy related to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, both past and future. The meter hasn’t stopped running. We borrowed much of the money. Rather than raising taxes to pay for a war, we lowered them. And there are other ongoing costs, besides interest.

    The Navy’s figure is useful if you’re thinking specifically in terms of military budgets. The second has to do with the cost of warfare to the nation. It’s a measure of an addition to the total burden a nation carries into the future. It’s the amount people should think about when they ask themselves if any particular set of results were worth what you paid to achieve them.

    Those on the right only seem to know how to think properly about such things when it’s politically convenient to do so. What did we actually get for hanging a $4 trillion dollar millstone around our necks? What lasting good could we have accomplished for the same money?

  7. 8

    Pete

    @Greg:

    So.the money spent keeping US troops in Europe, Japan and Korea after those wars -which prevented communist takeover of those countries – I suppose you think that was wasted as well? We are STILL in Germany, Japan and Korea decades after those wars ended, yet the left is surprised when the rise of ISIS is the result of leaving Iraq too soon? We have spent over $5 trillion on socialist welfare programs since the 60s, and we have nothing positive to show for it. The debt under Obama has increased from 10.8 Trillion when he took office – which includes war expenditures from his term – to the over $17 trillion we have now, over a 60% increase in just 6 years of obamanomics. You cannot honestly blame that on the wars in the middle east, especially when you consider that the deficit was down to.roughly $458 billion in the last Bush year with a republican congress. When Pelosi and Reid took over congress the last year of Bush’s term, they tripled the deficit, and it wasn’t on defense.spending. The deficit tripled again the first year of Obama’s term.
    It is ridiculous to count veterans medical expenses until 2054 as part of the cost of the middle eastern wars, as if those expenses would not have been incurred without going to war. We still would have had veteran medical expenses without the wars. Perhaps not as much, but the inclusion of a trillion dollars in veteran expenses as a cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns is nothing but leftist agitprop trying to distract from the results of Obama’s insanely stupid premature withdrawal from Iraq.

  8. 9

    Greg

    Perhaps not as much, but the inclusion of a trillion dollars in veteran expenses as a cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns is nothing but leftist agitprop trying to distract from the results of Obama’s insanely stupid premature withdrawal from Iraq.

    The long-term costs of providing for the disabled veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and for the families of those killed there wouldn’t exist had we not sent 2.5 million Americans there to begin with. They clearly should be counted as part of what those wars cost the nation. Doing so isn’t some sort of socialist scam to deceive people. It’s an attempt to achieve clear understanding.

    And what results are you referring to? Order and stability existed only for so long as an occupying army imposed it by the use or threat of force. We basically took over the stabilizing role of the Saddam Hussein regime. It didn’t make much difference that our intentions were far better. Stability was never internalized. Opposing internal factions and outside threats were only biding their time. We couldn’t have remained there forever. Soon we would have become the motivation and target for violent uprising.

    It gets tiresome hearing the story that Obama was responsible for the conditions of our departure. The Bush administration was totally responsible for establishing those conditions, including the timeline. That’s what the Status of Forces Agreement accomplished. It was a binding agreement that could not be altered unilaterally, and political conditions in Iraq were never going to be such that there was any likelihood of successful renegotiation. The right is blaming Obama for failing to undo what the Bush administration did.

  9. 10

    Redteam

    @retire05: 05,

    And why did public opinion change? Could it have had anything to do with LBJ’s lack of ability to run a war,

    depends on definition of success. LBJ made several Texans very superrich with that war, his intent from the beginning. but your point was that it was the Dimorats that got us into it and, on that, you are very correct.

  10. 11

    Redteam

    @Greg:

    And what results are you referring to? Order and stability existed only for so long as an occupying army imposed it by the use or threat of force.

    Yep, and that has been pointed out to you. Germany and Japan still have American troops, thats been almost 70 years since WWII. So that means we should still be in Iraq and Afghan for about 65 more years.

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