Â No matter how much Bush is losing thereÂ and no matter how much liberals use the phrase “Iraq-nam,” the hard reality is that Iraq ISN’T a replay of the Vietnam War.Â It doesn’t even resemble the Vietnam War no matter that we lost both.
Â Â Most now using the word “Iraq-nam” are too young to remember the real Vietnam War.Â For them, a history catchup.Â Vietnam was a war between nations, a war in which the U.S. and its South Vietnamese allies fought North Vietnam and its armed auxilliary the Vietcong.Â Even before the U.S. got into Vietnam, France had already been defeated there in 1954 by Ho Chi Minh and what became the rest of his government of North Vietnam once the French fled after losing at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.
Â Â The Vietnam War even as the French lost it in 1954 involved two sides both fighting with heavy weapons.Â A key reason France lost Dien Bien Phu in 1954 was that there post at Dien Bien Phu was at the bottom of a depression and the Vietminh (predecessor of North Vietnam andÂ Vietcong) could thus so effectively shell it with reasonably-heavy artillery while the French weren’t able to effectively shoot up and back into the surrounding hills that the Vietminh were in.Â By the time the war finally ended, the North Vietnamese used tanks in large number.
Â Â Â By contrast, Iraq today is a rifle war.Â The insurgents in Iraq aren’t using much they can’t carry in their hands or on their backs.Â Generally, that means rifles and the RPG-7 bazooka.Â Some use of course of roadside improvised mines also of a carry-there type.Â And the Iraqi insurgents show no sign of ever progressing beyond that level of “sophistication” yet they have shown the world how to defeat a superpower using just rifles.
Â Â Add in that back-home antiwar movement against the Vietnam War due to it being a draft war and its high U.S. casualties.Â Neither of these factors has existed to make for a politically-more-than-marginal antiwar movement against the Iraq war now.Â This lack of any effective antiwar movementÂ again makes Iraq today not even resemble Vietnam in 1968 even as Bush himself says Iraq now resembles the Tet Offensive in VietnamÂ then.Â (See this U.S. Air Force Academy study of the Tet Offensive to realize how mistaken BushÂ himselfÂ is in analogizing Iraq today to Tet in 1968.)
Â Â Sorry, Iraq ISN’T Vietnam.