No to the myths of Iraq

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Usual thing - who are these people? Looking at the website I'd say they're Republican biased, so they have a vested interest in "myth busting" in the direction they've gone. I expect a Democrat think tank would do the same to the "real" statistics these guys quote. Then again, we get the BBC, so not exactly unbiased either.
 
#3
MYTH: The war in Iraq is another Vietnam.
It is a myth. Iraq war is much worse. In Vietnam USA were (really) defeated by Soviet Union (almost equal power). In Iraq it will be a victory of insurgents/terrorists/freedom fighters/guerillas, no matter how you would call them. They are relatively small, poor armed group without significant resources.

It will be an end of another myth - almighty America is not so almighty. So the whole world knows right way how to defeat USA.
 
#4
Hmmm... but are we going to be defeated in Iraq??? I think not... Certainly progress is slower than is could(should?) have been but we do seem to be getting there...


As someone else pointed out it is a fairly biased article but I do think it has some truths in it...

Tricam.
 
#5
KGB_resident said:
It is a myth. Iraq war is much worse. In Vietnam USA were (really) defeated by Soviet Union (almost equal power).
Pray tell Sergey just how the USSR defeated the United States in Vietnam - unless I am gravely mistaken, the North Vietnamese received the bulk of their support from China. I will grant you that both the North and its Viet Cong proxies were armed with Soviet weaponry (via China anyway methinks), but even allowing for that, it is stretching credibility to imagine that the USSR defeated the United States. However, if one were to look at the Soviet infiltration and funding of all the assorted anti-war 'peace' movements across Europe and in the US itself, then perhaps a case could be made for what you suggest...

The link to the Heritage Foundation's website makes interesting reading, and I must admit that I find the constant stream of negative press reporting from and about Iraq something of a drag. I have heard that American servicemen are becoming increasingly disenchanted by the negative press they receive 'back home'. The media-boosting of the Sheehan woman - which has adroitly avoided some of her less savoury pronouncements - is a case in point. That she is bereaved at her son's death is not in doubt, but her politicising of his death I find distasteful. From what I have been able to discover, her late son was in favour of the war, and volunteered to return to service in Iraq. Her family have distanced themselves from her anti-war campaign, as they regard it as being at odds with what they knew of Casey Sheehan.

Anyway, enough about that, but I highlight it to show how the media can and do boost certain aspects of the overall 'war story' to paint the war in a particular light. That things are 'bad' in Iraq I do not doubt, but as bad as Fisk & Co. make out? Furthermore, comparisons with Vietnam are quite frankly ludicrous. It was a different war, fought for different reasons, in a different manner, against an altogether different enemy. The United States 'lost' Vietnam, not on the battlefield (Tet proved that) but rather on its own streets and university campuses. The very people who effectively - and in some cases openly - celebrated the deaths of American soldiers and America's 'loss' in Vietnam, are now, some thirty years later similarly hoping, indeed praying, that Iraq proves to be another Vietnam-style quagmire.

Things in Iraq may indeed even get worse before they get better, but I haven't heard anything from the anti-war brigade that actually constitutes an alternative strategy, bar 'bringing the troops home now', which is running away in any man's language.
 

ACAB

On ROPS
On ROPs
#6
KGB_resident said:
MYTH: The war in Iraq is another Vietnam.
It is a myth. Iraq war is much worse. In Vietnam USA were (really) defeated by Soviet Union (almost equal power). In Iraq it will be a victory of insurgents/terrorists/freedom fighters/guerillas, no matter how you would call them. They are relatively small, poor armed group without significant resources.

It will be an end of another myth - almighty America is not so almighty. So the whole world knows right way how to defeat USA.


The word that springs to mind is "Boll*cks"
 
#7
tricam said:
Hmmm... but are we going to be defeated in Iraq??? I think not... Certainly progress is slower than is could(should?) have been but we do seem to be getting there...


As someone else pointed out it is a fairly biased article but I do think it has some truths in it...

Tricam.
Hi! Then answer, was Soviet Union defeated in Afghanistan or not. The war lasted 10 years and was from military point of view very successfull. Moreover pro-Soviet regime managed to keep power for 2 years after the withdrawal of Soviet troops.

I answer for you. Of course, Soviet Union was defeated. So any anti-American government in Iraq after withdrawal will be regarded as a defeat. Hopes for pro-American regime in Baghdad without support of American bayonets are too optimistic.
 
#8
KGB_resident said:
tricam said:
Hmmm... but are we going to be defeated in Iraq??? I think not... Certainly progress is slower than is could(should?) have been but we do seem to be getting there...


As someone else pointed out it is a fairly biased article but I do think it has some truths in it...

Tricam.
Hi! Then answer, was Soviet Union defeated in Afghanistan or not. The war lasted 10 years and was from military point of view very successfull. Moreover pro-Soviet regime managed to keep power for 2 years after the withdrawal of Soviet troops.

I answer for you. Of course, Soviet Union was defeated. So any anti-American government in Iraq after withdrawal will be regarded as a defeat. Hopes for pro-American regime in Baghdad without support of American bayonets are too optimistic.
Good answer Sergey... but if you wouldn't mind addressing me by my full title 'Mr.ARRSE 2005 joint 5th'...


I honestly know very little about the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and perhaps the Iraqi administration will collapse a few years after we leave. But I suspect the difference between Soviet Afghanistan and Iraq is that a real democracy is taking root in Iraq - once rooted it will be very difficult to remove it. I'd imagine a puppet government was shoved into Afghanistan... was never really all that successful... and then collapsed.

Tricam.
 
#9
You Lordship, Mr.ARRSE 2005 joint 5th!

tricam said:
I honestly know very little about the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and perhaps the Iraqi administration will collapse a few years after we leave. But I suspect the difference between Soviet Afghanistan and Iraq is that a real democracy is taking root in Iraq - once rooted it will be very difficult to remove it. I'd imagine a puppet government was shoved into Afghanistan... was never really all that successful... and then collapsed.

Tricam.
No doubt you know Vietnamese example much better. So you are aware about enormous effors to implement democracy in Vietnam. The result is too well known. After 2 years from the withdrawal, pro-American regime collapsed. There was a democracy (though 'so called'), there was a lot of weapons, big puppet army. But 'the demicracy' was uprooted very easily. So 'the roots' hadn't penetrated to deep in Vietnamese soil.
 
#10
Iraq may have been a military victory, but look at the remaining debacle. If this is what we went to war to achieve, one has to ask what was the point. Iraq IS/WILL BE more unstable than under Saddam. Please note: this is not pro-Hussein, but just how much trouble was he causing, compared to all the crap now happening in Iraq. The war is hardly a glowing endorsement for interventionism.
 
#11
KGB - I feel the answer is in your last point. You describe the democracy in Vietnam as 'so called' and I think you are probably right it was barely a democracy. If T6 were here he may be able to confirm for me that many American officers were unhappy with the grand strategy in Vietnam, that there was no good political track, that the South Vietnamese Government they were supporting was dodgy.

I think in Iraq we are seeing real democracy... lots and lots of independent media.... genuinely free elections (checked by UN) etc... every political party gets to say their piece... Once the Iraqis get a taste for all this I hope they won't allow anyone to take it away...

Tricam.
 
#12
gallowglass said:
KGB_resident said:
It is a myth. Iraq war is much worse. In Vietnam USA were (really) defeated by Soviet Union (almost equal power).
Pray tell Sergey just how the USSR defeated the United States in Vietnam - unless I am gravely mistaken, the North Vietnamese received the bulk of their support from China. I will grant you that both the North and its Viet Cong proxies were armed with Soviet weaponry (via China anyway methinks), but even allowing for that, it is stretching credibility to imagine that the USSR defeated the United States.
Well Gallowglass, informal coalition of Soviet Union and China defeated USA. Moreover, it was too strong power. So it was not humiliating defeat.

gallowglass said:
Things in Iraq may indeed even get worse before they get better, but I haven't heard anything from the anti-war brigade that actually constitutes an alternative strategy, bar 'bringing the troops home now', which is running away in any man's language.
The only reasonable solution that I see is negotiations with the insurgents. Americans should establish by own hands anti-American government, sign agreement with it about withdrawal (it requires much time). In this case it would not look as a defeat.

If anti-American govenment will emerge in Iraq later or sooner then it would be not a bad idea to create it just now, under American supervision.
 
#13
tricam said:
KGB - I feel the answer is in your last point. You describe the democracy in Vietnam as 'so called' and I think you are probably right it was barely a democracy. If T6 were here he may be able to confirm for me that many American officers were unhappy with the grand strategy in Vietnam, that there was no good political track, that the South Vietnamese Government they were supporting was dodgy.

I think in Iraq we are seeing real democracy... lots and lots of independent media.... genuinely free elections (checked by UN) etc... every political party gets to say their piece... Once the Iraqis get a taste for all this I hope they won't allow anyone to take it away...

Tricam.
Tricam! Let's wait.
 
#14
Tricam,
Do you honestly feel optimistic about the future of Iraq?
I think you are going to be sadly mistaken, and believe the polace will implode once western forces leave.
 
#15
Tricam,

While all these things may be true I feel it slightly misses the point. The reason why I believe the future of Iraq is so bleak is because, once the US has gone, the various major groups in Iraq do not want the same thing. I fear they will use political processes, an independent media, their militias, etc, to achieve their divergent ends and the result will be a very bloody civil war that will pull neighbouring countries in. I am probably wrong, but if I'm not...
 
#16
tricam said:
I think in Iraq we are seeing real democracy... lots and lots of independent media.... genuinely free elections (checked by UN) etc... every political party gets to say their piece... Once the Iraqis get a taste for all this I hope they won't allow anyone to take it away...

Tricam.
Did we hit our head while celebrating?
because are we talking about the same democractic Iraq in which:
Politicians run vast media empires?
Newspapers can be closed down for 'promoting Non Iraqi causes' i.e the insurgency?
All the Aytollah of Iraq has to do issue and edict and the millions of Shia's vote for the SCIRI bloc because Sistani declares it an obligation
Armed groups go around threatening or coercing voters in full the view of the police?
Islamic doctrine now takes precedent over the rights of women, non muslims and children?
Some Iraqi voters in key areas have been disenfranchised due to 'military operations'.

Maybe if you are talking about a corrupt 19th century democracy - then yeah maybe you are right :twisted:

Congratulations again.
 
#17
Squitus_Erectus said:
Tricam,

While all these things may be true I feel it slightly misses the point. The reason why I believe the future of Iraq is so bleak is because, once the US has gone, the various major groups in Iraq do not want the same thing. I fear they will use political processes, an independent media, their militias, etc, to achieve their divergent ends and the result will be a very bloody civil war that will pull neighbouring countries in. I am probably wrong, but if I'm not...
Hmm... where is Neo_Con when I need him???

When you say they don't want the same thing do you mean a 3-way split is coming? Kurds in the North, Sunni state in middle and an Iran dominated Shia south? I was worried about a 3-way split for a while - I suspected that they did not really see themselves as Iraqi but as Kurds etc. However, the recent BBC survey shows ALL sides do want a unified Iraq. Slide 2 of http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/05/middle_east_iraqi_opinion_poll/html/1.stm shows:
Overall 70% want a unified Iraq, 20% want a group of regional states, less than 10% want independent states.
As you'd expect support for a unified Iraq is strongest amoung Sunni's - but even in the Kurdish regions it only drops to 43% (plus roughly 30% want a group of regional states)... In the Shia south 55% want a unified Iraq.

So I suppose my point is that we underestimate the strength of their Iraqi identity.

Tricam.
 
#18
castlereagh said:
tricam said:
I think in Iraq we are seeing real democracy... lots and lots of independent media.... genuinely free elections (checked by UN) etc... every political party gets to say their piece... Once the Iraqis get a taste for all this I hope they won't allow anyone to take it away...

Tricam.
Did we hit our head while celebrating?
because are we talking about the same democractic Iraq in which:
Politicians run vast media empires?
Newspapers can be closed down for 'promoting Non Iraqi causes' i.e the insurgency?
All the Aytollah of Iraq has to do issue and edict and the millions of Shia's vote for the SCIRI bloc because Sistani declares it an obligation
Armed groups go around threatening or coercing voters in full the view of the police?
Islamic doctrine now takes precedent over the rights of women, non muslims and children?
Some Iraqi voters in key areas have been disenfranchised due to 'military operations'.

Maybe if you are talking about a corrupt 19th century democracy - then yeah maybe you are right :twisted:

Congratulations again.
Castlereagh - I only drink orange juice and raw eggs - I have to maintain my figure for the next Mr.Arrse competition......


I agree its not a great democracy but I reckon its a pretty good start... Some of those corrupt 19th century democracies didn't turn out too bad did they? Plus even our democracy isn't perfect.... Media empires run by people like Murdoch... During the 1980's Sinn Fein politicians were banned from the media... The Ayatollah COULD issue an edict but he HASN'T.... etc...

Tricam.
 
#20
I have heard that American servicemen are becoming increasingly disenchanted by the negative press they receive 'back home'
Very much so. All our work is going unrecognised.

In one famous incident... Well, famous amongst the military and right wing that know about it, for some reason the MSM didn't spread it around once, a CPT Powell told a TV reporter who was obviously angling for a 'low morale in the troops' deal with repeated questions like "But the newspapers are saying that it's a lost cause": "If I got my Iraq information from the newspapers, I'd be depressed too"

You can find the clip if you google around a bit.

NTM
 
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