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Old 10-22-2005, 07:26 PM   #1
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Iraq: Learning The Lessons Of Vietnam

Iraq: Learning the Lessons of Vietnam
Melvin R. Laird
From Foreign Affairs, November/December 2005

"Summary: During Richard Nixon's first term, when I served as secretary of defense, we withdrew most U.S. forces from Vietnam while building up the South's ability to defend itself. The result was a success -- until Congress snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by cutting off funding for our ally in 1975. Washington should follow a similar strategy now, but this time finish the job properly."

"MELVIN R. LAIRD was Secretary of Defense from 1969 to 1973, Counselor to the President for Domestic Affairs from 1973 to 1974, and a member of the House of Representatives from 1952 to 1969. He currently serves as Senior Counselor for National and International Affairs at the Reader's Digest Association."

This great article posted in the recent edition of Foreign Affairs can be read here:

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/200511...f-vietnam.html

Its about 8 pages long but is a very informative article by the Secretary Of Defense who presided over the Vietnamization of the war in Vietnam which was a success until the United States completely abandon the effort. The article does indeed provide some lessons for the current conflict in Iraq.
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Old 10-22-2005, 07:51 PM   #2
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If my uncle had boobs

he'd be my aunt.
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Old 10-22-2005, 08:21 PM   #3
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If my uncle had boobs

he'd be my aunt.
Umm and what does that have to do with this thread?
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Old 10-22-2005, 08:26 PM   #4
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Umm and what does that have to do with this thread?


The parallels are overstated, that's what.

Now seeing as I read your article, do me the courtesy of reading my thread about the outrageous corruption and massive fraud associated with the invasion - detailed in a CONSERVATIVE mag, no less, so you can't accuse it of being a far left propaganda source.
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Old 10-22-2005, 10:30 PM   #5
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Originally posted by financeguy




The parallels are overstated, that's what.

Now seeing as I read your article, do me the courtesy of reading my thread about the outrageous corruption and massive fraud associated with the invasion - detailed in a CONSERVATIVE mag, no less, so you can't accuse it of being a far left propaganda source.
Really, can you provide an explanation thats longer than one sentence.
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Old 10-22-2005, 10:38 PM   #6
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Really, can you provide an explanation thats longer than one sentence.

As I posted my article first, it was reasonable to ask for it to be considered first, given the gravity of the issues raised.

However, given that you have provided your detailed response to the article I posted, as I requested, then it is reasonable for you to request me to do the same with regard to the article you posted. Fair enough, I will try to respond with some further comments in a day or so.
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Old 10-23-2005, 02:16 AM   #7
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Poll shows Iraqis back attacks on UK, US forces

Sat Oct 22, 5:45 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Forty-five percent of Iraqis believe attacks on U.S. and British troops are justified, according to a secret poll said to have been commissioned by British defense leaders and cited by The Sunday Telegraph.


Less than 1 percent of those polled believed that the forces were responsible for any improvement in security, according to poll figures.

Eighty-two percent of those polled said they were "strongly opposed" to the presence of the troops.

The paper said the poll, conducted in August by an Iraqi university research team, was commissioned by the Ministry of Defense.
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Old 10-23-2005, 04:27 AM   #8
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The 8 million Iraqi's who voted in the January elections and the current constitutional referendum have a different view point. Most Iraqi's support the political process which would not exist and would be impossible to carry out without coalition troops in the country at the current time.
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Old 10-27-2005, 07:46 PM   #9
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THe parallels are not "over-stated"--they are FABRICATED.

The USA LOST the Vietnam War.

And now they are LOSING the Iraq OCCUPATION.
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Old 10-27-2005, 09:04 PM   #10
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Originally posted by FatBratchney
THe parallels are not "over-stated"--they are FABRICATED.

The USA LOST the Vietnam War.

And now they are LOSING the Iraq OCCUPATION.
Fabricated? Perhaps you should read the article again, that is if you did read it.

The United States lost the Vietnam war because it withdrew prematurely from the conflict and did not supply the aid required to keep South Vietnam going.

The United States will lose in bringing a stable government to Iraq if it withdraw's prematurely before the Iraqi government and military can survive on its own.

The idea that the United States is losing the current Iraq Occupation is absurd. Have any United States Divisions been overrun by insurgents? Have any cities and towns where US troops are stationed been attacked and taken over by insurgents? Have the insurgents been able to stop and reverse the political process? How successful were the insurgents in stopping the January Elections? What were the insurgents able to do in attempting to stop the referendum on the constitution which just passed by a large majority? How many of Iraq's 18 provinces have insurgent violence going on in them? Have the insurgents been able to stop the development and growth of the new Iraqi military? Have the insurgents been able to increase the average number of casualties on coalition forces per month since April 2004?

If you really believe the United States is losing in Iraq, I'd like to see your answers to each one of those questions.
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Old 10-27-2005, 10:45 PM   #11
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The United States lost the Vietnam war because it withdrew prematurely from the conflict and did not supply the aid required to keep South Vietnam going.

The United States will lose in bringing a stable government to Iraq if it withdraw's prematurely before the Iraqi government and military can survive on its own.
Sorry,Stinko2-the USA LOST the Vietnam War with an UNprecedented level of manpower,hardware and money.

They LOST because they had ZERO support from the Vietnamese THEMSELVES!!

They LOST--and you are dealing with some "Vietnam Syndrome" bullshit from the Bush sr./Reagan era.


The USA dropped over 6-7 Million TONNES of high explosives on South Vietnam ALONE--and you are going to say that there was "not enough aid to keep S.Vietnam going"?

Are you NUTZO?

That is 2-3 times the paylaod of ALL of WW2.


I'm sure you are a resident Neo-Con and beyond any Objective Reasoning.

I have no further comments.
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Old 10-27-2005, 11:05 PM   #12
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Sorry,Stinko2-the USA LOST the Vietnam War with an UNprecedented level of manpower,hardware and money.

They LOST because they had ZERO support from the Vietnamese THEMSELVES!!

They LOST--and you are dealing with some "Vietnam Syndrome" bullshit from the Bush sr./Reagan era.
Your factually wrong on each count, but these are indeed myths believed by many Americans. I'd be happy to respond and show you in detail, but you seem to be more interested in name calling and other irrelevent behavior, rather than a serious discussion.
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Old 10-27-2005, 11:15 PM   #13
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"Myths"?

You better PUT DOWN the Ann Coultier books and talk to Robert MacNamara on that one.

He clearly and concisely delineates US Military budgetary outlays in Vietnam during his tenure as Secretary of Defence in the documentary "the Fog of War".

His autobiography goes into MUCH MORE budgetary details which you SHOULD READ VERY CAREFULLY --BEFORE you PRETEND to be knowledgable.



There are TOO MANY carpet bombings to detail in this forum--and COUNTLESS failed "search and destroy" missions which only fanned the flames of Vietnamese HATRED for the USA.


Grow UP and REALLY READ a book.
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Old 10-27-2005, 11:26 PM   #14
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The CARPET BOMBINGs alone -blot out,in SCALE,A.L.L. of WW2.
(Thats means ALL bombing campaigns COMBINED!)

That is a MASSIVE scale to achieve in a LITTLE country like Vietnam ot Cambodia(Kampuchia).
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Old 10-28-2005, 12:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by FatBratchney
"Myths"?

You better PUT DOWN the Ann Coultier books and talk to Robert MacNamara on that one.

He clearly and concisely delineates US Military budgetary outlays in Vietnam during his tenure as Secretary of Defence in the documentary "the Fog of War".

His autobiography goes into MUCH MORE budgetary details which you SHOULD READ VERY CAREFULLY --BEFORE you PRETEND to be knowledgable.



There are TOO MANY carpet bombings to detail in this forum--and COUNTLESS failed "search and destroy" missions which only fanned the flames of Vietnamese HATRED for the USA.


Grow UP and REALLY READ a book.
The Secretary of Defense you need to pay attention to is "Melvin R. Laird" not MacNamara's failures early in the war or his revisionist books in later years with the help of liberal writers. The total amount of bombs dropped on Vietnam is an irrelevant statistics once you understand that MacNamara's policies prevented the US AirForce and US Navy from dropping bombs on key targets. Most bombs were unfortunately dropped on empty forest and there for accomplished nothing from a military standpoint.

The South Vietnamese did not hate Americans they fought and died with Americans against the Vietcong and North Vietnamese. Take any year you want to, and I'll point out the casualties that the South Vietnamese took in comparison to what American forces suffered. For every US soldier killed in the war, the South Vietnamese lost 4 soldiers. So once again, this idea that the South Vienamese hated the United States is a myth. The Vietcong, the rebel element in South Vietnam was no longer an effective fighting force after the TET offensive and by 1970, the North Vietnamese had to carry on all the fighting.

My own father served in Vietnam for all of 1968. He was a combat advisor to an ARVN Division and worked every day of his tour of duty with the South Vietnamese. He saw for himself their dedication and desire to prevent their country from being overrun by the Communist on a daily basis.

Going back to your statistic on the bombing total, if one compares total number of civilian deaths to total number of bombs dropped in Vietnam, Vietnam appears to be a war with a very low ratio for civilian loss of life vs. total number of bombs dropped. After all, look at World War II with over 50 million dead with as you say only a fraction of the total number of bombs dropped in Vietnam, and this was before technology allowed precision bombing on the scale and accuracy level we see today.


One more thing, calling someone a name or telling them to grow up, is against the Faq/Rules which one is suppost to agree to abide by when you become a member of this forum. If one has not read the faq/Rules one should so that do not find themselves out of line with the rest of the forum.

Had the United States not prematurely withdrawn from South Vietnam and then cut of funding to the country after 1973, South Vietnam would still be an independent country today as prosperous as South Korea.

The fact is, by 1972, the South Vietnamese were doing 90% of the fighting on the ground and were winning with American aid and Airpower. The Easter offensive by North Vietnam in 1972 was a failure and was thrown back by the South Vietnamese with the aid of US Airpower and US military advisors. Had these factors still been in place in 1975, the North Vietnamese offensive that year would have been crushed as well.
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