And let’s face it, people died when we fought for our independence. Brave US servicepeople died as did thousands of civilians in the proxy war of France and Britain that led to US independence.
Iraq is the worst foreign policy decision ever. That’s the new talking point. Chuck Hagel is even talking about it. And, of course, the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) is blabbing it on the Sunday morning news shows.
This is nothing new, of course. In our world, we have become so complacent that people don’t really care one way or another about US foreign policy decisions so long as it doesn’t raise taxes or start a war. And let’s face it, after 9/11, America was pissed, and toppling the Taliban just wasn’t going to cut it. Iraq was a perfect place to station 150,000 US troops and put some pressure on Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, a subtle play to suggest to them “Knock off this terrorism crap.” I speak more eloquently of it here.
Now, it’s been over five years since 9/11, and many have “moved on”. Now we wonder, “Geez, were we really that sore that we invaded Iraq? Again?” and many regret the decision because they thought it would be over by now. Well, occupations and national restructuring is not an overnight thing, and most Americans are tired of hearing about it on the news, so they vote to stop reading about it in the newspaper or on the nightly news.
But it hasn’t left the nightly news. And the average voter is saying, “What? Why do I even vote! I want to hear about Bald Britney, not Iraq!”
But to get the average voter to care, you really have to step up the stakes. Saying Iraq is a “foreign policy mistake” isn’t going to raise any eyebrows. Throw in “Worse than Vietnam” however, and everyone starts to wonder– “Is it really worse than Vietnam? Wow. We better get everyone out of there before Tom Cruise makes a sequel to ‘Born on the Fourth of July’!”
It’s like the Hitlerisms. Saddam is Hitler, some on the Right said (and, to be perfectly fair, Baathism did have roots in Nazi methodology and ideology). Ahmadinejad is Hitler! (Denying the Holocaust does not a Hitler make, I’m afraid.) Kim Jong Il is Hitler! Putin is Hitler! Bush is Hitler! Cheney is Hitler!
Hitler was a bad guy, arguably the worst guy, ever. But simply dragging out the comparison for shock value is doing nothing but lessening the impact of the word.
Take for example the F word. Take one John Kerry, presidential nominee, and an interview with Rolling Stone. You hear that and you’re shocked! Your future President shouldn’t use that language!
Now, call an auto salvage yard in New York (something I did looking for parts once). In a five minute conversation, I think the F-bomb was dropped 100-150 times. At that point, the word has no meaning. Seriously. If everything can be described as a “f***ing” something or other, it has no meaning.
Now, the anti-war crowd is threatening to debase any possible weight a comparison to Vietnam would carry.
US casualties vs. Vietnam? Much much lower.
Unclear foreign-policy objective (stop domino effect)? No (Iraq was invaded because Iraq continuously violated the cease-fire).
Continuous anti-war protests on large scale? No.
But, in order to get you to stand up and oppose the war, Harry Reid now says this is the worst thing ever. It’s worse than Vietnam! YOU SHOULD CARE WHY DON’T YOU YOU APATHETIC AMERICAN SLUGS!
The truth is, if you would let America win in Iraq, if you let the COIN ops work, and give it the time necessary to succeed, then it wouldn’t be close to Vietnam. It would be more like… WWII. Because we would have won. And the Democrats can’t risk that.