Of ISIS, Vietnam, Iraq, and jingoism

Retired Army General Anthony Zinni, appearing moments ago on the PBS NewsHour responded to Barack Obama‘s decision to send an additional 450 military advisers to Iraq, raising the issue that ISIS poses a minimal threat to the U.S., a threat that is likely a lot less than Mexican drug lords on the U.S. border.

This move is similar to the decisions of presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy to increase the number of advisers in Vietnam, according to Professor Andrew Bacevich, a retired Army colonel and professor at Brown University. “We know how to do this. We did it in World War II” was the rally cry for sending advisers to Vietnam and this gung-ho narrative is being echoed by supporters of Mr Obama’s decision.

Unfortunately, according to the Professor, after eight years in Iraq, the U.S. has not demonstrated that it can “do this” because if it were successful, the U.S. would not be having this discussion in the first place.

Fortunately for Mr. Obama, this decision to send more advisers comes in the middle of his second term versus the end of his first term and prior to a general election. Like Johnson he would have found himself being shown the door by his fellow Democrats. Instead, they, especially his supporters in the electorate, turn a blind eye preferring to keep the demigod on a shaky pedestal versus urging reason in order to properly ground his foot stool…..

About Alton Drew

Alton Drew brings a straight forward and insightful brand of political market intelligence. Alton Drew graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and political science (1984); a Master of Public Administration (1993); and a Juris Doctor (1999). You can also follow Alton Drew on Twitter @altondrew.
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One Response to Of ISIS, Vietnam, Iraq, and jingoism

  1. kenski2013 says:

    “. “We know how to do this. We did it in World War II” was the rally cry for sending advisers to Vietnam …”

    Whoever made this statement obviously forgot what we did in WW II. We firebombed Dresden Germany, bombed Berlin and other GERMAN cities heavily, and dropped atomic bombs on two cities in Japan.

    I think we did know how to “do this” in Vietnam. but we were constrained from doing what we did to end WW II by a little thing called Communist China, who bordered Viet Nam, and was likely a silent partner ally of Ho Chi Mihn and the Viet Cong. A full scale offense by the US would likely have brought China down into Viet Nam to confront us. China had a large population (about 700 million plus at that time), and thus could have fielded a massive ground offensive, stoppable only by nuclear weapons.

    Of course, our national pride during the Viet Nam war would never allow us to even consider admitting this in public, which is why we tried to help the South Vietnamese “on the cheap” with advisers until we dragged deeply into the conflict, after the Gulf of Tonkin attack, as I recall.

    As evidence of this, a few years after the US left Viet Nam, the Vietnamese had a border dispute with China. China sent a few divisions into northern Viet Nam, kicked the crap out of the Viet Namese army, told Viet Nam to knock off the silly stuff, and then went back to China.

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