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Comments

Paul

If you are going to slam President George H.W. Bush for the first Gulf War you should at least get the country that was invaded right. It was Kuwait NOT Qatar!

Also I disagree with your premise. When the US has engaged an organized conventional Military force we have not lost. Korea could be considered a victory since we achieved the preservation of South Korea which was why the UN went to war there in the first place.

Ditto with Gulf War I, we along with a pretty extensive list of allies, succeeded in the agreed upon goal of removing the invading Iraqis from the sovereign state of Kuwait.

Vietnam was lost largely through the successful guerrilla campaign of the Viet Cong not the North Vietnamese Regular army.

We are having a similar problem with the current conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are both guerrilla campaigns. Conventional forces rarely prevail in such campaigns over the long term.

stevo

In a way you can say we "won" in the first Gulf War. The thing is no one ever explained April Glaspie, Our ambassador to Iraq, at the time, prior to the invasion, who repeatedly assured Saddam Hussien that the US wouldn't get involved in any way/shape/ form with any conflict between Iraq and Kuwait. The Gulf War did drive out the invading Iraqis from Kuwait, but, no one in the first Bush administration has ever explained why they screwed up in the first place, by seemingly giving Saddam the green light to invade. In essence, we repelled an invading force that we had encouraged to invade. I think it pretty much typifies the GOP. It could be, tragically to say, construed as some sort of perverse, quasi-masturbatory military operation, involving our boy Saddam, an on-again, off-again bad guy for the US, and a whole lot of bullshit rah-rah US PR. It unfortunately also involved a lot of people's lives, sad to say, needlessly. The US and yes, most notably the Republicans vehemently defended Saddam when Amnesty International brought attention to his gassing the Kurds in the 80's. In the 80's Saddam was fighting Iran, whom we hated, and was therefore considered to not only be "okay", but one of the "good guys".
I remember Simpson, an elected official from (i believe) Montana, that equated the people of Amnesty Int. criticizing Saddam to WWII US protestors, "we all know who's side they're on". Yeah, nice.
I would say Vietnam was lost as a result of never having popular support from the actual Vietnamese that we were "liberating". The US called for free elections, until they were told by their puppet leaders, that they would lose those elections. Guerilla warfare worked directly as a result of the majority of the Vietnamese people not supporting the US or their appointed corrupt leaders. It was a failed mission to begin with, since it was intended to put up a democracy that had no popular support from the South Vietnamese.
Korea? We did thwart the North Korean/communist agressors, despite no official cease fire. Yes, I'd have to say the US won that one, although, it wasn't the clear cut victory of WWI or WWII.
I think guerilla warfare only works if a significant portion of the population supports it, but yes, it is effective, just ask the Russians regarding Afghanistan.

Benn

Paul - thanks!

That was totally my fault about the Qatar/Kuwait thing, not Pete's.

I was editing this AM before I was fully awake.

I guess one could argue that HW was just setting up the sequel for his son.

fordprefectajt

Vietnam: Started by Kennedy and LBJ, though, right? Not to say their Republican successors handled it better or worse than they had/would have, though.

Vietnam was lost largely through the successful guerrilla campaign of the Viet Cong not the North Vietnamese Regular army.

Well, we're not fighting the regular Iraqi army now, either. I can't speak to the Vietnam War, but in our current conflicts, it doesn't seem much thought was given to who we would be fighting.

fordprefectajt

Is this why they're called chickenhawks? Kind of like, I think, Foghorn Bighorn's puny sidekick who was all bluster?

stevo

The civil war and the whole "Abe Lincoln as GOP and/or Democrat", i think is far fetched for either side to say.
The Dixiecrats/Dems changed over permanently to the GOP in the 1950's/60's as a result of the Dem. party embracing civil rights. I'm not certain any discernable characteristic could definitively show a contemperaneous political equality.
Wasn't McKinley the one that said "what America needs now is a good war"?
so then we knock over the tired Spanish empire and take their territories. They tried to acquiese, but we, the US needed validation by kicking the crap out of an old world power, so we were having none of their appeasement.
Hearst helped sell that war, the same guy that got $$$ from Hitler to print good news to the US citizens about the Nazis in Germany in the 30's. Oh yeah, and the Bush family made it's $$$ selling chemicals to the Germans, whoops, I mean the Uraguayans. I'm sure the Bush family had NO idea what it was being used for. Swell bunch those Republicans.

Rusty Chompers

Well, since we already declared "Mission Accomplished" couldn't one argue that Iraq was a victory? Can our troops come home now?

No, Republicans want to stay there and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

James From Hampden

You can't let LBJ off the hook for Vietnam.

Amboy Dukes

True. Or Kennedy for that matter.

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