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THINGS IRAQ AND VIETNAM HAVE IN COMMON

See 73K Gulf Vets Dead - Department of Veterans Affairs, May 2007 Statistics. and half_us_troops_diead_or_disabled

Danny Schecter, Media Channel

http://www.mediachannel.org/views/dissector/affalert366.shtml

1. Both wars were illegal acts of pre-emptive aggression unsanctioned by international law or world opinion.

2. Both wars were launched with deception. In Iraq it was the now proven phony WMD threat and contrived Saddam-Osama connection. In Vietnam, it was the fabricated Gulf of Tonkin incident and the elections mandated by the Geneva agreement that were canceled by Washington in l956 when the U.S. feared Ho Chi Minh would win

3. The government lied regularly in both wars. Back then, the lies were pronounced a "credibility gap." Today, they are considered acceptable "information warfare." In Saigon military briefers conducted discredited "5 O'Clock Follies" press conferences. In this war, the Pentagon spoon-fed info at a Hollywood style briefing center in Doha.

4. The U.S. press was initially an enthusiastic cheerleader in both wars. When Vietnam protest grew and the war seen as a lost cause, the media frame changed. In Iraq today most of the media is trapped in hotel rooms. Only one side is covered now whereas in Vietnam, there was more reporting occasionally from the other. In Vietnam, the accent was on progress and "turned corners." The same is true in Iraq.

5. In both wars, prisoners were abused. . .

6. Illegal weapons were "deployed" in both wars. The U.S. dropped napalm, used cluster bombs against civilians and sprayed toxic Agent Orange in Vietnam. Cluster bombs and updated Mark 77 napalm-like firebombs were dropped on Iraqis. Depleted uranium was added to the arsenal of prohibited weapons in Iraq.

7. Both wars claimed to be about promoting democracy. Vietnam staged elections and saw a succession of governments controlled by the U.S. come and go. Iraq has had one election so far in which most voters say they were casting ballots primarily to get the U.S. to leave. The U.S. has stage-managed Iraq's interim government. Exiles were brought back and put in power. Vietnam's Diem came from New Jersey, Iraq's Allawi from Britain.

8. Both wars claimed to be about noble international goals. Vietnam was pictured as a crusade against aggressive communism and falling dominos. Iraq was sold as a front in a global war on terrorism. Neither claim proved true.

9. An imperial drive for resource control and markets helped drive both interventions. Vietnam had rubber and manganese and rare minerals. Iraq has oil. In both wars, any economic agenda was officially denied and ignored by most media outlets.

10. Both wars took place in countries with cultures we never understood or spoke the language. Both involved "insurgents" whose military prowess was underestimated and misrepresented. In Vietnam, we called the "enemy" communists; in Iraq we call them foreign terrorists. (Soldiers had their own terms, "gooks" in Vietnam, "ragheads" in Iraq) In both counties, they was in fact an indigenous resistance that enjoyed popular support. (Both targeted and brutalized people they considered collaborators with the invaders just as our own Revolution went after Americans who backed the British.) In both wars, as in all wars, innocent civilians died in droves.

11. In both countries the U.S. promised to help rebuild the damages caused by U.S. bombing. In Vietnam, a $2 Billion presidential reconstruction pledge was not honored. In Iraq, the electricity and other services are still out in many areas. In both wars U.S. companies and suppliers have profited handsomely; Brown &Root in Vietnam; Halliburton in Iraq, to cite but two.

12. In Vietnam, the Pentagon's counter-insurgency effort failed to "pacify" the countryside even with a half a million U.S. soldiers "in country." The insurgency in Iraq is growing despite the best efforts of U.S. soldiers. More have died since President Bush proclaimed "mission accomplished" than during the invasion. The insurgency in Iraq is growing despite the best efforts of U.S. soldiers. More have died since President Bush proclaimed "mission accomplished" than during the invasion.

The Vietnamese forced the U.S. into negotiations for the Paris Peace Agreement. When the agreement was continually violated, they brilliantly staged a final offensive that surprised and routed a superior million-man Saigon Army. Can the Iraqi resistance do the same?

Liberty For Life
C