I promised political rants, so here goes:
Vietnam was a rather gigantic blunder, seeing as how the entire premise of the war was based on the fact that the Americans totally misunderstood that the only people that the Vietnamese hated worse than us was the Chinese.
You see, for you young’uns out there, we gave as the reason to be in Vietnam that the Vietnamese regime under Ho Chi Minh (our North Vietnamese enemy) would align with the Communist world (read China), unless, uh, we, uh, killed lots of them and, uh, you know, won, some undefined sort of winning thing. Not so much. We wasted about 58,000 American men, including, almost, my father; somewhere around a million Vietnamese, and as an added bonus, destabilized Laos and Cambodia, setting up the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge, leading to another, roughly 1.5 million Cambodians dead. Go USA.
The CIA took out the democratically elected Prime minister of Iran, Mossadegh, in 1953, and installedthe Shah Reza Pahlavi, ensuring that the Middle East saw us as the Bad Guys. The Vietnam debacle, and our inability to learn from it plus our earlier Meddling in Iran’s affairs both led directly to today’s debacle–which shall not be named.
A brief interregnum -- After World War I, the Germans couldn't believe that they actually had lost, and so blamed someone -- Jews mostly, with this word that I cannot remember-- so, WW 2.
We did the same. The failure of the Vietnam war was blamed on the "liberal media" setting us up for a reprise. Why did we fail in Vietnam? Long rant (will follow) but basically because, uh, they all hated us. Duh. And we were killing them for no particular reason that made any sense.
On to Iraq.
The Iraq war is a failure. Nouri-Al Maliki, current prime minister of Iraq, is the head of the Dawa party–an early backer, of among other things, the Iranian revolution. Remember that? There was this hostage thingie that mysteriously ended moments after Reagan was elected. In return, the Dawa receive actual support from Iran.
Scroll back a few years. They also bombed the American and French embassies in Kuwait in 1983. Al-Maliki, the current Prime Minister of Iraq and our ally, lived in exile in Iran and was just over there to broker a peace deal with Muquta Al-Sadr, who is and has always been an Iraqi nationalist. He and his father, for example, never went into exile in Iran.
So, we’re backing the pro-Iranian terrorist (see previous American embassy bombings) regime in Iraq right now against the pro-Iraqi faction, while at the same time calling out Iran as the next great Satan. Got that? We’re backing the same side we’re fighting. How can this be seen as anything but a gigantic disaster of monumental proportions?
The surge? Are you kidding? Al Sadr stood the Mahdi army down in August. As they weren’t fighting (so much) casualties decreased. But wait! The Mahdi army is back and, for all intents and purposes, just won the battle of Basra. This is a long winded way of saying the fate of Iraq is out of our hands; what is happening is beyond our control. What exactly are we doing over there right now, other than being targets?
Taking out Iraq was the worst possible action in the war on terror. We should just have hired Osama a PR firm. Would have been cheaper.