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View Diary: U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote (NYT 9/4/1967) (274 comments)

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  •  History also DOESN'T repeat itself... (3.50)
    Link to partial article (you have to pay to see the whole thing). So it seems legit.

    Yeah, I'll admit that's pretty damning stuff. I don't see how it means that we shouldn't be happy that Iraq's election went well too, though, and certainly doesn't excuse the Left's pessimistic posturing either morally or politically. I mean, history also DOESN'T repeat itself.

    We can't view this article as either "proof" that the successful election is somehow a meaningless pretty photo-op, nor that the Iraqi's don't deserve immense credit for what they've accomplished in spite of Bush. I mean, I think we can all agree this is a step forward and toward something better, not a step toward further quagmire or chaos, even if a chaotic quagmire is forthcoming. Even if the step forward turns out to be not enough to pull the country out of its tailspin, that doesn't mean it was a failure or deserving of belittlement or qualification, especially when the any consequences positive or negative of the step had yet to unfold. I still think what's happened today has been awe-inspiring, and I'm still /un/cautiously optimistic. I'm not going to use the past to kick Iraq in the political forum when they might be getting up, and it'd certainly be stupid, unidealistic, and unimaginative for any left-leaning politician to do so.

    But yeah, how about that article...

    •  yes it does (none)
      Those who can't remember the past are doomed to repeat it - Santayana.

      Being happy about the Iraq election is like being happy that we are going to have that money transferred from Nigeria any moment now.

    •  The lesson here is.... (none)
      That success, in the long view, is always hidden behind the veil of the present.

      Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness.

      by JimTXDem on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:04:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How So? (4.00)
      "I mean, I think we can all agree this is a step forward and toward something better . . ."

      The Kurds voted for a future independent state, the Shia voted for a state they will dominate (as Juan Cole has pointed out, the first Shia-dominated Arab nation ever), the Sunni Arabs didn't vote.  Almost four dozen Iraqis were killed in various attacks, along with 2 US soldiers, and at least 10 Brits were killed in a plane crash that marks the third time in 5 days that aircraft have crashed with loss of life.  That's too many mechanical problems in too short a period of time, in my view.  Throw in the fact that the US embassy was hit by a rocket that killed two and wounded eight - the guerillas seem to have taken it up a notch, while we can barely hold onto our increasingly precarious position.  Think they can do that without the at least tacit assistance of a lot of the people who voted yesterday?

      BTW, it's worth pointing out that the government voted into office in September 1967 rather quickly evolved into a dictatorship pretty much like all the non-elected ones South Vietnam had in its very brief history.  One of its most striking qualities was the lack of concern it displayed towards the needs and wishes of its patron.  Say what you will about it, call it corrupt, clumsy, and brutal, the Thieu junta was anything but a puppet regime.  Fortunately for LBJ and Nixon, its main concern was with defeating the Communists, and there were actually people willing to risk their lives to do that and work with us towards that end.  Can the same be said for whatever government arises out of this election?  Assuming that one ever does.

      "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

      by JJB on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 06:09:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It now seems pretty clear that... (none)
        ...the British plane was shot down (there is a claim that insurgents shot it down as it was landing with an anti-tank rocket, and the British seem to agree that this is what happened, especially since it broke up in flight as opposed to staying intact until crashing, so the wreckage is scattered over a larger area instead of being in on place).  Haven't heard anything new about the two US helicopters that went down earlier.
        •  Special forces (none)
          In the British parliament questions are being asked about:
          the presence of SAS special forces on the plane
          the death of an Australian on the plane
          the presence of Americans on the plane

          If it was on a "black" mission do not expect too much to ever come out however

          •  It appears that the Australian was... (none)
            ...a member of the British air force (IE, he moved to Britian and joined the UK air force after establishing residency).  However, the mission of the plane was a bit sketchy, to say the least.
    •  Not that George Bush... (none)
      Has anything against democracy. Afterall, we have such a thriving democracy right here at home, Bush being elected, twice, and in a fair manner and all that.

      The spread of American democracy? Look out world, here it comes.

      I mean, I think we can all agree this is a step forward and toward something better, not a step toward further quagmire or chaos, even if a chaotic quagmire is forthcoming.

    •  Us being happy (none)
      Having lived through the Vietnam years, when teenage boys of my own family were conscripted and sent half-way round the world to be put in danger for another set of megalomaniacs aspirations of being glorious in history, I guess I'm just on another wavelength.

      Hardly any of us here would think for 2 seconds of joining the military and if our own children wanted to join up, we'd be bribing them out of it.  

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