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

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  •  As Warren Buffet likes to cite (4.00)
    Disraeli's observation: "What we learn from history is that  we do not learn from history."
    •  They think (none)
      that history is on their side.  They don't think that the US lost the Vietnam war; they think that the US will be able to shape the Middle East if they can just get that bothersome American public to look the other way at the scores of body bags this sort of illegitimate aggression produces.  Just look at the Project for a New American Century and it will all become clear...we are being led by lunatics who are so insane that they cannot come to grips with the fact that the Vietnam war wasn't conceded; it was lost.
      •  There's more and it gets worse (none)
        The Neocons believe that the world thinks the U.S. public can't sustain high casualties, and that this makes the U.S. weak in foreign eyes.  The solution is to have a lot of casualties that the American public can be persuaded to accept.  People haven't thought this through from a game-theoretic perspective.  I'm not claiming the Neocons were correct in supposing the American public would accept high casualties; only that their model implies high casualties as a 'signal' to potential enemies.  This was, of course, Hitler's view of the matter with respect to German casualties.
        •  Rand produced an article on the subject (none)

          "It is now an article of faith in political and media circles that the American public will no longer accept casualties in U.S. military operations, and that casualties inexorably lead to irresistible calls for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces. If true, this would not only call into question the credibility of the U.S. Armed Forces in deterring potential adversaries, but would be profoundly important in decisions concerning force structure, doctrine, and military campaign planning, as well as the nature of the country's broader foreign policy, including its alliances and other commitments."

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