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

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  •  You will win (none)
    on the debate points and lose in the minds of the American people every time you are pessimistic about gains made toward democracy.  Bush & Co. have earned their period of media manipulation and it does the left no good to whimper about this, that or the other.  This Administration is incompetent.  Have no fear that other issues with more potency will rise to the surface and quickly.
    •  As a matter of fact, the 'debate' is being lost (none)
      by Bush himself when majority of Americans see the Iraq war as a big mistake.

      This is a fair topic for discussion and observation and I don't see why people should shy away from it because they are afraid of some imagined reaction from the other side or 'the American public.'

      Excuse me, I am the 'American public' too.

    •  Then Came Tet... (none)
      You're right about "debate points" -- only it was the debate points coming from the administration of the day -- the "light at the end of the tunnel" -- that hit an iceberg of reality called the "Tet Offensive".

      Then the "debate point" shifted to "well, we beat them at Tet too" but by this time most people were through with administration debate points.

      "Debate points" gave the administration of the day limited periods of optimistic PR -- only to be upstaged, each and every time, by the reality on the ground.

      •  Exactly, (none)
        and when the euphoria over the election subsides and the next Tet arrives, as we know it will.  Then we can continue to criticize effectively.  I don't care who is president I will never sit around and criticize a people having an election for the first time.  I think it's great - for them.  The left loses because too many of us have absolutely no marketing skills.  
        •  Word now is (none)
          turnout was 50-60%, with implicit threats that no vote=no food ration.

          Tell me why I should be dancing in the streets because of this?

        •  I should point out... (none)
          that it isn't for the first time.

          If you don't want to count the election in which Saddam got 99% of the vote, you should still consider the point made so forcefully by that example, that just holding an "election" does not constitute democracy.

          But, putting that aside: there was also a very significant election in Iraq in May, 1922 under the British Mandate.

          Massacre is not a family value.

          by Canadian Reader on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 09:40:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  An excellent example (3.00)
            of factually correct arguments destined to lose
            •  If you want to win (none)
              isn't there something to be said for getting your facts straight, before you decide on strategy?

              Gush about "a people having an election for the first time," and, oops, you've lost all credibility with anyone who a) remembers that Saddam held an election, too, and how mercilessly the US made fun of that -- or who b) has read up, even a little bit, on Iraqi history.

              It's the GOP that goes around saying things that are not true and are easily fact-checked. It's not so hard to congratulate Iraqis for voting -- without saying things that will trip you up.

              Massacre is not a family value.

              by Canadian Reader on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:58:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you want to win (none)
                then you should continue reading what I said about marketing skills.  In any case, this is the first election for the people who voted yesterday in Iraq.  Only a fool would call the charades Saddam performed an election.  And if you pull out some old man who in his youth many, many decades ago who voted in a real election I'm going to puke.
                •  Look, check my user name. (none)
                  I certainly want you to win, but I myself have no say in Democratic party tactics. Do what you like.

                  Personally, I think better marketing would be a great thing. I just supposed you'd like to be aware that you were saying something that wasn't exactly true, something that Iraqis, the people you wanted to compliment, would know wasn't true. They know their own history; assuming they won't know about the 1920s when Iraq threw off the British Mandate, is like assuming an American won't know about the Boston Tea Party. It was that kind of defining moment.

                  If you want to go on saying "first election" anyway, fine, your choice.

                  Massacre is not a family value.

                  by Canadian Reader on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 11:50:58 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  TET began this past weekend (none)
        How ironic.
        All the same players are in Iraq as 'Nam.
        3rd brigade, 82nd, 101, 1st Inf., 25th inf., Cav.,the Herd.  
        All we need is the 4th and Americal, and we're there.
        •  I guess I didn't notice that Iraqi cities were (none)
          overrun by a main-line insurgent force attacking at will in the open, even reaching the outskirts of Baghdad, holding territory at battalion strength against sustained opposition.  

          You'll have to fill us in on the details.  Where is the big force of American troops who are surrounded, like the 6,000 at Khe San?  What is the horrendous new casualty rate on the American side?  1200 Americans died during January 1968 in Vietnam, nearly the total for all Americans who have died in the entire Iraq war, serving in a nation half again as big as Vietnam.

          Why are the insurgents choosing to sustain such high casualties among their men, as happened during Tet?  What is their political motive?, since whatever you believe is happening, it doesn't seem to be having any sudden impact on American opinion, as Tet did.  Do they have a reserve like the regular army that replaced the communist cadres after Tet destroyed much of the communist organization in the south?

          Or did you not understand what Tet was?  Was this just another empty post from a hollow uninformed person?

          •  the green zone is surrounded (none)
            the only real difference is Kevlar. Many more deaths and injuries would be present here were it not for Kevlar vests.  the planes take off and land in the exact same manner - they fall out of the sky onto the landing field. this is a much more stealthy enemy, and they are unwilling to sustain the level of casualties because they don't have to. there are too many more parallels than differences.  

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