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

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  •  Excellent point (none)
    That is an excellent point, and a very real parallel to Vietnam that I had not thought of before . . . Amid the confusion and smokescreens and lies, a good answer to your question of "why the hell not" is going to be hard to determine. Yet I think that on this topic the Vietnam precedent offers a guide for telltale signs to watch out for.

    In Vietnam, the chief causes of ARVN pusillanimity were A) top-to-bottom corruption in the chain of command (ARVN generals obtained field commands by paying huge bribes to the Saigon govt, financed in turn by setting up extortion rackets in their districts), and B) a conviction by the Saigon govt that the ARVN's purpose was to thwart coups and protect the govt against its internal rivals rather than fight the Communist insurgency.

    Can we see such factors at play in Iraq? Certainly there are reports of massive corruption in the Iraqi govt. (The planeload of cash to Beirut for arms that never arrived; the  $9 bil allocated by the CPA to Iraqi ministries with no auditing or accouning)

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