Monday, September 19, 2005

A Note About Iraq

Iraq is not Vietnam. Saying "Iraq is the Arabic word for Vietnam" is like saying Ecuador is the Spanish word for Latvia.

And the war in Iraq is different from the war in Vietnam. The only common factor is that the US is involved. The main difference in the wars is that in Vietnam the communists had infiltrated the South Vietnamese government at all levels. All levels. And the group of loyal Vietnamese surrounding the US had a nucleus in the Catholic community, a minority. The Vietnamese communists (Viet Minh) were respected. In Iraq, the Sunni are a minority and the Baathists are hated; and the Islamists despised.

And, of course, Vietnam is mostly jungle. Iraq is a desert. Vietnam had Ho Chi Minh. Iraq has Zarqawi. The South Vietnamese were not able to survive without US support. The Iraqi Shiite and Kurds can survive, nearly on their own.

9/11 Anniversary

I've been watching and reading the numerous 9/11 memorials and anniversary blogs and thinking about them for a week. I learned about the attacks from the web that day, and had to go find a working TV, mine was on the fritz. Eventually I saw the video re-run and was shocked. My first two thoughts on the building collapse was that this provides a wide-open door for the Russians to do whatever they want in Chechnya, and that the killers got real lucky with the structural damage and probably hadn't expected to take down either building.

I remember thinking that if I were a writer, or blogging, back then, I'd have written "This is an act of transcendental stupidity — whoever did this is going to be crushed." It was and they were. Oh, al-Queda isn't dead yet, but the Taliban is barely breathing and Osamas group is on life support.

Later on, as numerous Muslims around the world started claiming that the act was so un-Muslim that the accused Saudis could simply not have done it, I was skeptical. Now, I think this is a good thing. It's good they think the 9/11 attacks are such a bad idea.

9/11 made President Bush look better. And this anniversary comes along in the middle of the Katrina disaster, and Bush looked absolutely idiotic. I don't hate the man, but he's not qualified to be president of the United States.

About me:
I moved a little further to the Right, or at least a little further away from the Left, on 9/11. But wasn't until a year or so later that I realized this, as I listened to the Left temporize and make excuses for the Islamists. Later, in the 2002/2003 time frame, I tried to find something on the antiwar and counterpunch websites that made sense regarding Bush's impending war in Iraq. I couldn't find it. That's when I realized that I was probably not even left of center anymore. At least on foreign policy.

And the irony is in the observation that the Left has moved Right, supporting the Islamofascists, and that what's repelled me. So I had to move Right to stay Centered.

On that violent day in 2001, we did not know what to make of flight 93 crashing into the Pennsylvania countryside. Now, we do. One of the side-effects of the heroism of flight 93 is that a lot of Afghans are alive today who would otherwise be dead. If flight 93 had crashed into the White House or the Capitol the anger of the US and it's military might have sent it crashing through Afghanistan like Sherman through Georgia.

The President, you'll remember, was in Florida, reading to children or being read to, as the case may be. Not too bad a time for remedial instruction, I suppose. The President didn't move too fast back then, but only Michael Moore counts it against him. With Katrina we all count it against him.