Digby has a good post about the "real reason the US is in Iraq," based on revelations from Bob Woodward's new book State of Denial. As we all know, VP Cheney and SecDef Rumsfeld were higher-ups in the Gerald Ford administration at the time the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam. Believing, as an article of faith, that the defeat was a result of hippies and "liberal media propaganda" and nothing else, these warped old specimens waited twenty-five years for the chance to get back into power to "do Vietnam right." "Getting back in power" meant biding their time until someone as limited mentally as the younger Bush got in office.

This all rings true to me. I know some people who come from the so-called "Silent Generation" of the '50s who believe everything wrong with America can be traced to the '60s counterculture: they viewed Clinton as a bong-smoking libertine and welcomed Bush Junior as the second coming of solid Christian values. No amount of evidence of Republican corruption (Enron, Abramoff), incompetence (the war in Iraq), skankiness (Mark Foley), etc. will ever convince these folks that the Republicans aren't the party of the angels. And no evidence of the good that came out of the counterculture (tolerance, civil rights, environmental awareness) will ever convince them that "dirty hippies" aren't the worst thing that ever happened in the history of the world.

We could feel sorry for them, but unfortunately their kind shows no sign of voluntarily relaxing its grip on power, so I'm afraid we must hate them, at least until they admit they were wrong about everything and promise to behave. It sounds "intolerant," but these people are scary.

- tom moody 10-02-2006 7:20 pm

I blogged about an appearance by Kissinger at a conference called Vietnam and the Presidency. At the time I thought, "What a stupid, bitter old fool. Good thing he's out of power."

Silly me. Like Jason in the Holloween flicks, he's not dead yet. According to Woodward, Kissinger still has the ear of Cheney and Bush. Despite being the victim of a power grab by Cheney and Rummy during the Ford Administration (the Halloween Massacre), Kissinger is still on the team. Hell, old Hank probably grudgingly admired their knife work, despite the fact that some of it was in his own back.

My read on Kissinger from that conference is that he believed we could have won if only we had had the will to kill more Vietnamese. Three million Vietnamese died in that conflict.

Iraq is not like Vietnam. The struggle in Indochina was that of a country with a single national identity attempting to throw off foreign colonial powers -- the French, the Japanese, the French again, the Americans, and some border skirmishes with the Chinese. Iraq is an artificial creation of colonial map makers. What's brewing there is a struggle between three+ national groups for control of thier own regions, mixed areas, and formerly common resources.

But with the US attempt to make it look like Vietnam, it may end up looking like Vietnam, at least with respect to the outcome for the US. At least we have a larger embassy compound from which to make those last desperate helicopter evacuations.
- mark 10-02-2006 9:58 pm

Don't forget that they tried to put Kissinger in charge of the
'9/11 Commission". If he had been in charge, it would probably have even more lies, ommissions, and whitewash than it already does now!
- Thor Johnson 10-03-2006 4:39 am

As I recall he turned it down because he had conflicts of interest and didn't want to cut loose any of his lucrative but morally suspect clients.
- tom moody 10-03-2006 5:01 am

That's right! Also, I seem to remember something about how Kissy-Face did not even want to have to reveal who his clients actually are!

Kissy-Face is my imagined "Dubya nickname" for Kissinger.
- Thor Johnson 10-03-2006 5:23 am

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