Saturday, July 09, 2005

History Repeating

The right wing hates Iraq/Vietnam comparisons. They call them unfounded, pointless, disingenuous (actually, most don't know what disingenuous means, but...)

But the parallels are there, and they are troubling, no matter how much the right chooses to ignore them...

A few quotes to bolster my point:

"There is a great gulf of understanding, between that world and our world, ideological in character. They see what we think of as the real world in wholly different terms. Their very processes of logic are different. So that it's very difficult to enter into each other's minds across that great ideological gulf."

Secretary of State Dean Rusk, August, 1964, on the Gulf of Tonkin Incident

Another war of combatting ideologies, another war pitting an army trained in conventional warfare against a determined insurgency, another war where our leadership fabricated a reason to invade.

Another war that might have been averted had both sides not been so entrenched in their mindsets.

"There may be a limit beyond which many Americans and much of the world will not permit the United States to go. The picture of the world's greatest superpower killing or seriously injuring 1000 non-combatants a week, while trying to pound a tiny backward nation into submission, on an issue whose merits are hotly disputed, is not a pretty one. It could conceivably produce a costly distortion in the American national consciousness."

Assistant Secretary of Defense John McNaughton, May 1967

Another administration more concerned with public appearance and support for an immoral war than with the innocents being slaughtered at the hands of the US military. Another administration willing to sacrifice the youth of America and murder the civilians of a less developed country to pursue the goals of US domination. Another administration lying to its citizens about the costs and reasons for war.

Another administration destroying America's reputation to further its own self-serving goals.

"Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1967

Another group of dissenters branded as unpatriotic. Another country divided on ideological lines. Another clash between liberals and conservatives.

Another group of determined progressive thinkers dedicated to bringing the truth to light.

How long must we repeat this history of ours? How many times must the sons pay for the sins of the father? How can we continue so blindly, ignoring all that has come before us?

How can we doom ourselves to another Vietnam so easily?

I don't know. But here we are.


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