Right call on terror
by Kevin_Foley
 Politics Progressive
June 04, 2013 03:47 PM | 1347 views | 13 13 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
The war in Vietnam was nothing like today's war on terror. Comparing one to the other, as some observers have done, is absurd. The only thing the two have in common is that they were sold to the American public on fraudulent terms.

To his everlasting discredit, Lyndon Johnson ginned up the rationale for all out war in Vietnam with his bogus Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Realizing what he'd done not long afterwards, to his everlasting credit, Johnson refused to run for a second term.

George W. Bush didn't have Johnson's courage or capacity for shame, otherwise he too would have declined to run for a second term after his bald-faced WMD lie was exposed.

None of this has stopped right wing commentators, many of whom assiduously avoided military service, from pushing their "Obama is surrendering the war on terror" B.S. It should be noted that many of these are the same people who were dead wrong when they were screaming for a war with Iraq 10 years ago.

As Gen. George Patton said of the Saturday Evening Post's editors, "(They) don't know any more about real fighting under fire than they know about (sexual intercourse)."

Unlike Vietnam, there was no conscription during the war on terror. If we had a draft, there would have never been an unprovoked invasion of Iraq without irrefutable evidence that Saddam had WMD. And there would have been a lot of hard thinking before U.S. boots were put on the ground in Afghanistan, history's cesspool.

Bush, who turned down a Vietnam tour, would never permit his wealthy friends to send their sons or daughters to Iraq.

I guarantee you, the College Republicans and Bush's Skull and Bones at Yale would have been the first guys protesting in the streets in 2003 if they had actually been compelled to go fight and perhaps die in Baghdad or Kabul.

I was in high school during Vietnam. My recollection is that protesters like the ones at the University of Wisconsin didn't want to be forced to put their lives on the line in a pointless conflict with no exit strategy. Nevertheless, Richard Nixon escalated the war when he took office in 1968 even though, by then, anybody with a brain knew Vietnam was a lost cause.

With neocon and right wing media chicken hawks cheering him on, Bush's response to a horrifying terrorist attack was to unleash America's military might on a relatively small number of stateless terrorists holed up in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It was like using an nuclear bomb to kill flies; no real thinking, no long range planning. Just blindly swinging massive fists and hoping to connect.

We accomplished almost nothing in Iraq and next to nothing in Afghanistan at a cost 7,000 dead Americans and at least $2 trillion. For the first time in American history, taxes were not raised to pay for either war. Rather, Bush put his wars on the national credit card.

God forbid the wealthy should be asked to sacrifice even one dollar of their precious earnings.

Meantime, until Obama had the guts to give the politically risky order to kill him, Osama bin Laden was giving the finger to America. Now bin Laden and scores of his lieutenants are burning in hell and al Qaeda is a shell of what it was in 2008.

President Obama is exactly right to call off the dogs of war. It was the wrong answer to the terrorism threat from the get-go. Investigations, surgical strikes, black ops, espionage and all the rest is how you take down vicious international thugs, not sending hundreds of thousands of American troops to Iraq or Afghanistan to "nation build."

(And to my usual critics: No, I didn't serve in uniform. The Vietnam war was over and the draft abolished by the time I graduated from high school. America went to an all-volunteer military and I chose not to enlist. I honor those who do serve and never, ever want to see our young servicemen and women committed to unnecessary wars where they are asked to risk their lives for the sake of some politician's "legacy" or a military contractor's profitability.)

 

Comments
(13)
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Lib in Cob
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June 09, 2013
@George: If you have not seen "Hubris", I recommend it.
Kevin Foley
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June 07, 2013
@ Middleton - Your comment about the Guard is a perfect example of E.C. You'd rather defend a failure like Bush because you backed him than condemn him for using his pull to secure a means of avoiding Vietnam. Then this fraud had the hubris to send the children of Americans to die in a war of his own making, and you defend that too. You're pathetic, sir.

George Middleton
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June 07, 2013
Kevin, I read your column today and I never saw a more perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black.

It fits you and your other name Lib in cobb to a tee.

BYW, joining the Guard hardly equates to "turning down a tour in Vietnam." That's a long reach, even for you. Laughable, as usual.
Kevin Foley
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June 07, 2013
@ Middleton - See my column Friday. You fit the bill perfectly.
George Middleton
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June 06, 2013
Lib, I promise if Kevin ever writes a "well written piece" I will read it to Mr. Adams. Then we wi;; both celebrate the miracle. Thus far he has had steady stream of misses.
Kevin Foley
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June 06, 2013
At Height of Vietnam, Bush Picks Guard



Two weeks before he was to graduate from Yale, George Walker Bush stepped into the offices of the Texas Air National Guard at Ellington Field outside Houston and announced that he wanted to sign up for pilot training.

It was May 27, 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War. Bush was 12 days away from losing his student deferment from the draft at a time when Americans were dying in combat at the rate of 350 a week. The unit Bush wanted to join offered him the chance to fulfill his military commitment at a base in Texas. It was seen as an escape route from Vietnam by many men his age, and usually had a long waiting list.

Bush had scored only 25 percent on a "pilot aptitude" test, the lowest acceptable grade. But his father was then a congressman from Houston, and the commanders of the Texas Guard clearly had an appreciation of politics.

Bush was sworn in as an airman the same day he applied. His commander, Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt, was apparently so pleased to have a VIP's son in his unit that he later staged a special ceremony so he could have his picture taken administering the oath, instead of the captain who actually had sworn Bush in. Later, when Bush was commissioned a second lieutenant by another subordinate, Staudt again staged a special ceremony for the cameras, this time with Bush's father the congressman – a supporter of the Vietnam War – standing proudly in the background.

Lib in Cobb
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June 06, 2013
@DA: The next time you decide to criticize Kevin involving the content of one his well written pieces, I will suggest you get someone to read it, then explain it. You'll look less foolish.
Devlin Adams
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June 06, 2013
Foley, try to tell me that this bit is not an attempt to cast aspersions on President Bush.

"Bush, who turned down a Vietnam tour". Do you have any documentation that Bush was offered a tour in Vietnam and turned it down? Nope. Then this is a bald faced attempt to manufacture something that does not exist.

And that, my brain-washed friend, is what is known as "casting aspersions".

Based on your logic, I can make the statement that Kevin Foley was offered the opportunity to, but chose not to serve his country.

Those who cower under their beds while brave men fight off the foes are the first ones to kiss the feet of the victors. Of course you honor those who served.
Lib in Cobb
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June 05, 2013
@ DA: "little demand". Who won the last two presidential elections? There is the demand.
Lib in Cobb
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June 05, 2013
@DA: "cast aspersions"? Where? In your not so fertile imagination.

Kevin Foley
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June 05, 2013
Adams - I usually don't respond to your stupidity. I wouldn't expect you or your pals to understand what this blog is about. But "cast aspersions on those who did serve" tells us you didn't bother to read what I wrote.

Devlin Adams
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June 05, 2013
Just a regurgitation of the liberal BS, which is in great supply, with little demand.

As usual, Kevin has nothing to say, but insists of saying it anyway.

BTW, Kevin, since you chose not to serve, it is quite hypocritical of you to cast aspersions on others who did serve, but did not see combat. And, since you did not serve, you obviously are not aware, based on your endorsement of Obama's idiotic proclamation, that it takes both sides to call off a war. What Obama said is that we are going to surrender. The terrorists can kill us, but we are not fighting amy more.
Lin in Cobb
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June 05, 2013
Thank you, Kevin.
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