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Norman Lear

Norman Lear

Posted: January 28, 2007 07:44 PM

In the Language of Today


Excerpt from Crooks and Liars:

"...certain parallels between Iraq and Vietnam are uncanny," says Fred Barnes, in the WEEKLY STANDARD. "A new general, David Petraeus, is taking over in Iraq with a credible new strategy, counterinsurgency. Four decades ago, General Creighton Abrams became the American commander in Vietnam, also with a new strategy. It called for taking and holding the villages and hamlets of South Vietnam. In a word, it was counterinsurgency, and it worked. Now in Iraq, Petraeus has as good a chance of success, starting with the pacification of Baghdad, as Abrams had. And the painful lesson of Vietnam applies in Iraq: Don't give up when victory is at hand."

Okay, so here is how someone, some group can help all of us poor fools who have grown to believe that America's involvement in Vietnam --all of it, every lost mother's son of it-- was a mistake. At hand, we have a Barnes-storming political journalist with an important political publication and a major broadcast platform (Fox News) from which to inform and instruct us -- and HE says that the painful lesson we learned in Vietnam was and is:

"Don't give up when victory is at hand."

Nicole Belle, from who I borrowed the long quote above, asks: "What kind of hellacious Kool-aid are they serving down at the Weekly Standard?" I'd like to ask: Isn't there a group of prominent Generals and Statesmen who were actively involved in Vietnam that can take that question on and put it away for us once and for all?

Was General Creighton Abrams new strategy working, as Fred Barnes asserts? Was "victory at hand" at any time in Vietnam?

I'm fairly certain that the conservative G's and S's I seek have already commented on the subject over time, but how helpful it would be to collect those comments, to solicit them afresh -- and, in print, on air and on the internet -- blast the Barnes hype-othesis out of the water once and for all!

I would happily support such an effort any way I was asked. To those who are sure to say that it would only serve to give the Barnes statement more attention and so best to let that sleeping dog lie, I say: That ain't no sleeping dog. In the current context it exists to bite our heads off. In the language of today, (unless I am already some weeks, months or years behind) let's nail that sucker now!