Thursday, November 1, 2007

Iraq and the Fall of Communism

by Steve Lane
(912 words)

The war in Iraq is comparable in many ways to the war in Vietnam, the one we thought we had learned our lesson from. Both were or are unwinnable fights against men and women who were not our enemy until we willed it so, and which caused endless suffering both to America and to the country that we invaded. There's a wider comparison, however.

The Vietnam war was part of the Cold War, where Communism was the enemy. The Iraq war is part of the war on terrorism, where this month radical Islam is the enemy. In both cases the US was or is fighting real soldiers in the service of an ideology. It's too early to see how the Iraq war will play out, but there is a lot to learn about Iraq from the Vietnam War. We won the war against Communism, no question about that. Our success ought to make us look at how we won, to see if we can do it again, this time against radical Islam.

There were about 25 Communist nations at the end of the Cold War. All but four of them imploded - their rulers decided for one reason or another to give it up, to abandon Communism. Most of my friends are unable to name the four current Communist nations when asked, so I'll do so now. They are Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba and China. What do they have in common, other than lip service to Marx and Lenin?

The US invaded Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba to end Communism there...

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