The Fat Lady Sings to HankMany people have remarked on the similarities between Iraq and Vietnam. They're militarily very different, but there are strong political parallels. Both are examples of open-ended wars with no clearly defined vision of success. Through a combination of addlebrained policies and propping up corrupt and dangerous allies, both wars lost support and created suckholes nearly impossible to crawl out of. The Vietnam saga ended when the US declared peace and went home. As expected, the north overran the south in short order and the US went into a 30-year snit limiting contact with the newly unified country until recently.
Over the weekend, Henry "Peace is at Hand" Kissinger weighed in on the futility of further war in Iraq. In his view, the place has become a no win albatross around the nation's neck. While he believes - quite correctly - there will be a mess in the power vacuum of a withdrawal, he sees the US at another peace is at hand moment. In short, we can't go forward because the chance to do so is in the past.
Hank should know. He saw the "Yankee go home" graffiti on the walls of Vietnam. He also knows because he's been advising the current administration to forge on into the swamp just as he did in his war. Hank's thick, omnipresent glasses apparently don't correct his near-sightedness, so he relies on feeling the swamp muck rise up around his neck to tell him he's in too deep. The Bushies apparently mistook the hard lessons of Vietnam as a handbook for success rather than a warning to the wise.
That being the case, God help us if George, Dick, and Rummy become the next generation of paladins advising future Presidents on losing wars. We're already seeing a poorly made Vietnam sequel in which George plays Nixon, Rummy is Robert McNamara, Condi does a mean turn as Hank Kissinger, and a cast of thousands plays the war dead.
The Kisser may be very good at many very bad things, but he does know one thing for sure - the story must end when the fat lady sings.
I think I hear her warming up right now.
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Monday, April 02, 2007