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Don't Let Iraq Become Another Vietnam

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I want to wish all veterans a great Veterans Day. I took off from work today, I have done it every year for the past 10 years. I was tired of everyone getting a day off that didn't even serve, while I found myself with 21 years of service, working and watching them have a day off. I might get in trouble for it, but hey, what the hell.

I was thinking about the last article I wrote. It wasn't a very cheerful article, but I was trying to be pragmatic. I served in the Army from January of 1968 to 1997, with two breaks in between, one in 1975 and a ten year break from 1980 to 1989. I saw so many soldiers get killed while the peace team (Kissenger and the North Vietnamese) debated the shape of the conference table. I marched and I also served, a dual life of sorts. I couldn't understand why we didn't pull out. When I was 17, I was for the war. After a few months in the Army, I turned against it. I knew that the information that the government was giving the American public was bullshit, and that they really never intended to do what was necessary to win. I later believed that we were wrong for ever getting involved. If you study the factors that led up to the Vietnam War, it was one dumb move after another. I don't believe that we ever really intended to get involved in a war of that scope and size until we were up to our necks in it. It started with a few bad moves in 1954 when a Lt. And a Staff Sergeant happened to get killed in Saigon at a roadblock. We then started to "advise" the South Vietnamese and got ourselves deeper and deeper. By 1965 we were committed. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was a made-up incident that gave the President authorization for the use of force. Our soldiers went from "advisors" to combatants (which they really were even before the Resolution). By the time our government realized that because of the unpopularity of the war with the people of America around 1968, it took almost four years to get the fighting stopped.

I don't want history to repeat itself. I don't want to see Congress and the Administration battle with each other while our soldiers are being used for target practice. If the Democrats think that they are going to legislate us out of Iraq without impeaching this President, all I can say is good luck with that. By the time the 2008 elections come up, the Republicans will accuse you of getting in the way of Bush winning the war. The terrible part about it, is that most Americans will be so sick of the political fighting in Washington, they will probably believe it.

The only way we will get out of Iraq is to Impeach Bush and Cheney. Bush will veto any pullout, and I don't believe that the Democrats will get 2/3 of the Senate to overturn the veto. This will go back and forth all while Iraqi's are killing our soldiers and each other. That's why I suggested impeaching Bush and Cheney, and getting a real coalition in there to put an end to the sectarian violence, and also prevent the country from being used as a terrorist training ground. Someone wrote a comment and said that we can't win this war. I say that is bullshit. We can win this war if we commit to win this war. No, we can't win this war with 140,000 troops and no military plan, but to say that we can't defeat the insurgents and terrorists in Iraq if we really committed our military to win, and got a coalition of NATO forces and help from Iran and Syria to close the borders is preposterous. Do you believe that they are militarily superior to this country? If you really believe that, then we should all examine what you are smoking. If we don't want to commit to winning and we really don't believe that Iraq will become a lawless nation, then by all means lets just get our troops out of there and home.

What I don't want to see, is mudslinging in Congress, and everyone pointing their fingers at each other while we send unit after unit to fight a war we are not committed to win. Remember what I said about Vietnam? By 1972, units were refusing to go out on patrol because they had to get Brigade level clearance to shoot back at people who were shooting at them. That means that the Platoon Leader had to call the Company Commander, the Company Commander had to call the Battalion Commander, and the Battalion Commander had to call the Brigade Commander to get permission to engage, all the while the guys in the platoon were taking fire. That is NOT what I want to see happen again. Our military should not be used as a political football. If Pelosi wants us out of Iraq, then she had better have a plan. The worst possible scenario is to debate this for the next two years to win political points with the voters. Don't say it won't happen, I've seen it happen before. This is one of the benefits of getting old, you get to see history repeat itself.

So we have a choice, Impeach Bush and pull the troops out and see what happens, or impeach Bush and build a coalition to win this war in short notice and yes, Mr. Doubting Thomas, we really can win if that's what we want to do. Either way, I don't care, as long as we don't do what we did in Vietnam, use our military to buy time in a war we are not really going all out to win. It's not fair to them, and it's not the right thing to do.
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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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