Friday, October 29, 2004

Why the U.S. must withdraw from Iraq October 28, 2004
Why the U.S. must withdraw from Iraq
Vietnam proved that offensive occupations are doomed. In his arrogance, Bush is repeating the same blunder.
By Peter Dale Scott
Oct. 28, 2004 | In 1991, after the Gulf War, President George H.W. Bush proclaimed, "The specter of Vietnam has been buried forever in the desert sands of the Arabian Peninsula." But the specter he and the Pentagon had feared for over a decade, of a devastating shrinkage of U.S. influence following a military withdrawal, had always been a phantom.

That "specter," of defeat in Vietnam, proved in time to be as harmless as a Halloween ghost. Asia did not tip as predicted toward the Communist camp after America withdrew; Asia tipped decisively the other way. And it did so precisely because America's troops stopped fighting where they did not belong, leaving space for other Americans to come in and do more constructive forms of business.

We face a different specter today: the sibling specter of escalation and imperial overstretch. The true Vietnam syndrome is our country's proven pathological history of involvement in unnecessary and unwinnable wars.