Monday, January 29, 2007


If We Fail... Been there, done that.
by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online
January 19, 2007
Most Americans accept that if the United States cannot stabilize Iraq, and, in frustration and acrimony, withdraws in defeat, crises follow. The only disagreement is over how bad they will be.
Some point to the aftermath of Vietnam and, mirabile dictu, think the world eventually went on pretty much the same. In this rosy view, the preordained end of the Cold War made the communist postwar Vietnamese increasingly entrepreneurial, and thus more pro-American than friendly to their erstwhile Chinese patrons.
Others, more soberly I think, recall instead in the interval the million-plus of boat-people, exiles, the executed, and detained — and the aftershocks that killed millions more in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Central America, once it was established that the United States would not, or could not, thwart Communist aggression. The Iranian hostage-taking and the rise of radical Islam itself were predicated on the idea that a post-Vietnam America would not intervene against terrorists, whether in Tehran or Lebanon. And Vietnam, of course, today is no South Korea, as millions there without freedom could attest.
The Ripple Effect
Be that as it may, we sometimes forget that there are also more insidious ripples that can emanate from Iraq. I can think of three for starters, all with post-Vietnam echoes...


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