By Dr. Diego Rodriguez
Reason 1 – Leadership. In Vietnam, there was an independently-minded president, who had to go. “On November 1, 1963, a coup encouraged and supported by the Kennedy administration led to the assassination of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem.”
(President Richard Nixon’s Role in the Vietnam War, VietnamWar.com, http://www.vietnamwar.com/presidentnixonsrole.htm) Local generals took over in consultation with the American ambassador.
Afghanistan is different. Here the American army had to conquer the country before putting in their American-citizen, Afghan-speaking president from Chicago.
Reason 2 – Surges. In Vietnam, there were large sections of the country that seemed to be falling into enemy hands on an ongoing basis. The solution was to drop paratroops and send in the marines from landing craft on the coast.
In Afghanistan, there are large sections of the country that seem to be falling into enemy hands on an ongoing basis. The solution is a series of “temporary” troop surges.
Reason 3 – Name of Enemy. In Vietnam, the enemy was called Viet Cong, whereas in Afghanistan it’s the Taliban.
Reason 4 – Academic Qualifications of Tortured Women. The Viet Cong sympathizers and suspects were really tricky. It seems they entrusted local farm women (yes, the young, good-looking ones) with the locations of their weapons “caches”. When the tough Americans made a “search-and-destroy” sweep with their Vietnamese lackeys, these beautiful Vietnamese women had their hands tied behind their backs, and were threatened with knives or guns to reveal the secrets. Sometimes the women were dragged by their hair into rivers and repeatedly held under water until they gave up the information.
The Iraqis were so tricky. They had all these weapons of mass-destruction which were soooo well-hidden. Luckily the brave Americans swept into the country with a deck of playing cards having the pictures of the people who knew where the weapons were. Like Dr Huda Ammash, a beautiful and highly-educated Iraqi scientist. They locked her up for two years of questioning/torture.
Reason 5 – Different Names for the Secure Airbase. The Americans in Vietnam had a number of secured bases, the main one being Than Son Nut airbase by Saigon. They had a perimeter, and a wall. Unfortunately, the Vietnamese had zero respect for these brave defenders of democracy, and often took the secure base under “harassing fire”. In Afghanistan, the secured base has a different name – Bagram. It has a perimeter, and a wall. Unfortunately, the Afghans have zero respect for these brave defenders of democracy, and often take the secure base under “harassing fire”. No Americans get hit, you must understand. Its just harassment.
Reason 6 – Different Names for Central Government Troops. In Vietnam, there was the Vietnamese Army, naturally. Some people disrespectfully called it the Army of the Republic of South Vietnam. These government soldiers were not all alike. They had the Rangers, and Vietnamese marines. These were the specially-trained units that knew how to strike Viet Cong suspects under interrogation. Conduct mock drownings of women. And such like.
In Iraq, the Americans has a national army. There are the poorly-motivated line soldiers, but then you have the interior ministry commandos. They have special sunglasses and cool uniforms. They specialize in visiting Sunni neighborhoods and grabbing forty or fifty terror suspects at a time. The prisoners show up dead within a few days. Signs of torture are evident, and the hands are tied behind their backs.
Reason 7 – Different Religion of Local Protesters. In Vietnam, there were those ungrateful Bhuddist monks who kept demonstrating against the legitimate government in Saigon. In Iraq it’s not Bhuddists, but the Association of Muslim Scholars. Sometimes young students would demonstrate against the government in Vietnam. Like in Iraq, where the demonstrators tend to get shot down by the occupation soldiers.
Reason 8 – Different Pacification Tactics. In Vietnam, they had pacification teams dressed in black pyjamas. The visited areas which were allegedly under government control, and sang songs to the children about how good life was in areas controlled by the central government. In Iraq, they have an American-run television station, which tells the people the same thing.
Reason 9 – Different Adviser Designations. In Vietnam, the special forces were all over the place. One thing they liked to do was be advisers. Put one or two advisers (Green Berets) in a unit of Vietnamese, and they could tell the Vietnamese how to fight. There were even WACs who instructed Vietnamese women how to march.
In Iraq, there are American advisers who live and sleep with their Iraqi units. They tell them how to fight.
In Vietnam, these special forces had their fire bases, which were often harassed by the Viet Cong. Not seriously challenged, you understand. But harassed.
Reason 10 – Different Economic Motivations. Vietnam had rubber plantations, whereas Iraq has oil, and Afghanistan was/is on the route for a big oil pipeline.
Reason 11 – Different Locations for Terrorist Bombings. In Vietnam, the Viet Cong had zero scruples. They’d bomb the American officer billets in Saigon. Even attacked the American embassy on several occasions.
In Afghanistan, the officers are not billeted out in the city anymore, so now they just get bombed when they are driving around town.
Reason 12 – Different Tactics Against Dissenters. During the Vietnam war, the protest movement was infiltrated by government agents. During public protests, the police often moved in with their sticks of pain.
The demonstrators took a beating, but were still alive at the end of the day. Now the police use tasers on those misguided cattle. Dissenter Pat Tillman took a pattern in the forehead.
Reason 13 – Uncontrollable Areas have Different Names. In Vietnam, there was no end of trouble in the central highlands. Pleiku was often plagued by Viet Cong harassment. In Afghanistan, the problems are in the mountainous south and east. The crusaders of democracy in Helmand are often plagued by Taliban harassment.
Reason 14 – Refugees go to Neighboring Country. In Vietnam, when the American-sponsored national government had to give up Hue, streams of American collaborators fled south. In Afghanistan, there’s less collaboration, so when the Taliban take over a region, there is no mass exodus. Sometimes the American bombing campaign gets to being too much for the locals, but then they flee east to Pakistan, instead of south to Saigon.
Reason 15 – Coalition Forces Different. In Vietnam, the Americans were assisted by South Korean and Australian soldiers. The English were absent. Now the English are the main foreign lackeys in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Reason 16 – Photos. In Vietnam, dead American soldiers were often photographed. In the newer wars, plenty of American soldiers still die, but their photos just don’t seem to show up.
Reason 17 – Different Bomber Bases. In Vietnam, lots of the bombers flew in from Guam, or from American ships in the South China Sea. In Iraq, the missions are flown from Diego Garcia and American ships in the Persian Gulf.
Reason 18 – Different Weapons. In Vietnam, the people used punji sticks against the occupation army. In Iraq, they apparently use shaped-charge road bombs. A similarity is that mortar fire has been used regularly in both places. Lots of that “harassment” going on.
Reason 19 – Much Smaller Presence. In Vietnam, the American soldiers surged up to about 500 000. In Iraq/Kuwait/Saudi Arabia/Turkey/Israel, its only about 250 000 (officially).
Reason 20 – Young Casualties. In Vietnam, a lot of photos were taken of heaps of really young Vietnamese – dead of course. They were casualties in human-wave assaults on American bases. No military clothing or weapons on them, naturally, but the Americans said they were combat casualties.
In Iraq, the story is a little different. Now its “death squads” that kill the children and dump them in heaps.
Conclusion – There are so many reasons why Afghanistan/Iraq is not another Vietnam. The most important one is this difference in names: In Vietnam, the Jewish general Creighton Abrams was supervising the slaughter. Nowadays, it’s the Jewish general Petraus. Sure its still the American goys that do the dying in the field. The American people still pay the bills.