Is Iraq like Vietnam?

It’s becoming fashionable to draw comparisons between Vietnam and Iraq. A friend, a former Liberal MP, sent me an email recently pointing out how different the situations were. He was more inclined to compare Iraq with the Boer War. The real parallel for Vietnam, as Miscellany sees it, is the US War of Independence where standing armies and foreign support (the French in this case) helped the colonists to defeat the imperialists. As far as the broader “war on terror” the Peloponnesian Wars are probably most comparable.

But, as my friend said, comparisons are not much of a substitute for hard thought and real knowledge. He also skewered the no exit strategy debate quite well. After all – to exit from Iraq all you need to do is just put them on a ship in Basra and send them home. And he says – it worked in Vietnam and Gallipoli.


The problem with conspiracy theories is that they give people who spot real conspiracies a bad name. And there is no doubt that there are some real conspiracies out there – not just the giant right wing one which Hilary Clinton referred to.

The latest couple of conspiracies from the US are: the Jeff Gannon one, which has had more coverage in Crikey than in many mainstream US papers; and, the Swift Boat veterans campaign team’s concerns about Social Security privatization.

The Weekly Spin reported on February 24 – based on a NY Times article a couple of days earlier – that the team which produced the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign is now working for USANext, a group running a multi-million campaign attacking the AARP group which is opposing the privatization.

This one must be an even bigger doozy than the anti-Kerry campaign because one of the organizers said it would be “so aggressive that the White House might not want to associate with it.” Must be quite a campaign if even Karl Rove could find it a bit much.

CRIKEY: Read more of Turnbull’s miscellaneous Miscellany musings on the site here:

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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