Monday, March 17, 2008

War Reflection #2: “Peace with Honor” – the usual spin

John McCain has made it clear that if he is President, Iraq will continue to echo the worst aspects of the Vietnam War. The beliefs that it is winnable and that it can go on indefinitely are frightening reminders of the hawk politics of 40 years ago. 1968 was the year that LBJ retired a shattered man because of the war, the My Lai massacre took place and Richard Nixon was elected US President promising to end the war.

The current “success” of the surge smacks of Nixon’s promises to get peace with honour. Peace was even declared in 1973 with the hollow Paris Accords, just two years before the rout of the South Vietnamese. Nixon announced “an agreement to end the war and bring peace with honor in Vietnam and in Southeast Asia.”

It was an empty charade to get US troops home without acknowledging defeat. With macabre irony the chief negotiators Henry Kissinger and Le Doc Tho were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

John McCain has promised us:

I intend to win the war, and trust in the proven judgment of our commanders there and the courage and selflessness of the Americans they have the honor to command.

Faced with similar challenges, previous generations of Americans have passed such tests with honor. It is now our turn to demonstrate that our power, ennobled by our principles, is the greatest force for good on earth today.

Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Presumably the Vietnam conflict, where 50,000 Americans died, was not one of those "similar challenges".

McCain's brief response to Admiral William Fallon's early retirement last week as commander-in-chief of Central Command did not address any of the issues which brought about his decision. Fallon had "served with honor". Strange for someone who criticises George Bush for changing the military leadership in Iraq too frequently.

We are going to hear a lot more that sounds like "peace with honor" before this year is over. Expect the usual spin from the usual suspects.

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da patriot said...

I remember 1968 and LBJ’s announcement that he would no be seeking a re-election bid. He would not have “retired a shattered man”, as you put it, if he had chosen to bomb the North Vietnamese into submission rather than have American servicemen and allies returning home in body bags. Nixon promised to end the war by doing exactly what LBJ would not. The Paris Peace Accord was hollow only because Marxist politicians in the US Congress could not stomach a American victory and refused to allow Nixion or Ford to resume the bombing campaign when the North broke the Treaty. Nixion may have been used the term “peace with honor”, but it is the American Left that has used it since to refer to the despicable way in which that awful chapter in world history was finally brought to a close. Not surprisingly they never mention the 2.5 million innocent Indo-Chinese who were murdered as a result of their inaction.

da Patriot

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