Hitchens critiques Vietnam-Iraq analogies in a manner that plainly demonstrates why his is a polemical voice to be cherished.
While his argument is fragmented and dangerously absolute
The scope of the typically eclectic argument defies summary, however, some morsels of his pastiche are worth highlighting. First, he argues, as if undisputed, that there never should have been a war in
1945 the successive French and Japanese occupations had been discredited and defeated, and if Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived it is unlikely the US would have supported the disastrous restoration of French rule in Indochina.
Vietnam, even president Dwight Eisenhower conceded that Ho would have won any national election. But the USthen proceeded to impose a dictator who was so hateful that Kennedy had to have him killed.
In Iraq, the coalition has removed an almost uniquely ghastly dictator and mass murderer, and sponsored the only elections Iraqhas had. The only real people’s army in Iraq, the Kurdish freedom fighters, enter combat on our side.
The tussle in the
Gulfof Tonkinin 1964, on the other hand (compared with 911), was a minor squabble, distorted and magnified for purposes that were warmongering and imperialistic.
Gruesome as it is, the
Iraqwar has justice on its side and pits us against a truly wicked enemy; the confrontation was inevitable and long in the making. It is a pity Saddam was not removed in 1991. None of these things can be said about the war in Vietnam, which no revisionist will be able to remove from the annals of disgrace.