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12/06/2005

Howard Dean was right

Well, sort of.

You know he's got to be onto something if he's got various wingnuts comparing him to Hitler, calling for his execution, and hosting 'Dean Sux!!!' link carnivals.

What did Howard say to upset our little war mongers so?
In an interview with WOAI radio in San Antonio Monday, [Howard Dean], the head of the Democratic Party, drew a parallel between efforts to hand over security responsibilities to Iraqis and similar efforts during the Vietnam War to the South Vietnamese.

That side ultimately lost the war.

"Of course, the South Vietnamese couldn't manage to support their own country," Dean said. "I do not believe in making the same mistake twice. And America appears to have made the same mistake twice."

Dean said he wished President Bush "had paid more attention to the history of Iraq before we had gotten in there."

"The idea that we are going to win this war is an idea that unfortunately is just plain wrong," he said.
Vietnam analogies have for some reason been verboten since the invasion of Iraq, but they're becoming more and more apt, mostly because the Bush administration seems intent on taking its cues from the Johnson administration's handling of the conflict in Southeast Asia ('credibility gap', anyone?).

The truth is that we don't even know what it would mean for the US to 'win' in Iraq. Republicans say that Democrats who call for withdrawal want to admit defeat, yet they insist that the US will eventually withdraw, without explaining how their withdrawal, and not the Democrats', is a victorious one.

The US could retain control over Iraq's oil fields indefinitely, and establish permanent military bases there; that would be a certain kind of victory, considering that the primary goals of the invasion would thus be met. However, I don't think this is the kind of victory that the GOP will be touting come election time.

In any other sense, the idea that the US will or even can 'win' the war in Iraq is fantasy, and should be treated accordingly. Howard Dean's supposed gaffe was that he admitted as much.

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