One of the many negative consequences of America’s defeat in The Vietnam War has been the uncontrolled proliferation of Vietnams since then.
Nicaragua threatened to become another Vietnam. Lebanon nearly became another Vietnam. Had Grenada been only slightly larger than a manhole cover and lasted one more hour, it would have become a Caribbean-Style Vietnam. The invasion of Panama was rapidly degenerating into a Narco-Vietnam, right up until we won. Likewise, the First Gulf War was certainly developing into another Vietnam, but then sadly, it ended quickly and with few casualties.
For people of a certain age or political stripe, Vietnam is like Elvis: it’s everywhere. For example, during a long wait at a Chinese Buffet in Georgetown in 1987, Ted Kennedy was reported to have exclaimed “QUAGMIRE!” and attempted to surrender to a Spanish-speaking busboy.
And that was probably the smart thing to do, because the lesson of Vietnam is: it is best to lose quickly, so as to avoid a quagmire.
If you liked what our quick, casualty-saving withdrawal from Somalia did for us at the Khobar Towers, at our embassies in East Africa, at the waterline of the USS Cole, and at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, then you’ll love what a quick “casualty-saving” withdrawal from Iraq will do for us for the next twenty years. It’ll finally make you stop worrying about Vietnam.
Read the entire column for Johnson’s thirteen edifying points, and stop saying every geopolitical event the United States gets involved in is going to disintegrate in to a Vietnamesque “quagmire.”posted on October 4, 2005 2:30 PM