Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Iraq: al-Qaeda's Vietnam

The analogies between Iraq and Vietnam started before we even invaded Iraq. Those analogies have finally been proven apt, but not for the US. Rich Lowry writes that if anything, Iraq is al-Qaeda's Vietnam.
Like we did in Vietnam, al-Qaeda in Iraq has run afoul of nationalism and local culture, although in spectacular fashion. It has trampled on the prerogatives of tribal sheiks and issued lunatic decrees, like its banning of the local bread in Mosul — sammoun — because it did not exist at the time of the Prophet.

Like we did in Vietnam, it overrelied on favored tactics even after they proved ineffective or counterproductive; with us, it was ever more bombing runs in the North and search-and-destroy missions in the South, while in al-Qaeda’s it has been mass-casualty suicide bombings.

Like we were in Vietnam, al-Qaeda was sucked into a conflict not of its choosing by the geopolitical assertion of its adversary.
Finally some parallel lines that don't intersect.

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