One would expect a person like Rush Limbaugh, who went on his show two days after the election, declair an “Obama Recession”. Why should anybody be surprised that Newsweek would be so ready to follow suit?
President Johnson, a Democrat, refused to end the Viet Nam War – and so it was noted as Johnson’s Veit Nam. It was under Nixon that the war was winding down.
But that’s not what we have here. It isn’t “Bush’s Viet Nam”, it’s Obama’s. Of course! Why didn’t we think of that before?!
From the original piece:
True, there are important differences between Afghanistan and Vietnam. The Taliban is not as powerful or unified a foe as the Viet Cong. On the other hand, Vietnam did not pose a direct national-security threat; even believers in the “domino theory” did not expect to see the Viet Cong fighting in San Francisco. By contrast, while not Taliban themselves, terrorists who trained in Afghanistan did attack New York and Washington in 2001. Afghanistan has always been seen as the right and necessary war to fight—unlike, for many, Iraq. Conceivably, Gen. David Petraeus, the architect of the successful surge in Iraq and now, as the head of Central Command in charge of the fight in Afghanistan, could pull off another miraculous transformation.
Privately, Petraeus is said to reject comparisons with Vietnam; he distrusts “history by analogy” as an excuse not to come to grips with the intricacies of Afghanistan itself. But there is this stark similarity: in Afghanistan, as in Vietnam, we may now be facing a situation where we can win every battle and still not win the war—at least not within a time frame and at a cost that is acceptable to the American people.
To be sure, even 60,000 troops is a long way from the half million American soldiers sent to Vietnam at the war’s peak; the 642 U.S. deaths sustained so far pale in comparison to the 58,000 lost in Vietnam. Still, consider this: that’s a higher death toll than after the first nine years of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. And what is troubling is that no one in the outgoing or incoming administration has been able to say what the additional troops are for, except as a kind of tourniquet to staunch the bleeding while someone comes up with a strategy that has a chance of working. The most uncomfortable question is whether any strategy will work at this point.
I remember subscribing to Newsweek magazine about eleven years ago, maybe more than that. My husband partner at the time was upset when he found out. I signed up for the subscription in order to help some high school kid to go Europe. My husband partner said; “Time and Newsweek are published by the most conservative editorial boards in print today!” I was embarrassed and ashamed. I felt that I was duped with a high school student used as a proxy. For the next twelve months, without fail, I received my current copy of Newsweek in the US Post. It laid on the kitchen table, on the kitchen counter – dejected and ignored. Secretly however, I read it, and I scoured each issue: Looking for that “conservative voice” inside.
Only today, they’re a lot farther out of the closet today than they were back then. Today; they’ll happily paste a Bush War onto the Democratic Party right on out there on the front page. It’s a pleasure to see Newsweek compete with a drug addict like Rush Limbaugh for the top spot in the “Obama Smear Machine”.