Is the Iraq war Gulf War II, or is it deja vu, Vietnam-style, all over again?

United States
December 16, 2006 2:19pm CST
In August of 1990, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in an act of naked aggression to settle a bogus oil-related dispute, I strongly supported President G.H.W. Bush's decision to send American forces as part of a multinational force to (a) defend Saudi Arabia and (b) eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait. During Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, I supported our troops by writing to Any Soldier, not exactly medal-winning efforts but I wanted to do my share. The only time I criticized our government was when President Bush I listened to James Baker and others who told him not to go too far into Iraq; if we marched to Baghdad and took out Saddam then, all the other Sunni Arab countries would leave the coalition and chaos would engulf the region. Oh, and there's also our perceived betrayal of the Shiites who rebelled against Saddam, only to not be supported by our forces. Fast-forward to 2006-2007. Pres. George W. Bush ordered an invasion of Iraq in 2003, claiming first that Saddam still had caches of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Then he said there were links between Saddam and Osama Bin-Laden (OBL), then he said our mission was to install democracy in the region and that we'd be greeted as liberators. None of this, to me anyway, is true. We have had troops "in country" for nearly four years, and no hidden weapons of mass destruction have popped up. OBL hates Saddam for being a fake Muslim; Al-Qaeda avoided Iraq like a plague UNTIL the U.S. and a few other countries invaded. Almost 3,000 Americans have died, two divisions' worth of injured vets are now in hospitals or out of the military because of their injuries, and tens of thousands of Iraqis have died and continue to die in what is now a civil war. If you oppose or support the war, please tell me why, and tell me if it's Gulf War II or another Vietnam. (No one liners, please)
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2 responses
@wmg2006 (5383)
• United States
3 Jan 07
I oppose all wars! Since I lived during the Vietnam war and saw many people that I knew lose their lives, I am feeling this war is similar. The length of the Vietnam war was crazy and I think this war is going to end up being just as long. I have always felt this war was a personal vindetta brought on my the older Mr. Bush. His son had to go in and do something to honor what his Father could not accomplish. I feel the personal threats to the Bushes played a big role in getting us into Iraq, once we got in, there would be no reason to justify the why. The part about weapons of mass destruction was just a ploy so the American people would support Bush going to war with Iraq. It is all political now and we must stay in the war because we have made such a big mess, just like Vietnam.
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• United States
3 Jan 07
I was very young during the Vietnam War and never really understood at the time why we got sucked into that quagmire. Now I understand that conflict a bit better, and I see that it was a big mess that started out with the best of intentions but was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong enemy. As a student of military history, I can't say that I'm opposed to the use of military force in every instance. Our efforts in Afghanistan, while now clearly undermined by the need for us to have over 100,000 troops in Iraq, was clearly justified no matter how one looks at war philosophically speaking. But what I am opposed to is the willy-nilly use of force, particularly in such a manner that America gets branded as the "bad guys." Thanks for your well-thought out and considerate reply.
• United States
27 Dec 06
It seemed to me, that the first Gulf War was an in-and-out procedure, where we were defending our interests and helping out a country, rather than telling them what to do. Some would argue it was just for the oil, and it may have mostly been that, but there were some benefits to us going into Kuwait. Now though, it seems we have ventured into something that we may never recover from, and with no real exit strategy this new battle in Iraq indeed seems more and more like Vietnam by the day. My answer to your question of support is muddled, because I do think that we could have done good by helping out the Iraqi people. At the same time, I think that we have done too many things wrong in our bid for a "Free Iraq" and that as a result it has lost a lot of worldwide support that it really needs. In its current form, I oppose it.
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