Not Another Vietnam Almost since the day it started, some have attempted to equate the situation in Iraq with Vietnam. But the longer the war goes on, the more evidence there is that this is not the case. First, there is the obvious fact that while the initial combat operations in Iraq were intended to go to the center of the command and control of the enemy force and destroy it and capture it's capital city. This never happened in Vietnam where the North was never invaded and the command and control of the enemy forces was never a target.
But don't take my word for it. What do Vietnam veterans think? Chief Warrant Officers DeWayne Browning and Randy Weatherhead are both Vietnam Veterans, and both are serving in Iraq.
If there are parallels between Iraq and Vietnam, these graying soldiers and the other Vietnam veterans serving here offer a unique perspective. They say they are more optimistic this time: They see a clearer mission than in Vietnam, a more supportive public back home and an Iraqi population that seems to be growing friendlier toward Americans.
"In Vietnam, I don't think the local population ever understood that we were just there to help them," says Chief Warrant Officer James Miles, 57, of Sioux Falls, S.D., who flew UH-1H Hueys in Vietnam from February 1969 to February 1970. And the Vietcong and North Vietnamese were a tougher, more tenacious enemy, he says. Instead of setting off bombs outside the base, they'd be inside.
"I knew we were going to lose Vietnam the day I walked off the plane," says Miles, who returned home this month after nearly a year in Iraq. Not this time. "There's no doubt in my mind that this was the right thing to do," he says.
In Vietnam, the Marines Small Wars Manual and the wisdom it contained was pretty much ignored. In Iraq, it seems to me that it is being utilized; almost to the sentence. One aspect of this is to turn the inevitable "insurgent" factions against each other. And we are possibly seeing the fruits of this.
Late Sunday night, American marines watching the skyline from their second-story perch in an abandoned house here saw a curious thing: in the distance, mortar and gunfire popped, but the volleys did not seem to be aimed at them.
In the dark, one spoke in hushed code words on a radio, and after a minute found the answer.
"Red on red," he said, using a military term for enemy-on-enemy fire.
Marines patrolling this desert region near the Syrian border have for months been seeing a strange new trend in the already complex Iraqi insurgency. Insurgents, they say, have been fighting each other in towns along the Euphrates from Husayba, on the border, to Qaim, farther west. The observations offer a new clue in the hidden world of the insurgency and suggest that there may have been, as American commanders suggest, a split between Islamic militants and local rebels.
We have also seen efforts by the Iraqi government to split off elements of the insurgents by attempting to include some of these in the political process.
Above all, the Small Wars Manual says,
an active and aggressive campaign against the hostile forces in the field is the most effective method of destroying their intelligence service, A guerrilla band which is constantly harassed and driven from place to place soon loses contact with its own sources of information; it becomes confused and its intelligence system breaks down. AS the occupation continues, superiority in this respect will gradually be obtained by the intervening forces.
We see this in Operation Dagger and Operation Spear occurring now.
Of course, the real similarity between Iraq and Vietnam is witnessed in those who are calling for withdrawal, claiming our soldiers are "reminiscent of Genghis Khan" or Nazi's in the most recent case, and the press for whom there is no good news. Ever.
And the constant counting of war dead which, if the truth be told, is the lowest of any war ever in history conducted by anyone. No matter.
But we here in the modern age have parsed out yet another difference; the alternative media brought about by the Internet and blogs. Here we are free to celebrate heroes.
Soldier awarded Silver Star
As day broke, June 3, 2004, in Kufa, Iraq, so too, did the misconception that the Mahdi militiamen were ragtag and disorganized.
Staff Sgt. Robert R. McBride and the Soldiers of Iron Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment were about to find out this band of Islamist militants was well equipped and more prepared than the coalition forces had ever expected. &
In an effort to safeguard their mortar position, the Shiite combatants used everything from small arms fire to rocket propelled grenades and mortars to attack the American forces as they moved in on their stronghold.
But by midday, McBride would help his troops annihilate the enemy, seize a cache of weapons and earn the Silver Star.
You won't read this in China Recovering CNN Journalist Rebecca MacKinnon has confirmed that no typepad Blog can be accessed in China. They have all been blocked by the government. This following the blockade of Blogger Blogs. But that's not the worst of it.
According to Rebecca, the Chinese Government's dam in the flow of information was aided and abetted by Cisco Systems. She quotes an article by Reporters Without Borders
The architecture of the Chinese Internet was designed from the outset to allow information control. There are just five backbones or hubs through which all traffic must pass. No matter what ISP is chosen by Internet users, their e-mails and the files they download and send must pass through one of these hubs.
China then acquired state-of-the-art technology and equipment from US companies. Cisco Systems has sold China several thousand routers at more that 16,000 euros each for use in building the regime's surveillance infrastructure. This equipment was programmed with the help of Cisco engineers. It allows the authorities to read data transmitted on the Internet and to spot "subversive" key words. The police are able to identify who visits banned sites and who sends "dangerous" e-mail messages.
The Internet is subversive.
With a total of 61 Internet users in detention at the start of May 2004, China is the world's biggest prison for cyber-dissidents.
Given all of this, you have to wonder; in the supposed Fascist America of the Bush Administration how it is that Kos manages to stay out of the hooscow?