British journalist Johann Hari hops aboard the National Review cruise in a hilarious TNR article, only to discover the conservative take on the Vietnam War:
There is something strange about this discussion, and it takes me a few moments to realize exactly what it is. All the tropes conservatives usually deny in public–that Iraq is another Vietnam, that Bush is fighting a class war on behalf of the rich–are embraced on this shining ship in the middle of the ocean. Yes, they concede, we are fighting another Vietnam; and this time we won’t let the weak-kneed liberals lose it. “It’s customary to say we lost the Vietnam war, but who’s ‘we’?” Dinesh D’Souza asks angrily. “The left won by demanding America’s humiliation.” On this ship, there are no Viet Cong, no three million dead. There is only liberal treachery.
As Spencer Ackerman wrote in one of his last New Republic articles, this is in many ways the original sin of conservative foreign policy analysis. Trapped in the intellectual prison of Vietnam revisionism, the right is fundamentally incapable of seeing objective limits to US military capacity or domestic political debate as actually vital to the appropriate conduct of national security policy.
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