In a column published yesterday, National Review editor Rich Lowry states that “Iraq War liberals might be making their first-ever correct diagnosis,” suggesting that the Iraq war is eliciting more similarities to Vietnam each day. Below is the rough evolution of Lowry’s position on the Iraq and Vietnam comparison:
There are other niggling differences [between Iraq and Vietnam] — the low casualties (roughly 50 combat deaths so far, compared with 58,000 in Vietnam), a high level of public support, a volunteer, highly motivated Army and a definable enemy, cause and endgame. “¦ “Another Vietnam” is largely wishful thinking.
Most of them were infected with a willful pessimism, prepared to believe the worst about America’s capabilities and its image among Iraqis, while puffing up the forces of Saddam. Now that reality has intruded, with a swift military victory and a warm welcome from Iraqi civilians, one wonders: Will TV jabberer Chris Matthews admit his foolishness in writing, “This invasion of Iraq, if it goes off, will join the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Desert One, Beirut and Somalia in the history of military catastrophe”?
The left says whatever war is in question is “another Vietnam,” while the right denies it. After three decades of being serially wrong, in the Iraq War liberals might be making their first-ever correct diagnosis. “¦ It is not too late to tamp down that militia-directed violence, which hasn’t yet taken on an uncontrollable life of its own. But the clock is ticking, toward the hour when we will indeed suffer another Vietnam.
Lowry is inching closer and closer to the reality-based community, but in doing so, he wants us to forget what he told us in the past.