Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Is Vietnam the Best Historical Analogy for Iraq? Or Would a Better One Be Guadalcanal?

Powl Smith :
Pundits these days are quick to compare the fighting in Iraq with the American loss in Vietnam 30 years ago. Terms like "quagmire" evoke the Southeast Asian jungle, where America's technological advantages were negated and committed Vietnamese guerrillas wore down the U.S. will to fight.

People love to draw historical analogies because they seem to offer a sort of analytical proof—after all, doesn't history repeat itself? In fact, such comparisons do have value, but like statistics, it's possible to find a historical analogy to suit any argument. And Vietnam's the wrong one for Iraq. …

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