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We encourage Guest Posts (pro-KO, anti-KO or otherwise so long as they are on KO-centric topics). Today's Guest Post is from OlbyWatch reader Charles Martel.
Keith's Special Comment of November 20, 2006 was not just about Keith disrespecting the president or Bill O'Reilly. It is a matter of life and death because, unfortunately, because people actually believe what he says on MSNBC.
Olbermann began saying "it is pathetic to hear the leader of the free world talk so unrealistically about Vietnam, when it was he who permitted the Swift Boating of not one, but two American heroes of that war in consecutive presidential campaigns."
Now the verb "to swift boat" might mean something different on Olby planet, we can't be sure how his mind works. So President Bush "Permitted the Swift Boating" of John Kerry. First it should be noted that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were not affiliated with Bush. Olbermann, who strong condemned Newt Gingrich for his imagined attack on freedom of speech apparently has no problem with calling on President Bush to suppress the speech of the American heroes who made up Kerry's chain of command in Vietnam. In OlbyWorld the president should not have "permitted" hundreds of veterans from telling their story.
Next he says "Mr. Bush" learned the wrong lessons from Vietnam.
Olbyâ€™s "primary" lesson: He says "that if you try to pursue a war for which the nation has lost its stomach, you and it are finished, ask Lyndon Johnson". The nation lost its "stomach" for the war well before it was "finished". Johnson, of course, lost his reelection bid in 1968 but Bush can't be elected again. Maybe Keith is threatening the president here? Maybe just predicting impeachment or some similar future which Olbermann considers to be a state of "finished".
Lesson 2: Olbermann says: "Mr. Bush, if you don't have a stable local government to work with, you can keep sending in Americans until hell freezes over and it will not matter." The flaw here is that we really haven't increased the amount of forces. In fact, the opposite is the case. The U.S. force in Iraq is not much smaller than it was in 2003. Perhaps this is Olbermann's advice against the position of even some democrats that more troops might help?
Lesson 3 is summarized in that Olby considers that Iraq is not part of the "War on Terror". Well Keith, American forces are fighting terrorists in Iraq. Islamic extremists do believe it's their duty to kill us and it's generally accepted that if we leave, it would be seen as a victory for our enemies and Iraq will become a safe haven for terrorists.
Lesson 4: Olbermann claims that "the same idiots" who persuaded presidents under the guise "peace with honor" to stay in Vietnam are telling Bush to stay in Iraq. He them mentions Henry Kissinger. The most famous instance of politicians claiming "peace with honor" was Neville Chamberlain justifying his appeasement of Hitler. Ironically, we today are appeasing Iran (developing nuclear weapons, calling for the destruction of Israel regularly, biggest exporter of terrorism, Hezbollah paymasters), who also happens to be causing the majority of problems in Iraq.
Lesson 5: Olbermann says that like Lyndon Johnson's, Bush's "presidency will be consigned to the scrap heap of history" because of the war. I guess Olby is telling Bush he should be worried about how history remembers him. Is this really a lesson of Vietnam? Worry about how history will remember you?
Next he charges the president with lying about the WMDs and here.
Lets also not forget The New York Times story that included this:
Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990's and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein's scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.
Keith then talks about the millions killed in Vietnam and 58,000 American soldiers dead. I'll point out that we are still under 3,000 Americans dead today and none of those soldiers were drafted and the great majority want to be there and believe what they are doing is right. As for the Iraqi civilian deaths it should be noted that an extremely small amount (140 roughly) are due to American collateral damage. And a case can also be made that the deaths that would have occurred if Saddam was still in power (death factories, starvation under corrupt "oil for food" and the centuries old Sunni/Shite hatred) are greater than in the chaos today.
Olbermann closes by saying "we'll succeed unless we quit" is wrong and that we can only succeed against terrorism when "Mr. Bush" quits.
The Vietnam War was a very complicated matter, and no amount of Olby spin is going to help understand its lessons. We fought the war with both hands tied behind our back. This was the essential lesson of the war.
U.S. troops were forbidden from entering North Vietnam, and also forbidden until the last two weeks of the war was the strategic bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong. We also failed to block the North's ports to prevent the entry of Soviet and Chinese supplies, bombs and ammunition which also built the enemy's resolve for the irrational fear that it would provoke the Chinese into war. Politicians were taking the decisions out of the hands of the military men.
We lost the Vietnam war here, at home. Any attempt Nixon made to fight the war correctly was protested. Politicians, too worried about being reelected and anti-war sentiment, acted not to win the war. Just like Olby is trying to do now, the media made everything worse. One small example: The Tet offensive was a great victory for the Americans, it was the first time they really got a fair fight with the enemy and Olbermann's heroes in the press somehow turned it into an American defeat (Cronkite's "unwinnable" statement came in the wake of Tet)
So can this all be summarized fairly well as "we'll succeed unless we quit" as the lesson from Vietnam?
Yeah, I think so.