Iraq Is Not Vietnam, Part II

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Last year I published a 15-item list of comparisons between the US experience in Vietnam, 1965—1966 and that of the current war in Iraq, 2003—2004. With another year behind us, here is Part II of that comparison for Iraq, 2003—2005 and Vietnam, 1965—1967:

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Item

Iraq 2003—2005

Vietnam 1965—1967

16

Poisonous weapon used?

depleted uranium

agent orange

17

Administration’s response to soldier complaints of being poisoned by US weapons?

denial

denial

18

US troop deaths?

2,178

16,159

19

Troops in country during 3rd year?

160,000

500,000

20

US troop deaths per troops in country?

136 per 10,000

300 per 10,000

21

Number of President’s children of military age?

2

2

22

Number of President’s children serving in military?

0

0

23

Strange concept of liberation applied?

We had to destroy it to save it

We had to destroy it to save it

24

Who have war supporters blamed for lack of quick victory?

news media, war protestors

news media, war protestors

25

Who have war supporters not blamed for lack of quick victory?

administration war planners

administration war planners

26

Language, history, and customs unknown to American soldiers on the ground?

yes

yes

27

Election held to choose head of state of country?

December 15, 2005

October 21, 1967

28

Monthly cost to US for operations in country (in 2004 dollars)

$5.6 billion

$5.1 billion

29

Member of US Congress calls for withdrawal?

John Murtha
D-PA

Eugene McCarthy
D-MN

30

Term increasingly applied to US involvement?

quagmire

quagmire

Thus, we can all still take comfort securely in our knowledge that Iraq is not Vietnam; Vietnam is spelled with a "V" and is in Southeast Asia, Iraq is spelled with an "I" and is in Southwest Asia.

Jim Cox is an Associate Professor of Economics and Political Science at the Lawrenceville Campus of Georgia Perimeter College and the author of The Concise Guide to Economics and Minimum Wage, Maximum Damage.

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