Iraq Is Not Vietnam

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Last year I added another 15-item list of comparisons between the US experience in Vietnam, and that of the current war in Iraq. With yet another year behind us, here is Part IV of that comparison for Iraq, 2003—2007 and Vietnam, 1965—1969:

1—15

Iraq is not Vietnam

16—30

Iraq is Not Vietnam, II

31—45

Iraq is Not Vietnam, III

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Item

Iraq 2003—2007

Vietnam 1965—1969

46

Phenomena of homeless veterans?

Yes

Yes

47

Attempt to pay for war without tax increases?

Yes, during first five years

Yes, during first four years

48

Military leaders complain of lack of martial spirit among domestic allies?

Yes

Yes

49
Troop deaths in 5th year?
Higher than in the first two years
Higher than in the first two years

50

Diplomats refuse postings to country?

Yes

Yes

51

War has the effect of empowering a neighboring enemy?

Yes, Iran

Yes, Cambodia

52

Costs in constant dollars?

$510+ billion (so far)

$670 billion (total)

53

President demands that we "stay the course" despite lack of anticipated progress?

Bush, 2005

Johnson, 1967

54

Fear of leaving?

Yes

Yes

55

Special term to dehumanize victims?

Hajis

Gooks

56

Area of greatest resistance?

Sunni Triangle

Iron Triangle

57

Notable General warned against war?

Norman Schwarzkopf

Douglas
MacArthur

58

Large number of refugees leaves the country?

Yes

Yes

59

President secretly visits troops?

Yes, 9-3-07

Yes, 10-26-66

60
Bombing campaign meant to demonstrate to the enemy that resistance is futile?
Shock and Awe

Rolling Thunder

So, what is the difference between Iraq and Vietnam? Answer: Whatever the differences, the most similar war to Iraq in U.S. history, is, in fact, Vietnam!

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

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