Which Model for Postwar Iraq -- Vietnam or Korea?
At the time of America's founding, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a lady at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, "What have you given us, Doctor Franklin?" -- to which the wise old gentleman responded, "Madam, we have given you a republic -- if you can keep it."
If you can keep it -- that was the central challenge facing the infant American "democracy" back then. And it remains still the central question facing the infant Iraqi "democracy" struggling to steady itself at America's instigation in the Middle East.
Now that the "Iraq War" (actually the Iraq Theatre of the Global War on Terrorism) is drawing toward a major defeat for the al-Qaeda-style Sunni terrorists, the question is whether we -- America and the West -- will take all necessary steps to protect Iraq not only from its revengeful AQ enemies, but also from its even more deadly Hizballah and Revolutionary Guard enemies in neighboring Shi'a Iran.
Or will we leave Iraq vulnerable to a partial-birth abortion by the ruthless caliphate-centered Islamo-fascists and suicide mass murderers -- whether Sunnni or Shia from -- Iran, who still wish and scheme night and day to colonize and to enslave it?
Which Cold War Model to Follow
At this point, there are two Cold War models from which to choose in what has now become Cold War II -- the still-successful South Korea model of the 1950s or the tragic, congressionally mandated cut-and-run South Vietnam model of the 1970s.
(a) In the former, we and our Coalition of democracies forced the Stalinist North Koreans to "get the Hell out" and, in keeping with the 1953 Panmunjam Peace Accords, promise never to return. And, indeed, they have not. This is because we most prudently left a powerful military contingent behind to enforce that hard-won victory -- who, half a century later, are still there in that essential role. Result: a peaceful, prosperous, free-enterprise, multi-party democracy, and a valued Asian ally.
(b) In the latter case, we and our coalition of democracies subdued the Viet Cong insurgents, forcing the Communist North Vietnamese exurgents to "get the Hell out" and, in keeping with the Paris Peace Accords of 1973, promise (sort of) never to return. But we then most imprudently (at the absolute insistence of a rabidly antiwar Democrat-run Congress) left no military forces behind to enforce that hard-won victory over Soviet-backed North Vietnam.
Immediate result: a second Vietnam War two years later and a Communist victory in late April of 1975 -- followed by a virtual avalanche of colonial "dominoes" for Communism during the Carter-Mondale years. Eventual result: a still-in-place single-party Communist dictatorship -- benign and slightly "reformist" at the moment, but who knows whether that will forever be the case?
Fast-Forward to Here and Now
Fast-forward to the current situation in Iraq and the "victory" we have won over the Pakistan-based AQ-style evildoers and assorted other "foreign fighters" -- and we will now have to choose between these two very different models...
o the Truman-Eisenhower-JFK-Nixon-Reagan-Bush-McCain "stay the course" and "confirm the victory" and "protect and rear the child" model of Korea, or
o the Carter-McGovern-Kerry-Ted Kennedy-Pelosi-Obama "cut-and-run" and "no more wars ever" and "abandon this troublesome little so-called democracy" model of Vietnam.
In the U.S. Senate, the antiwar and neo-"AWOL" (Always Weak On Liberty) Democrats, led now by John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid, et al., will be downplaying any notion of a Bush-Petraeus-McCain long-term presence in Iraq -- and will sooner or later be slipping into the defeatist model of Vietnam and trying to blame Bush and Cheney for anything negative that ever happens there hereafter.
In the House, a similar gaggle of cut-and-run and "ACE" (Aid and Comfort to the Enemy) peaceniks will be led by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and what remains of her fellow far-left, blame-America-first "progressives" following last year's congressional elections.
It becomes vital, therefore, that the true history of both Vietnam Wars and their Cold-War consequences be clearly understood -- so that none of today's highly partisan politicians, media commentators, and left-illiberal interest groups can scam the American public with a variety of false "lessons" of those two long-ago conflicts.
Ignoring History at Our Peril
In this case, a prime example of such deceit and distortion of history is repeated each year when we fail to memorialize the late January 1973 end of the Vietnam War -- or, more correctly, the end of "Vietnam One." That was the twelve-year war which began in the Kennedy-Johnson year of 1961 and was fought largely by U.S. combat forces. This war officially ended with the Paris Peace Accords of January 1973.
Sadly, in January of this year (typical of other recent years), not one historically correct news article or lead editorial about the end of Vietnam One appeared on that anniversary date in any major U.S. newspaper. Nor was there any detailed mention by any network "talking head" or commentator of the historical truth of a defeated North Vietnam's exodus from the South.
Four months later, however, we witnessed another anniversary date, this one widely recognized: the end of "Vietnam Two," which (a) began in early January 1975, (b) involved no U.S. combat forces at all, and (c) came to a tragic end just four months after Vietnam One on April 30, 1975.
That was when South Vietnam's capital city of Saigon fell to rampaging Soviet-supplied North Vietnamese armies -- and when televised pictures of helicopters rescuing American diplomatic personnel, Marine guards, and friendly South Vietnamese from the U.S. Embassy roof were first burned into our memories.
The deceitful tactic was and remains clear. Propagandize a first-ever "Defeat of America" when, in fact, victorious American forces had departed South Vietnam more than two years earlier -- all of which is explained in this writer's earlier truth in history article, "The Two Vietnam Wars," available here at the American Thinker and at TruthSpeak.org.
And the tactic may well work again if the Maliki-led government of Iraq, the U.S. Congress, and the American president do not take care to protect and preserve by whatever means necessary -- as America so unwisely failed to do in Vietnam 38 years ago -- the stability of the newborn and still fragile Iraqi "democracy" now struggling to survive and prosper.
With only five months of our Bush-era "peacekeeping" Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) left to run, and with the current Maliki-led government in Baghdad still undecided -- under extreme anti-American pressure from Islamofascist Iran -- as to whether we should be invited to retain a tripwire anti-Iran military presence beyond the end of this year, it would seem prudent for that government to follow the theme of an Arabic-language slogan recommended to senior Defense Department officials in recent days by this writer, as follows:
Akriju Amrikan ...Wa Laquina Laisa Al'An. (Go home, Americans...but not quite yet!)
A D.C.-area attorney, writer, and national security strategist, Jim Guirard was longtime chief of staff to former U.S. Senators Allen Ellender and Russell Long. His TrueSpeak.org website is devoted to truth in language and truth in history in public discourse.