We chose to lose Vietnam, Iraq, and now Iran
For the record, I like David Brooks. He may not be a perfect conservative, but he is thoughtful and has written some good stuff over the years. My favorite is the one that he wrote back in 2005 when he correctly pointed out that Roe v. Wade has poisoned our judicial nomination process.
He recently wrote one about the U.S. losing Vietnam, Iraq, and now Iran:
Wars, military or economic, are measured by whether you achieved your stated objectives. By this standard the U.S. and its allies lost the war against Iran, but we were able to negotiate terms that gave only our partial surrender, which forces Iran to at least delay its victory. There have now been three big U.S. strategic defeats over the past several decades: Vietnam, Iraq and now Iran. The big question is, Why did we lose? Why did the combined powers of the Western world lose to a ragtag regime with a crippled economy and without much popular support?
Sorry, but we chose to lose these conflicts, just as we've chosen to throw a lifeline to the unpopular and corrupt ragtag regime in Cuba.
As I recall, President Nixon and our armed forces defeated North Vietnam in January 1973. The climax was the so-called Christmas bombing of 1972 that showed everyone that President Nixon was serious about ending matters.
We won every battle. We forced the North to accept South Vietnam. And then we just threw it all away in the spring of 1975. The Democrats in Congress were so full of themselves that they allowed a Viet Cong army to take over the south. It was shameful and could have been avoided with a few B-52s, as President Nixon warned them.
Even the USSR was amazed that we let the North Vietnam walk in, as Stephen Morris wrote in 2005:
Even Hanoi's main patron, the Soviet Union, was convinced that a North Vietnamese military victory was highly unlikely.
Evidence from Soviet Communist Party archives suggests that, until 1974, Soviet military intelligence analysts and diplomats never believed that the North Vietnamese would be victorious on the battlefield. Only political and diplomatic efforts could succeed.
Moscow thought that the South Vietnamese government was strong enough to defend itself with a continuation of American logistical support.
The former Soviet chargé d'affaires in Hanoi during the 1970's told me in Moscow in late 1993 that if one looked at the balance of forces, one could not predict that the South would be defeated. Until 1975, Moscow was not only impressed by American military power and political will, it also clearly had no desire to go to war with the United States over Vietnam.
But after 1975, Soviet fear of the United States dissipated.
Over in Iraq, we won and defeated al-Qaeda decisively. Our armed forces did an amazing job, especially through General Petraeus and the surge of 2007.
The net result of President Bush's strong leadership and the work of our troops was that a stable Iraq was handed to President Obama in January 2009.
Iraq was doing so well in 2009-2011 that VP Biden was calling it an Obama success story.
I wonder if a reporter will ask any of the Democrats about this in their first debate. ("Mrs. Clinton, knowing what we know now, would you have persuaded President Obama to keep a force in Iraq?")
Then we threw it all away because President Obama put a political promise to the "yes we can" screamers over our national security concerns. He said that he would the end the war and pulled the troops out. He didn't end anything, but he got the talking point for 2012!
And now Iran. We chose to make a lousy deal that will preserve the bad guys in Iran. We looked the other way when people were being killed in the streets in 2009. This deal is now so bad that a lot of Democrats are walking away.
Sadly, we lost Vietnam, and the 3 million people slaughtered by the communists after we left. It looks like we've lost Iraq and the sacrifice of 4,000 brave young Americans who deserve a better commander in chief.
And now we are losing Iran.
Mr. Brooks should be concerned. He should speak out against our leaders who choose defeat when victory was in our hands.
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