Monday, October 2, 2006
By Ehsan Ahrari
"The Vietnam War became the late president Lyndon Johnson's war - his malignant obsession that could only be ended by removing him from power. Johnson's decision not to run for re-election in 1968 turned out to be a major step toward the undoing of that obsession.
The Iraq war has become a malignant obsession of George W Bush. Unfortunately for the American people, however, he will stay in office until 2008. He has already mentioned to his close associates that he will not withdraw from Iraq even if only his wife Laura and his dog Barney remain on his side.
He is reportedly advising Bush not to give up. He is quoted as telling Bush that the US cannot afford to lose in Iraq and that "victory over the insurgency" is the only meaningful way out. In other words, Kissinger is still fighting the Vietnam War.
Bush was already attacking the Democrats as "the party of cut and run". The desperation to win the November election has made things even worse. The government seems to be in a state of siege. There are increasing calls for Rumsfeld's resignation. But Bush will hear none of it. The Department of Defense is reportedly divided from within and suffering from shaky morale.
Most of the top defense officials have a clear memory of how Vietnam was "lost" when the support for that war disappeared from the US domestic arena. A number of those officials are reading the evolution of similar trends inside the US today regarding Iraq. Even by assigning the best possible intention to the decision of George W Bush to invade Iraq, the fact of the matter is that Iraq will become his Waterloo.
If the United States does not find an honorable way out, it seems that it is steadily edging toward another humiliating exit, a la Vietnam, notwithstanding the Bush administration's endless denial that Iraq is not Vietnam."