by John Hawkins | March 28, 2003 11:59 pm
Our Despairing Media: Our media is so pessimistic about this war that it’s almost funny. Do you know what the title of the latest editorial by Eleanor Clift is? It’s called, “A Bad Remake of Vietnam?” Here’s Eleanor’s take on the fighting…
“TO HEAR THE generals, the war is on schedule. There are no surprises. A film clip shows coalition forces handing candy to Iraqi children. Change the channel to get the perspective of reporters on the ground and the images are quite different. Fighting vehicles stuck in the mud; angry Iraqis thrusting their fists at the invaders; humanitarian aid stalled because of guerilla fighting.
Nearly every prediction about this war has proved wrong. Americans were led to believe it would be over in a weekend, that U.S. air power would “shock and awe” the enemy, that Iraqi troops would lay down their arms and civilians would welcome us as conquering heroes. Instead we’re embroiled in a conflict that looks like a bad remake of Vietnam with an enemy that fights in civilian dress. The bravado of a week ago is gone. “It’s out of our hands,” sighs a White House aide. In an echo of Vietnam, military leaders say they are hamstrung by the rules of engagement. It’s a tough sell to a 21-year-old and even his commander that the political cost of shooting people who may or may not turn out to be civilians is too high. “It’s the price you pay when you’re a superpower going up against a fourth-rate military power,” says a Senate Democrat. “You have a higher standard to uphold.”
This is the battle plan that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered. He overruled the Joint Chiefs who wanted a ground force twice the size of what Rumsfeld thought was necessary.”
Oh no…”Fighting vehicles (are) stuck in the mud” — it’s a quagmire, literally! Oh good grief, the humanitarian aid is stalled! That means it’s another Vietnam! By the way, who were these mysterious individuals who led the American people to believe that the war would “be over in a weekend?” And this atrocious battle plan — who showed it to Eleanor Clift? Is this the same plan that Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers called “brilliant”? That’s an odd choice of words for a man who was “overruled” according to Eleanor Clift.
Do you know what people like Eleanor Clift aren’t seeing? The Iraqi soldiers and equipment on the other end of those missile strikes, artillery, and firefights. We’re hearing about battles where hundreds of Iraqis are being killed without inflicting a single casualty on our troops.
We’ve flown thousands and thousands of sorties and we haven’t lost a single plane. Meanwhile, there are Iraqis on the other end of those strikes. How long do you think they can take that kind of punishment? Remember, this isn’t “Vietnam” where “dumb” bombs were being dropped through a jungle canopy inflicting a minimal amount of casualties. We’re hitting what we’re aiming for almost every time.
Furthermore, if you think we’re having “supply problems”, what about the Iraqis? They don’t have an infinite amount of weaponry and unlike us, they don’t have massive amounts of new supplies being shipped in hour after hour, day after day.
How long can any nation hold out when they’re dying at a ratio of 200 – 300 – 400 to one? Especially when the majority of Iraq wants nothing more than to see the regime overthrown?
Let me give the Eleanor Clift and the rest of the press a little advice — give it a few more weeks — at the very least — before you get so hysterical. After all, if this really is “A Bad Remake of Vietnam” we’ll be in Iraq for years right? So if Eleanor Clift and her ilk are right, they’ll have plenty of time to tell us, “I told you so” when we’re talking about the “new Vietnam” as our men are duking it out with the Republican Guard in 2004, 2005, & beyond. Until then, can Eleanor Clift & company spare us these totally irrational comparisons to Vietnam?
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