The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

The Vietnam comparison

From the right
 The Vietnam comparison
The Vietnam comparison

The Vietnam comparison

The recent uprising of insurgents in Iraq has sparked a seriousdiscussion about the stability of the region. If you have beenfollowing the press coverage, you would probably think that ourtroops are in over their heads.

Never mind that the strongest army in the world representing themost powerful country in the world is surrounding the town ofFallujah, a city only slightly larger in population than Plano.

But in this day and age where 24-hour news is the norm, I guessthe media has to sensationalize something in order to keep uswatching.

The senior senator from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy, madeheadlines last week with his assertion that this is “GeorgeBush’s Vietnam.”

Now come on folks, Iraq is nothing like Vietnam on thebattlefield.

However, this is an election year, and John Kerry’s bestfriend, Sen. Kennedy, would have you think so.

I disagree with the overall comparison by some in the media andour government of our current struggle in Iraq to the Vietnam War.Unlike the Vietnam War, coalition forces are doing what isnecessary to suppress the uprising and defeat the guerrillaattackers. There is no holding back.

The coalition is working on good intelligence, isolating theBaathist regions as well as pockets of guerilla insurgents.

In Vietnam, American troops were fighting guerrilla attackerssupported by a regular force in the North Vietnamese Army. In Iraq,there is no organized army to assist the pockets of resistance.

History shows that it is virtually impossible to win anydecisive victory with only guerilla warfare.

You also may remember that America did not possess an exitstrategy in Vietnam. Here, there is a plan in place to hand overcontrol of Iraq in June to the Iraqi people.

Allow me to share with you a couple of areas in which I do thinkthe two skirmishes are similar. One way is the media coverage. Theother way is the liberals’ portrayal of our effort.

Because of a need for sensationalism, the media has taken aseries of attacks in which the dissidents were soundly defeated andturned them into major setbacks for the coalition.

This sort of coverage does only one thing.

It works at destabilizing Iraq and undermining the veryauthority that our country is trying to rebuild in the region.

The negative media coverage today, as during the Vietnam era,does not help the morale of our troops.

It does not accurately cover the actions of the coalition. Afterall, in the quest for ratings, a positive story wouldn’t keepviewers glued to the television.

Sen. Kennedy and his Democratic cohorts are doing nothing tosupport the process either.

As in Vietnam, they did nothing but raise doubt and increasecivil disobedience.

Look for yourself at the Democratic talking points about thewar, Sen. Kennedy’s Vietnam reference being the primeexample. Nothing you hear from him is positive or supportive of thecoalition.

Come to think of it, every time I hear a Democrat talking,it’s negative. You never hear them praising the re-buildingthat is going on, i.e. the infrastructure, schools, the policeforce, etc.

Why can’t they admit that we are doing the right thing andfor once be whole-heartedly behind the war effort?

Maybe they would rather this turn into a Vietnam and a completefailure for Bush, and our nation in the eyes of the entireworld.

If the media and the liberals continue their hammering, thiswill lower the public’s confidence and our troops morale.

Then it will be a Vietnam.


Swede Hanson is a MBA student at the Cox School of Businessand host of the campus political talk show “Truth BeTold!” on KPNI – SMU Radio. He can be reached [email protected].

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