Obama’s Vietnam

The analogy isn’t exact. But the war in Afghanistan is starting to look disturbingly familiar.

By John Barry and Evan Thomas | NEWSWEEK
About a year ago, Charlie Rose, the nighttime talk-show host, was interviewing Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the military adviser at the White House coordinating efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. “We have never been beaten tactically in a fire fight in Afghanistan,” Lute said. To even casual students of the Vietnam War, his statement has an eerie echo. One of the iconic exchanges of Vietnam came, some years after the war, between Col. Harry Summers, a military historian, and a counterpart in the North Vietnamese Army. As Summers recalled it, he said, “You never defeated us in the field.” To which the NVA officer replied: “That may be true. It is also irrelevant.”

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2 Responses to “Obama’s Vietnam”

  1. Jason Says:

    Perhaps it may be best to say that Afghanistan will be to President Obama what Iraq was to President Bush.

    It’s hard to armchair quarterback on either Iraq or Afghanistan. The media keeps the truth of what is really going on so far from us that we have no clue what is really going on and they deviantly twist it to accomplish their own purposes.

    Case in point: the situation in Iraq, according to many, really started to turn for the better with the surge and, yet, I do not recall a single major report in 2008 that spoke of how things on the ground had significantly changed in Iraq. But now – now that President Obama is in office – I have seen at least five reports on evening newscasts about just how much the conditions on the ground have improved in Iraq – as if it has only happened since noon on Inauguration day. Truth is relative; especially when it comes the American media.

    Personally, I hope that President Obama can do in Afghanistan what it now seems the surge, under President Bush’s leadership, has managed to accomplish in Iraq. The scenes from the elections in Iraq yesterday were encouraging.

    But if it does improve – or get worse, we won’t have a reliable media source by which to gage such success or failure.

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