Frankl wrote that when facing a sorting, it was very common for captives to exhibit what psychiatrists called "the delusion of reprieve." Every individual so deluded - and that meant almost all the captives, said Frankl - would latch onto the very thinnest hope of being selected to live and mentally make it a certainty.Sensing then goes on to list reasons why Zawahiri's hope is a 'Delusion of Reprieve' and adds a couple more difference points from OpinionJournal.
Excellent article. Read the whole thing.
But there is one difference which I think is major, underlies the Iraqification issue, and that I don't see discussed. And that is the difference in political situation within the two countries themselves. The Vietnamese people, for the most part, didn't really give a damn. Why should they? For a poor farmer what was the difference between one regime totalitarian in its corruption, and another, totalitarian in its communism? What were they expected to fight and die FOR? Their lives were miserable either way.
On the other hand Iraq is going from nothing to something. Saddam and the Baathists are gone. What's to take the place of the former government? Chaos or a democracy where each Iraqi has some say in his own governance, where the future looks far brighter than the past. Not just the same ol' same ol'.
Quite a contrast to the choice given poor Vietnamese farmers.
In 2004 their democratic future was not a certainty to the Iraqi people. It wasn't until the election in January, 2005, that they knew they were actually moving toward something for themselves. Something worth fighting and dying for. They went to the polls and started the process.
And the quality of the Iraqi forces began to increase from that point.
[This is why I dismiss criticism of not doing enough to train the Iraqi forces earlier. We were working at it, the Iraqi's were not.]
Zarqawi seems to be aware of this possibility and has spared no effort in car-bombing the Iraqi future into ashes. But Zawahiri still clings to his cut-and-run Delusion of Reprieve.