Iraqification vs Vietnamization

Saturday, October 15, 2005
In Delusion of Reprieve posted at Winds of Change, Donald Sensing discusses al Qaeda's use of Vietnam as template for Iraq as a foolish hope. Inspired by Dr. Viktor Frankl's (Auschwitz survivor and psychiatrist) book 'Man's Search for Meaning' wherein

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.


terrye said...

Zawahiri is a baby boomer.

Really.... he is of that generation for whom Viet Nam was the single defining political moment.

Zarqawi is a vicious fanatic with all the vision of Jim Jones and his Temple of kool aid.

The Viet Namese had fought the French, the Japanese and the US was one more foreign invader.

I am sure the Iraqis would like to see the foreigners in uniform disapppear from their street but we are giving them the means to make that happen.

The Viet Namese did not have much hope that things would change for the better.

Syl said...

Damn, Terrye

You have a way of hitting homers.

"Zawahiri is a baby boomer"

That's it. One needs no further explanation, no detailing why or how or where he's wrong vis-a-vis America in Iraq.

Just like the New York Times.

You know, there ARE universal truths. Whether you're a jihadist or an American, a boomer is a boomer.

Love it!

Rick Ballard said...

Zawahiri and Zarqawi probably actually believe what they read in the Copperhead DeMSM. Or does someone want to propose that they have significant intelligence assets that are providing reasonable assessments of the state of American moral and determination?

If one were given the opportunity to aid the the Iraqis and bring an end to the Islamofascist conflict by eliminating the top five hundred terrorist enablers in the world, at least fifty editors of major publications would have to be on the list.

Secondarily, the Dem selection of a Vietnam antiwar weasel as their candidate and the constant and continuing lack of resolve on the part of a sizable portion of the Democratic minority in the legislature are bound to provide some hope to the terrorist scum. I wonder if "Hillary in '08" posters sell well among Zawahiri and Zarqawi's followers?

Peter UK said...

Zarqawi is an anachronism who rapidly outliving his usefulness,doubtless he will meet the same fate as Abu Nidal.It will eventually be a race who gets him first,the US,Iraqi forces,a vengeful Iraqi or his own side.Like the dogs of war all that can be done is to put him down.
I believe that,nominally at least Hillary is a woman,the Islamosfascists are never going to surrender to a woman,therefore it would be a mistake to vote her in.

vnjagvet said...

In a twisted way, the MSM and its darling the delusional "anti-war" left are leading zese foolz (the Z boys) on with the fantasy of VietNam.

It may be enough to give them the rope to hang themselves by continuing their flawed strategy of attrition and terrorism.

Wouldn't it be ironic if that is the way it played out?

This old VN vet hopes he lives long enough to see it.