We know that there are repeated comparisons between Iraq and the Vietnam War. The article Viet Cong Advice for Iraqi Resistance discusses Iraq from the perspective of a Vietnamese Official. Tran Dac Loi, Secretary-General of the Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation, who grew up in Hanoi during the war and is the son of a guerilla solidier who fought in the war.
He believes the Iraqi opposition forces are doomed to failure because they are split along ethnic and religious lines. In his view, the U.S. is successfully playing the minority groups against each other in a divide and conquer strategy. As he is quoted saying, ''The absence of a clear political programme is in the interest of the U.S. Then, they can go above you and pretend like they’re solving the problems between you, when really they’re lording over you.''
He also has harsh words for the terror attacks against civilians, which he believes seriously weaken the anti-U.S. rebels. He argues that the Iraqi resistance would need to unify under a single leader like Ho Chi Minh, but sees no such potential leader on the horizon. As a result he sees the current state of the Iraqi rebellion as similar to pre-war, anti-French revolts in Vietnam -- led by elites, and doomed to failure because they could not connect to the masses.
I think he fails to take into account that Iraq is a much less homogeneous country than Vietnam, and as a result misjudges the situation in the country. Nonetheless, it was interesting, considering the Western obsession to compare every war to Vietnam, to see the Iraqi war from the viewpoint of the winners of the Vietnam War. Tran clearly sees the U.S. as fighting a successful counter-insurgency in the aftermath of OIF.
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William A. Jacobson of Legal Insurrection…
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