Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Daily Kos still praying for defeat 

Can't keep the good lefties down - and neither can you keep Vietnam out of the equation. The Daily Kos gleefully reprints a "NYT" article from 38 years ago:

"U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote :
"Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror

"by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2)

"WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.

"According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.

"The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here."
By 1968, of course, Vietcong has been destroyed as a fighting force, and from then on the war against the Americans and their South Vietnamese allies was conducted almost exclusively by the regular North Vietnamese army units, receiving huge amount of support from both the Soviet Union and China. Just which of Iraq's neighbors does the Daily Kos hope will intervene in Iraq, sending in hundreds of thousands of its soldiers disguised as Iraqi peasants?

"New York Times" has been onto the Vietnam meme two days before Kos, even helpfully reprinting a black and white photo of election workers putting up posters in Saigon in 1967. In the interests of balance, the "NYT" writes (towards the end of the article) that "it is easy enough to catalogue all the important differences - some of them obvious, others less so - between Vietnam and Iraq." True to its style, however, one of the most important differences mentioned is that "American involvement in Vietnam began with more public support and greater agreement among the military, the government, the media and academia that fighting communism in Southeast Asia was a worthy goal." Thanks to the newspaper of record for making sure that this time the situation would be different right from the start.

The "New York Times" - still happy to lose wars after all these years.

Update: Christopher Hitchens demolishes the "NYT" and its Vietnam-Iraq obsession: "I suppose it's obvious that I was not a supporter of the Vietnam War. Indeed, the principles of the antiwar movement of that epoch still mean a good deal to me. That's why I retch every time I hear these principles recycled, by narrow minds or in a shallow manner, in order to pass off third-rate excuses for Baathism or jihadism."


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