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What others say: Is Baghdad the next Saigon?

Posted: July 7, 2014 - 2:54pm

If Baghdad is indeed becoming Saigon — a city overrun by opposition and violence after the departure of the U.S. military — Peter Arnett would know.

He intimately knows both places. Working for The Associated Press, Arnett won the Pulitzer Prize in 1966 for his reporting from Vietnam. In spring 1975, Arnett witnessed the calamity that ensued when U.S. personnel abandoned Saigon just as North Vietnamese forces were overtaking the city. In the 1990s, Arnett became a household name to a new generation of Americans following his blow-by-blow coverage of the first Gulf War on CNN.

Arnett, now retired as a foreign correspondent, wrote in Monday’s Washington Post that a Saigon-like future “may be the fate that awaits Baghdad if the march of ISIS continues. The Sunni insurgency has already captured much of Iraq’s north (much as the Vietcong had) and is steadily pushing southward. If it reaches the city, what I saw unfold in Saigon nearly 40 years ago is probably a good proxy for what to expect.”

The picture Arnett paints is one dripping in pessimism, and understandably so. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is a jihadist militant group that’s systematically taking control of wide swaths of those nations. Bloodshed is ubiquitous, the death toll rising. President Obama has sent military advisers and a few hundred troops to Baghdad to protect U.S. interests, including the embassy and its personnel.

Whatever unsteady peace brought through America’s years-long involvement in that Middle Eastern nation is rapidly dissolving.

Arnett admits that “crucial differences separate Vietnam and Iraq,” most notably the existence of three groups — the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds — who, as Arnett so bluntly puts it, “no longer wish to live within the antiquated borders devised by European diplomats 100 years ago.” Vietnam doesn’t suffer from that internal struggle of religion and violence.

A smattering of U.S. troops can’t glue together what’s coming apart in Baghdad. Arnett’s prediction of Iraq’s future may be more proof of the Iraq War’s undeniable folly.

— Anniston (Alabama) Star,

June 30

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jford 07/08/14 - 10:09 am
The Iraq war folly,

not just once, ...but twice.

And if you listen to some of the primary architects of the folly, like say, Dick Cheney, he'd like to have a third go at this folly.

Scuttlebutt 07/08/14 - 10:58 am

Bush/Cheney started this bs, and to blame President Obama without any mention of the architects of those illegal wars is nothing more than ideology. The ideology of these people is war, ruin, blame, bigotry, and pure D greed. Haliburton made billions!

Raoulduke 07/08/14 - 06:38 pm
While Ahead

Since WE were led down a path of LIES to get involved in Iraq.I would like to see us cut our losses,and get out.We already have a dead line for such departure.We should stick to the plan.The Iraq oil DID NOT pay for our involvement as told to us numerous times by the perpetrators of the plan.The blood of our youth was forfeit.The respect that was known to this country.Has but disappeared from most nations including our allies.We are feared,not respected.Feared on the scale that the world felt towards Nazi Germany. Our military have been used as nothing more than security guards for private interests-OIL CORPORATE INTEREST.This being the case our country has been sold out to become Unfortunately a FASCIST STATE.Corporations are people,but they can not get arrested.Corporations do not have to follow federal laws pertaining to health care.These were all approved by a majority of judges.That sit on highest court in our land-The Supreme Court.I don't know about you,but the probability of the bank accounts of the judges that voted in the majority in those cases GREW. These judges are suppose to be impartial.Go figure!

cheapersmokes 07/09/14 - 07:18 am

OK, Geniuses, answer me this! How many acts of terrorism have occurred in the USA since 9/11. The Boston Marathon bombing comes to mind but that is all I can recall. Now if we didn't put boots on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan to chase and kill those responsible for the terror attacks how many do you think we would of had? Face it Obama is a loser as a President since he has no foreign policy or even a strong one for this country....just look at his lack of action to get the Marine out of the Mexican Prison and totally ignoring the problems on our border with Mexico. Even the Governor of Colorado who was a very strong supporter of his wouldn't take the time to appear with him on his recent visit to the state...kind of tells you something now doesn't it. I would also like to see us assume control of all USA based oil companies since they have profited obscenely since 1990 on this action. If oil was selling for around $2 a gallon this country would be humming once again.

jford 07/09/14 - 11:00 am
All you can 'recall', …is not much of any kind of reality.

According to the Heritage Foundation, that darling of [filtered word] news, there have been 60 attacks on American soil since 9/11.

Meaning, of course, that you failed miserably in trying to make a case for 'boots on the ground' being any kind of deterrent to blowback here or there.

And the marine in Mexico? He was busted for having crossed into Mexico with what Mexican law describes as military grade weapons and ammunition. It was a clearly illegal act and the case will run it's course as it should.

The governor of Colorado? He was shooting pool and drinking beer with Obama just this last Tuesday night at the Denver brewery that Hickenlooper founded, the Wynkoop Brewing Co.

And as far as nationalizing the oil companies? That's a basic tenet of communist governance, the key provisions of a socialist state. You do know you're promoting communism through socialism, right? Doh.

You prove once again that you exist in some kind of weird fantasyland which is totally bereft of any kind of basic logic or reality.

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