28 posts tagged with iraq and Vietnam.
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How to kill a rational peasant

How to kill a rational peasant: America's dangerous love affair with counterinsurgency. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 17, 2012 - 66 comments

78 78s

78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 29, 2012 - 15 comments

Colonel John Patrick "Jack" Murtha, Jr. (D) June 17, 1932 – February 8, 2010

Earlier today, the first Viet Nam veteran ever elected to congress, died. John Murtha (as of this past Saturday, Pennsylvania’s longest serving congressman) was the 19 term representative of Pennsylvania’s 12th district, most notably the home of Johnstown, and which for most of his service included Shanksville. He was a hawkish, conservative Democrat, infamous for his involvement in the Abscam controversy, and most recently the FBI’s inquiry into the lobbying firm PMA. He could be said to have been very representative, and certainly very supportive of his blue collar district—Pro-gun, anti-abortion, and at first a supporter of the invasion of Iraq, but eventually one of its greatest critics. But that criticism came at a price. John Murtha was 77. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Feb 8, 2010 - 35 comments

Enlightenment by trauma - soldiers speak up

Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don't understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it's profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it's profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it's profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it's profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us. — Mike Prysner (YT) [more inside]
posted by knz on Jan 9, 2010 - 52 comments

The Wars of John McCain

The Wars of John McCain. "John McCain believes the Vietnam War was winnable. Now he argues that an Obama administration would accept defeat in Iraq, with grave costs to American honor and national security. Is McCain’s quest for victory a reflection of an antiquated pre-Vietnam mind-set? Or of a commitment to principles we abandon at our peril? Is there any war McCain thinks can’t be won?"
posted by homunculus on Sep 26, 2008 - 93 comments

"What are they gonna do, send you to Vietnam?"

[NSFW]"The following program is in living color and has been rated X by the Vietnam academy of maggots. The purpose of this program is to bring vital news, information and hard acid rock to the first termers and non-re-enlistees in the Republic of Vietnam. Radio First Termer operates under no Air Force regulations or manuals. In the event of a vice squad raid this program will automatically self-destruct." Radio First Termer was a pirate radio show broadcast by "Dave Rabbit," an anonymous USAF sergeant, for 63 hours between January 1st and 21st, 1971, out of the back room of a brothel in Saigon, gracing the dial at 69 MHz and 690 AM. Fearing reprisal from his superiors, Dave Rabbit then shut Radio First Termer down and, after returning to the States, went back to living a normal life. 34 years later, while helping his son on a homework assignment, Dave came across old recordings of his show. He's since revived his old persona via podcast, and has also brought Radio First Termer back to the warzone--to Baghdad, Iraq. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Jun 11, 2008 - 11 comments

...even after five agonizing years of the Iraq War, a summer blockbuster isn't prepared to say that not only is its action hero is corrupt, he's corrupt because America has become corrupt.

Iron Man, who represents an imperial America, can only win Pyrrhic victories. Spencer Ackerman of Tapped Online has a nice history of the Iron Man comics that reads the character's alcoholism, Civil-War overzealousness, and persistent blundering "into a hell of unintended consequences" as a symbol and subtle critique of American exceptionalism and what Jonathan Schell among others has called "impotent omnipotence".
posted by gerryblog on May 16, 2008 - 123 comments

Showing the horror of war

People can handle the truth about war. Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas reflects on how the media's willingness to show the horrors of war has changed since Vietnam.
posted by homunculus on May 15, 2008 - 52 comments

Cats and War

What Cats Know About War. A reporter adopts cats to reconnect with life amid unremitting death. [Via linkfilter.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 14, 2007 - 30 comments

It’s hard to remember, but he was once the future.

“How could this happen to someone so good, so competent?” he said. “This war made me doubt the past. Was I wrong all those years, or was he just better back then? The Donald Rumsfeld of today is not the Donald Rumsfeld I knew, but maybe I was wrong about the old Donald Rumsfeld. It’s a terrible way to end a career. It’s hard to remember, but he was once the future.”
And for comparison, How did so many smart guys make such a mess of Vietnam?
posted by orthogonality on Nov 13, 2006 - 98 comments

Political Roundup.

Turns out Colin Powell was actually fired. In other administration news, it looks like one of the pre-9/11 anti-terrorism meetings wasn't mentioned to the 9/11 commission. According to Bob Woodward's new book, where we also find out that Bush meet with Henry Kissinger at least once a month, and Kissinger's theories on Vietnam inform Bush's reasoning on Iraq.
posted by delmoi on Sep 30, 2006 - 51 comments

Gabriel Kolko - Lessons From Iraq and Lebanon & Another Century of War ?

...The United States, whose costliest political and military adventures since 1950 have ended in failure, now must face the fact that the technology for confronting its power is rapidly becoming widespread and cheap. It is within the reach of not merely states but of relatively small groups of people. Destructive power is now virtually 'democratized.' If the challenges of producing a realistic concept of the world that confronts the mounting dangers and limits of military technology seriously are not resolved soon, recognizing that a decisive equality of military power is today in the process of being re-imposed, there is nothing more than wars and mankind’s eventual destruction to look forward to.
The Great Equalizer - Lessons From Iraq and Lebanon
By Gabriel Kolko, author of Century of War: Politics, Conflicts, and Society Since 1914,
The Age of War: The United States Confronts the World
and Another Century of War?
posted by y2karl on Sep 5, 2006 - 20 comments

My Lai II

U.S. Marines "overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood", according to Rep. Murtha (D - Pa.), whose previous comments regarding the "unwinnable" nature of the Iraq conflict drew retaliation and accusations of treason from the GOP and associates. From reports verified by the military, troops "shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old girl", despite initial reports that officially claimed a firefight had killed Iraqi civilians. Some have suggested this incident echoes the My Lai massacre of the Vietnam War.
posted by Mr. Six on May 18, 2006 - 165 comments

Rebels in the Ranks

"I've been silent long enough... My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions--or bury the results." Marine Lieutenant General Greg Newbold, the Pentagon's former top operations officer, becomes the latest military insider to raise his voice against the "zealots" who led the US into war in Iraq. He writes in Time magazine: "Never again, we thought, would our military's senior leaders remain silent as American troops were marched off to an ill-considered engagement. It's 35 years later, and the judgment is in: the Who had it wrong. We have been fooled again... After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq--an unnecessary war." During the Vietnam war, such discontent among soldiers sparked a massive campaign of disobedience and peace activism (as well as, more darkly, fragging) within the ranks, as recounted in a new documentary called Sir! No Sir! Can it happen again? Ask the Soldiers for the Truth.
posted by digaman on Apr 9, 2006 - 60 comments

Daniel Ellsberg interview

I don't believe they'll give up on the bases and the oil. Nor will its successors, Republican or Democrat. So I think that's what we will be doing, staying forever. Unless the rest of us, outside the government, force change on the leadership of the Democrats as well as the Republicans, which will be difficult and take a long time.
From DailyKos comes an excellent series of interviews with Daniel Ellsberg; leaker of The Pentagon Papers. Part 1: The Pentagon Papers and the Overlooked 1968 Leaks, Part 2: Judith Miller, the New York Times and Government-Controlled Press, Part 3: The Cult of Secrecy in Government and Its Undermining of Democracy, Part 4: Whistleblowing and Effective Activism, Part 5: Iraq/Vietnam Parallels and Other Foreign Policy Fiascos and Part 6: Bush, the Next 9/11 and the Approaching Police State.
posted by afu on Mar 23, 2006 - 48 comments

Sticker Shock and Awe

Then: Q - Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq? Rumsfeld - Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question. And now: The estimated cost to US taxpayers of the Iraq war to date is $250 billion and rising, or $100,000 per minute. Total cost of the Bush doctrine of spreading "democracy" since September 11th -- half a trillion dollars, or nearly the cost of the 13 years of the Vietnam War, adjusted for inflation. What else could we have done with that kind of money? Also see here.
posted by digaman on Feb 3, 2006 - 112 comments

Costly Withdrawal Is the Price To Be Paid for a Foolish War - Martin van Creveld

For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.
Costly Withdrawal Is the Price To Be Paid for a Foolish War
Martin van Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University, is author of "Transformation of War" (Free Press, 1991). He is the only non-American author on the U.S. Army's required reading list for officers.
An interview with Martin Van Creveld. See also Nowhere To Run
posted by y2karl on Nov 29, 2005 - 73 comments

This just in: Jane Fonda is eating babies in North Korea

Operation Barbarella - from the London Review of Books, a review of Jane Fonda’s War: A Political Biography of an Anti-war Icon by Mary Hershberger.
So, what is the story behind Jane Fonda? You will find few people so reviled among macho warrior types. Back in the Depressingly Christian Private School (DCPS) that I went to, to hear some of the things she had been accused of you'd have thought she was the Whore of Babylon herself.
The truly interesting thing about this article isn't the discussion of the reality of Fonda's anti-war protesting measured against the myth, but as an illustration of the kind of pass-it-along info, whose truth is a matter of almost-scriptural faith, that serves as the conventional wisdom concerning the Left in the ill-educated backwaters that compose so much of our nation. This kind of thing is the political equivilent of the story of the midget who hanged himself on the set of The Wizard of Oz.
Additional reading: the Snopes page on Jane Fonda.
Via Linkfilter.
posted by JHarris on Nov 13, 2005 - 34 comments

David Hackworth fades away.

Col. David Hackworth, who billed himself as America's most decorated living soldier (he had eight Purple Hearts and ten Silver Stars), died in Mexico this week at age 74. Hackworth saw combat in World War II (having joined the Army at 15), Korea, and Vietnam; in 1967 he and Gen. Samuel Marshall wrote the Vietnam Primer, a "lessons learned" document prepared for the Army to explain how not to fight a guerilla war. In 1971, after years in-country, Hackworth turned publically against the war, telling ABC News that it could not be won and moving to Australia, where his anti-nuclear efforts earned him a United Nations Medal for Peace. Hackworth was a distinguished war correspondent, a self-appointed advocate for the average soldier who used his website as a soapbox, a best-selling author, a critic of American tactics in the Iraq War, and possibly the only figure respected by both WorldNetDaily and Common Dreams.
posted by snarkout on May 6, 2005 - 33 comments

Insert obvious George Santayana quote here

"We are here to hand over to you the power in order to avoid bloodshed." Today is the thirtieth anniversary of the Fall of Saigon.

A secret plan to end the war. After the rewarding the Vietnam war's technocratic architect with the Presidency of the World Bank, after the twin failures of President Nixon's "madman plan", to scare the Soviet Union into concessions over Vietnam out of fear of Nixon's insanity, and of "Vietnamization", turning over responsibility for the war to the South Vietnamese, the North nevertheless won the war.

Disposable helicopters. Operation Frequent Wind, the chaotic evacuation of the American Embassy, brought to a close fifteen years of American hubris. Karl Marx, who got little else right, observed "History repeats itself, the first as tragedy, then as farce."
posted by orthogonality on Apr 30, 2005 - 50 comments

For young deserters, refuge is hard to find

For young deserters, refuge is hard to find It seemed like a drastic but simple solution: a step over the border into a country that had offered sanctuary before to Americans fleeing their homeland. Instead, the growing band of US soldiers who have sought political refuge in Canada after defying orders to serve in Iraq have found themselves in a political limbo.
posted by Postroad on Apr 25, 2005 - 83 comments

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state

Aerial Propaganda Leaflet Database. Propaganda from WWI to Operation Iraqi Freedom, including many safe conduct passes. Also, leaflets from the Korean War & Vietnam, Sefton Delmer's "Black Propaganda Radio, and even some NSFW (work, not war) propaganda. Come On Boys, Himmler For President!
posted by armage on Mar 9, 2005 - 6 comments

hahah!! history repeats itself.

United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in [insert country]'s presidential election despite a [insert terror group] terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from [insert besieged capital city], 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the [insert terror group].

....A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President [insert idiotic Texas Republican]'s policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in [insert besieged country]. The election was the culmination of a constitutional development that began in [insert date], to which President [insert idiotic Texas Republican] gave his personal commitment when he met [foreign puppet politician], the chief of state, in Honolulu in February.

Dateline? Sept. 4th, 1967.

Fact-Checked with archived NYT links at Daily KOS.
posted by taumeson on Jan 31, 2005 - 83 comments

Let our cities be our swamps and our buildings our jungles

Let our cities be our swamps and our buildings our jungles After witnessing the Pentagon's inconclusive retreat from both Fallujah and Najaf without achieving the "success" of pacification or elimination of the local resistance, it seems that apart from incidentally killing several thousand Iraqis, causing lots of property damage, uniting Shias and Sunnis, and promoting minor clerics into major resistance leaders, today's Pentagon forces are quite ineffectual within dense urban areas. I am reminded of the words of the ex-Deputy PM of Iraq, Tariq Aziz, on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq: People say to me, 'You are not the Vietnamese. You have no jungles and swamps' ... I reply, 'Let our cities be our swamps and our buildings our jungles.'.
posted by meehawl on May 27, 2004 - 48 comments

Country Joe's Rag

Fixin'to Die after all these years Woodstock-era protest singer Country Joe McDonald still keeps an active pulse on today's events on his website. One of what eventually came to be perhaps his most famous song, the "I-Feel-Like-Fixin'-to-Die rag" has taken new life in light of current events, which is quite simple to deduct: just substitute all the Vietnam references with "Iraq" and there you have it - as many people have been happy to do by submitting their own lyrics versions to the site, somehow confirming that the world actually hasn't changed much in that respect 30 years after Vietnam...
posted by betobeto on Jan 29, 2003 - 7 comments

"Cops of the World": remembering Phil Ochs

"Cops of the World": remembering Phil Ochs -------------------------------------------- Ochs lyrics: “We're hairy and horny and ready to shack. We don't care if you're yellow or black. Just take off your clothes and lie down on your back.'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys. We're the Cops of the World.”------------ LISTEN to his songs (realplayer/quicktime) Amidst the unilateralist talk of invading Iraq, and the (mostly media ignored) “biggest anti-war protests since the Vietnam War” [quote-Wash.Post,Oct. 27] last saturday, I thought of Phil Ochs......some of his songs [see Ochs lyrics index] haven't aged well, but some are still as searingly acidic as the day he wrote them, as above or in ”Love me, I’m a liberal”:“Once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin...But I've grown older and wiser, and that's why I'm turning you in. So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal.” ------- Phil Ochs ------- (born 1940, suicide 1976)
posted by troutfishing on Oct 29, 2002 - 22 comments

Daschle Accuses Bush of Politicizing Iraq Debate

Daschle Accuses Bush of Politicizing Iraq Debate "You tell those who fought in Vietnam and World War II they are not interested in the security of the American people" because they are Democrats, Daschle said. "That is outrageous. Outrageous." The full text of Daschle's comments. Do we finally have an opposition party?
posted by owillis on Sep 25, 2002 - 74 comments

Dead Men Walking

Dead Men Walking Thomas Lipscome urges us to think about 4th generation warfare, the nature of the battle, and the potential dangers well beyond the idea of nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq. From the article: "Terrorists become extraordinarily resourceful playing weak hands against the strong and rich. So do revolutionaries. And it is time to realize bin Laden is both" This article is short yet wide-ranging, neatly bringing together the Balkans, Clinton, the Media, and 4G warfare.
via follow me here
posted by cell divide on Nov 28, 2001 - 3 comments

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