Visiting Professor David Kaiser asks “Is Iraq Vietnam?

The wars in Vietnam and Iraq differ in major respects, but U.S. policy in both suffers from the same fatal flaw. The publication of National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley’s Nov. 8 memorandum shows a critical similarity between the American approaches to these wars.

In both cases the United States has tried to turn a nation into something alien to its nature. Now as in Vietnam, the U.S. government is refusing to base its policies upon reality and is looking for a local leader who can make political bricks without straw to build the nation the United States has in mind. For that reason, the intervention in Iraq, like that in South Vietnam, seems almost certain to end in failure.

Read the whole thing. I don’t think that the metaphor of making “political bricks without straw” works that well, but the analysis seems sound. Time for partition.

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