Posted by Brad @ 1:31 pm on November 29th 2007

Juan Cole on McCain’s Vietnam History

Great post from Juan Cole synthesizing a lot of my objections to McCain’s end of his exchange with Ron Paul, as well as reiterating a point that Republicans seem to often need reiterated to them in regards to the Vietnam/Iraq comparison.

McCain also repeated his standard lie that Iraqis would attack the United States if US troops were withdrawn from that country. He contrasted the Vietnamese Communists, who, he said, just wanted to build their workers’ utopia in Vietnam once the US left, with Iraqis, who he continues to confuse with Usamah Bin Laden (a Saudi living far from Iraq who never had anything to do with Iraq).

Of course, back in the early 1970s, if you had asked McCain, he would have said we have to fight the Vietnamese because of the Domino effect, and if we lost there then International Communism would be in our living rooms. Now, he says the Vietnamese Communists weren’t expansionist at all, and just wanted socialism in one country.

So then, John, if that was true and there was never any danger of a domino effect, why did we sacrifice 58,000 US lives and kill a million to two million Vietnamese peasants? You just admitted we weren’t in any danger from them, even if they defeated us.

But since you were wrong about the domino effect with regard to Vietnamese Communism (which I remember arguing in a class debate as a teenager in 1967 was just a form of nationalism), how do we know you aren’t just as wrong or wronger about your fantastic Muslim domino theory? After all, international communism was a big important political movement to which many governments adhered. Al-Qaeda is a few thousand scruffy guys afraid to come out of their caves, who don’t even have good sleeping bags much less a government to their name.

Read the rest for more dissection.

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