Every so often, someone suggests on the net that our Iraq adventure is starting to turn out like Vietnam. They cite the persistent guerilla warfare, the propped-up local government with violent internal opposition, the evanescence of the battle lines, and so forth. But this kind of defeatist thinking obscures the many, many ways in which the two conflicts are different. As Larry Johnson points out:
- ... today the United States military cannot keep a six mile stretch of highway open that runs from downtown Baghdad to the International Airport. U.S. diplomatic personnel and many key Iraqi Government officials live inside a security ghetto known euphemistically as the Green Zone. Even during the bleakest days of the war in South Vietnam, U.S. diplomats and soldiers could travel freely around Saigon without fear of being killed in bomb blast or kidnapped. We don't have that luxury in Baghdad.
See? Not the same at all.