As a history teacher and social scientist, I have become obsessed with the news – the war, the election, and everything in between. CNN now updates the recent developments in Iraq in a special segment. The spotlight on events in Iraq is broad, but it seems like we aren’t seeing what is really going on. I know when I talk to my students about the election and the war, there is no depth to their knowledge, but their opinions are strong. We must election Bush or Kerry. Why? John Kerry will immediately withdraw the troops in Iraq and that is, like, not cool. George Bush is stupid. Kerry seems stuck-up. Bush lied about WMD. They really don’t know (that is where I come in, of course). There is even less knowledge about Iraq. We should nuke them. Don’t they understand we are trying help? Saddam was bad. We have to support our troops no matter what. Why are we helping – get our soldiers home.
Having been born in the last years of Vietnam, I do not know if the feeling of the general population was similar to today. Are the communists of the Cold War essentially equivalent to modern day terrorists, and are we blind to any other truth then they must be stopped, destroyed, or even contained?
In the end, the President (either one) must face the reality of the situation and make decisions that reflect the reality of this situation or it will become another Vietnam. Certainly the casualties will be lower, we’ve got cooler weapons today, better strategies, and terrain that allows greater movement of troops and supplies.
Why We Cannot Win is an article written by a non-commissioned officer in Iraq. He has spent 20 years in the army and makes several very valid points.
Perhaps Bono is right, we need to fight poverty. It makes sense that if people are more happy then they are now, they won’t turn to terrorism, or at least the number of people turning to terrorism will diminish significantly.