Obama copying Kissinger on Terror War
by Melvyn L Fein
June 02, 2013 10:15 PM | 947 views | 4 4 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During the mid-1960s, just as the Vietnam War was escalating to its fullest extent, I was attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. As a hotbed of liberalism, this turned out to be one of the first places the anti-war movement gained traction.

Americans, in general, were growing tired of a conflict where the casualties were rising and where victory seemed further away than ever. College students, in particular, were disenchanted. As a result, they began to clamor for an end to our military involvement.

One of the ways this was expressed was by organizing “teach-ins.” These were intended to demonstrate that the war was both brutal and unwinnable. The idea was to educate ordinary citizens why they too should join the effort to bring the troops home.

As a contemporary of the demonstrators, I understood that a primary concern of many of the agitators was that they not get drafted. In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit that I shared this sentiment. This, indeed, is why I signed up for the National Guard.

In any event, while I too hated the idea of getting killed, I was willing to go if called. Many of my peers were not. As a result, they concocted a theory of how the U.S. could extricate itself from this mess. The concept was simple: declare victory and come home.

Ultimately this is essentially what we did. Under the tutelage of Henry Kissinger, we negotiated a peace we had every reason to believe would be violated. Then we picked up and got out. We, thanks to subsequent congressional decisions, did not even keep our word to supply the South Vietnamese with the weapons needed to defend themselves.

The upshot was that tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of our allies died. And yet we were safe. Moreover, the bloodbath took place far from our shores and hence was out of sight.

This shameful episode continues to be celebrated by the liberals who won their political spurs by preaching duplicity. Now one of their disciples is at it again. Barack Obama has decided that the strategy wherein we betrayed our former friends can be recycled. We too can declare victory and come home from the War on Terror.

Oh, excuse me — this is not a war, but a series of policing actions. There are merely small pockets of criminals scattered around the world that periodically require our attention. Mobilizing to meet this threat is accordingly unnecessary. We can even afford to pull back on killing them with drones.

The trouble with this attitude is that the parallel between Vietnam and today does not hold. When we left Southeast Asia the violence continued, but it took place over there. The Viet Cong had no intention of following us home and murdering us in our beds.

The Islamist terrorists are different. They do wish to slaughter us where we live. Thus unilaterally declaring the war against them as over will in no way protect us from their wrath. It would be a case of “the sound of one hand clapping” actually being that of bombs set off in our midst.

Centuries ago the Chinese learned the best defense against an implacable foe was a good offense. Merely hiding behind the Great Wall and waiting for the Mongols to attack was an invitation for them to do exactly that. Only a forward strategy that kept their enemies off-balance forestalled subsequent invasions.

The military situation is no different today. When thousands, and perhaps hundreds of thousands, of religious militants believe they have a sacred duty to kill us, it makes no sense to give them a free pass. Hoping that if we are nice to them, they will be nice to us, is fatuous.

Barack Obama must remember that the first obligation of the president of the United States is to defend us from our enemies, not to placate his political cronies.

Melvyn L. Fein, Ph.D., is a professor of sociology at Kennesaw State University.
Comments
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dustoff
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June 04, 2013
One important fact that you and many others fail to make is that Vietnam was not a war nor was Korea due to the fact Congress never passed of signed a Declaration of War.

The last real was was World War Two. Everything since then has been a conflict or police action.

Now that we have that out of the way, the current President has decided the war on terror is over, or at least in his mind it is. But it is not over as we just saw in Boston nor will it be over until such time as the Muslim communities start doing their part to stop the Imams from spouting their version of the Koran and enlisting uneducated brainwashed people to become suicide bombers.

One lesson we did learn in Vietnam is that you cannot effectively fight an enemy that hides in the general population and that is exactly what the current terrorist do.

Until we get our borders secured and start rounding up every person that is here illegally, on false documents, and expired visas then we will continue to be sitting ducks for any act of terror.
off balance
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June 04, 2013
Amen!
Eadt Cobb Senior
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June 03, 2013
Mel, politicians by definition are duplicitous. Striking examples in the 20th century are Roosevelt lying during the election cycle in 1940 to save his political career, knowing full well that war was inevitable, when he stated "I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." Johnson in the mid-1960's, with his "Gulf of Tonkin" lie to get us into the protracted Vietnam War. There are so many other examples but too numerous to list.

Our current Duplicitous and Chief, Barak Obama has taken duplicity to new levels. He should be equated with the world's, most accomplished ventriloquists. Not in recent memory has someone been more adept at talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time.

Not being a veteran and having nothing but distain for the military, Obama does not understand or care about the strategy of "the best defense is a good offense" or "peace through Strength." In order to mount a good offense one must be aware of who the enemy really is, and build a military strong enough to intimidate potential foes. Obama does not and will not admit that Radical Muslim Islamic Fundamentalists are our enemy, then he appoints a clueless Secretary of Defense who shares his demented view of the military and who also fails to admit we are at War with Terrorists.

Trying to remind our present "Placater and Chief" that his first obligation is to defend us from our enemies, when he does not recognize or admit that we have enemies or that terrorist exist is a dichotomy and makes him an extreme oxymoron. So why would it be so surprising that he would declare the "War on Terror" over when he never accepted that such a war ever existed?

This clown in the Oval Office feels no obligation to America. His view is that America is a land of racists, greed, exploitation, inequality, imperialism and not worthy of its place as leader of the free world. His objective is to relegate America to his belief that this nation must be brought to its knees and taught the lesson of submission and subservience for his perceived transgressions against the rest of the world and his race in particular.

Ali50
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June 09, 2013
Excellent comment. Obama's domestic policy and lying is bad enough but his anti-American attitude in his foreign policy puts all Americans at risk. I hope we can survive the remainder of his term without any major terrorist attacks.
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