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February 01, 2005


Paul Jones

a bit of chronological context from Viet Nam War . com.
Note the vote on September 3rd 1967 and these events surrounding the vote.

August 18, 1967 - California Governor Ronald Reagan says the U.S. should get out of Vietnam citing the difficulties of winning a war when "too many qualified targets have been put off limits to bombing."

August 21, 1967 - The Chinese shoot down two U.S. fighter-bombers that accidentally crossed their border during air raids in North Vietnam along the Chinese border.

September 1, 1967 - North Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong publicly states Hanoi will "continue to fight."

September 3, 1967 - National elections are held in South Vietnam. With 80 percent of eligible voters participating, Nguyen Van Thieu is elected president with Nguyen Cao Ky as his vice-president, the pair winning just 35 percent of the vote.

September 11-October 31 - U.S. Marines are besieged by NVA at Con Thien located two miles south of the Demilitarized Zone. A massive long-range artillery duel then erupts between NVA and U.S. guns during the siege as NVA fire 42,000 rounds at the Marines while the U.S. responds with 281,000 rounds and B-52 air strikes to lift the siege. NVA losses are estimated at over 2000.

October 1967 - A public opinion poll indicates 46 percent of Americans now believe U.S. military involvement in Vietnam to be a "mistake." However, most Americans also believe that the U.S. should "win or get out" of Vietnam. Also in October, Life magazine renounces its earlier support of President Johnson's war policies.

October 5, 1967 - Hanoi accuses the U.S. of hitting a school in North Vietnam with anti-personnel bombs.

October 21-23 - 'March on the Pentagon' draws 55,000 protesters. In London, protesters try to storm the U.S. embassy.

October 31, 1967 - President Johnson reaffirms his commitment to maintain U.S. involvement in South Vietnam.

Alison Chaiken

Thanks for the provocative reminder about Vietnam. The hopeful possibility for Iraq is that an obviously independent Shia-dominated government will declare a democratic "Islamic Republic of Iraq." If the new government is clearly not a US puppet and is an honest broker, then perhaps its future can be brighter than that of Thieu's corrupt regime.



You wrote,

"If the new government is clearly not a US puppet and is an honest broker, then perhaps its future can be brighter than that of Thieu's corrupt regime."

Two decisive signs would be the new government's insistence that US troops begin withdrawing, and its insistence that contracts awarded during the US occupation be cancelled and the jobs be put up for bid, with preference given to Iraqi firms where possible.

I'm not holding my breath... time will tell.

Jim Horning

In the words of Jane Ace:
"Those who cannot forget the past are condemned to remember it."

Glynn Young

For an alternative (conservative) history lesson, see It says the Iraqi election is less like Vietnam 1967 and more like United States 1864.


If Iraq were like Vietnam, we would know what to do. But the point is that while the free election in Iraq is noteworthy, whether it is the first in many or the exception to the rule only time will tell. Give the Necons their due: they pull this off much better than their post war planning.

If you know who should get credit for the following idea, please leave a post. I’ll be checking back to see. I heard this a long time ago on “Firing Line” with William F. Buckley, and I’ve been watching for the phenomena ever since. Basically it is as follows: After a turnover in government such as a revolution, no major change actually occurs

The American Revolution lead to the reinstatement of the freedom the colonist had lived under before they became big enough to merit the British Parliament’s attention. The Russian Revolution exchanged the tyranny of the Czar for the tyranny of the Politburo. The Iranian Revolution exchanged the tyranny of the Shah for that of the mullahs. Corrupt governments are over thrown and replaced by what become corrupt governments – Cuba comes to mind.

The Iraqis exchanged the tyranny of Saddam for what? We shall see. I’m cynical and don’t believe Iraq will ever be a democracy. As bad as it is in Iraq, as long as the American are there, it will be as free as it will ever get. Many in Vietnam remember fondly the time the Americans were there.

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