Diamonds and dust
Democratic Lawmakers Splinter on Iraq -- "Many Surprised as Pelosi Calls for a Fast Pullout" . Democrat asserts that Army is 'broken' -- "Most US troops will leave Iraq within a year, and the Army is ''broken, worn out," and may not be able to meet future military threats to the country's security, Representative John Murtha said." Bush's Victory is Defeat -- Washington Post. Bush lied, people died. Here's breaking news: Vietnam War Intelligence 'Deliberately Skewed,' Secret Study Says -- New York Times. Rationale for Vietnam faked in 1964, NSA historian wrote -- Baltimore Sun.
So it's true. Iraq is Vietnam and soon the 21st century version of the Carter era will dawn. Isn't that something to look forward to? Wait. The Iraq story: how troops see it from the Christian Science Monitor tells a diametrically different story. But that means nothing because 'public opinion' has made its mind up: Iraq is a catastrophic defeat. In fact, Martin Van Creveld says it is the worst military defeat in 2014 years, beside which Agincourt, the Retreat from Kabul, Waterloo, the Sedan, the Fall of France, Stalingrad -- all fade into insignificance. So who's coming forward to take the surrender, which is what customarily happens when one side is beaten by another?
Blackfive says that the results of fighting on the ground are foregone: what remains is the 'battle of the narrative'. But how do you win a 'battle of the narrative' except with words? Ironically the sheer success of the US Armed Forces in keeping the civilian population from a direct experience of war ensures they will only learn about it through vicarious means: network news, the major newspapers and magazines. Movies. And in that department the OPFOR has Blue radically outnumbered. Any rational observer calculating the correlation of words would have to say that in that battle, Blackfive's narrative hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell. The side with the most power over words has determined that Iraq is a defeat. And yet ...
The problem with using words to trump reality is that it wagers everything on a monumental bluff. The mesmerist must carry all before him or be humiliated. A King must be obeyed or lose the throne. There is no middle ground. Personally I think the repeated conjury of the master-spell of 'Vietnam' and the endless repetition of "we have been defeated" is a strained attempt to achieve what used to be accomplished effortlessly; almost as a background process. Now the spell is being used altogether too often to be convincing, like a lion-tamer who must repeatedly shout at the mountain of snarling flesh before him to sit down. One of the characteristics of the collapse of an illusion is the suddenness with which it comes. The Soviet Union; the EU superstate; the notion of an advanced, enlightened and progressive France, were like Atlantis separated from glory and oblivion by a single night and day. I would be careful about Vietnam because the '60s, like Vaudeville, may never come again.