One of the big memes among opponents of the war is to keep hyping the parallels between Iraq and Viet Nam. It doesn’t matter how many times their arguments are refuted, Viet Nam is their model and they’re going to MAKE Iraq if that, regardless of how many Procrustean “adjustments” they have to make.
Actually, I find that there is something to be drawn from the parallel — but it’s not the one that they are. They just cut out a few steps.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is often referred to as “their Viet Nam.” It was the great cold war power fighting primitive natives — and being defeated so thoroughly that their very power around the world was challenged.
Dafydd Ab Hugh (an excellent author, by the way, as well as an excellent blogger) has taken a fresh look at just how the Soviets were defeated in Afghanistan, and is applying the lessons of “the Soviet Viet Nam” to the current war in Iraq — and is finding that once again what he is dubbing “the Afghanistan Effect” is, once again, threatening to bring down a great empire.
It’s a hell of a piece. And like all the best pieces, he doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know — he just puts them together and in a context that makes a brilliant pont that should have been blindingly obvious. Go and give it a read.