Sunday, November 13, 2005

My Vietnam quagmire analogy

I've always thought the best analogy from our history with Vietnam was not to 1968 or 1972; but to 1919 or 1945.

At the end of both World Wars the US rebuffed Ho Chi Minh in favor of French Imperialism.

We pushed Ho to the Communists. I wish we had taken a risk to work with him today and agianst the French when Ho Chi Minh declared in 1945:
"All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" This immortal statement was made in the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America m 1776. In a broader sense, this means: All the peoples on the earth are equal from birth, all the peoples have a right to live, to be happy and free. The Declaration of the French Revolution made in 1791 on the Rights of Man and the Citizen also states: "All men are born free and with equal rights, and must always remain free and have equal rights." Those are undeniable truths.
[***]
We are convinced that the Allied nations which at Tehran and San Francisco have acknowledged the principles of self-determination and equality of nations, will not refuse to acknowledge the independence of Vietnam. A people who have courageously opposed French domination for more than eighty years, a people who have fought side by side with the Allies against the Fascists during these last years, such a people must be free and independent. For these reasons, we, members of the Provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, solemnly declare to the world that Vietnam has the right to be a free and independent country and in fact it is so already. The entire Vietnamese people are determined to mobilise all their physical and mental strength, to sacrifice their lives and property in order to safeguard their independence and liberty.

Today we ally with Ayatollah Sistani and others in Iraq over the objections of France.

It's a point we ought to make to those kids rioting in France too. We can't push them to Bin Laden the way we pushed the Vietnamese to Stalin.

I wish we had taken a risk with Ho. I'm glad we're taking a risk with Sistani. I think in the long run the world will be better for it.



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