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Vietnam Vote Article
In the wake of yesterday's vote in Iraq, an email has been circulating around containing the text of what is, supposedly, a New York Times article from 1967. Here's a sample of the text:

U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote :
Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror
by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.
According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.
The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here...
A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson's policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam.


Substitute Bush for Johnson and Iraq for Vietnam, and this article could easily be mistaken for any one of the articles written about yesterday's vote in Iraq. So is it real? Apparently it is. Here's a link to the original article, available (for a fee) in the NY Times archive. (via Weird is Relative)
MilitaryPolitics
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 31, 2005


That's scary and enlightening all at once. It actually makes me want to cry.
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  11:24 PM
Snopes seams to verify this
Posted by David  in  Chicago  on  Tue Feb 01, 2005  at  05:04 PM
If that historical parallel isn't chilling enough for you (and I find it very chilling), try this one:
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0120-33.htm

What makes me most furious about this administration of rogues and thieves is that they don't even bother to think of new lies to tell the people, they just recycle the old ones, assuming we won't have learned anything-- and they're usually right.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Tue Feb 01, 2005  at  06:58 PM
I seriously doubt that any Iraqis would be voting in Saigon, so there should probably be another substitution in there.

"We had to destroy Fallujah in order to save it."
Posted by BugbearSloth  in  earth, 3rd planet, sol system  on  Tue Feb 01, 2005  at  07:16 PM
I must be having a dumb night. I must confess, I don't very well grok the relevance of the comparison.

"Iraq is like South Vietnam." Okay, how? Because we're still going to be patrolling it with soldiers forty years later, like we're still in Viet Nam now? Because the elections didn't amount to much in the long run?

Or am I supposed to spin it the other way?

Or am I supposed to just think, 'Huh, same old same old," and leave it at that?
Posted by Barghest  on  Tue Feb 01, 2005  at  09:04 PM
Because it's a quagmire. Because it has a possibility of being an "unwinnable war." Because it's another situation where our government got our troops involved under false pretenses and with little public support.

In Vietname we kept claiming that we weren't really in a war. This time we just keep changing the rationale. From 9/11 ties, to WMD, to just the fact that we didn't like Saddam, our government has it's own plan and is sticking to it, with or without the will of the people.

Sorry, just had to vent there. Here's to hoping to doesn't become another Vietnam
Posted by Lothar Ignatius  on  Wed Feb 02, 2005  at  10:27 AM
Barghest, it sounds like you're confusing Viet Nam with Korea.
Posted by JoeSixpack  on  Wed Feb 02, 2005  at  11:40 AM
On the other hand, there's no denying that the election is a real accomplishment, and it would definitely have been a disaster if the insurgents had caused everyone to stay home. This article is a good example of why this isn't just the only accomplishment it will take. But I wouldn't give it more credit than that - the insurgents aren't controlling half the country in the same way Ho Chin Mihn controlled North Vietnam.
Posted by Matt  on  Wed Feb 02, 2005  at  11:41 AM
Note that the voter turnout the Bushites are claiming (very likely inflated, because it excluded percentages in the Sunni-majority areas of Iraq) as a ringing justification of their occupation is considerably LOWER than the supposed voter turnout in South Vietnam in 1967.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Wed Feb 02, 2005  at  12:10 PM
The Vietnam War cost the United States 58,000 lives and 350,000 casualties. So far, U.S. deaths in Iraq total 1,438, wounded 10,371. About half of the wounded returned to their duties within 72 hours. From the info I've seen only 1 soldier is currently listed as missing or captured. This is not like Vietnam at all.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Feb 02, 2005  at  01:01 PM
But the Vietnam war lasted over 6 years, we've been in Iraq for less than two.

And for the record, I think the election in Iraq was a wonderful thing, and I don't think Iraq is another Vietnam. But it certainly looks like a situation that could possibly escalate into another Vietnam, and that's what I'm afraid of.
Posted by Lothar Ignatius  on  Wed Feb 02, 2005  at  01:59 PM
6 years?
The Vietnam war lasted more like 30 years (from the end of World War II to 1975. U.S. involvement in it became heavy after about 1960.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Wed Feb 02, 2005  at  05:47 PM
It always bugs me when people list the number of Americans killed or wounded as the total number of casualties in a war.
The number of casualties in Vietnam was closer to 4 million, the vast majority of them Vietnamese, of course. Every one of those lives was worth as much as any American's life.
So far in Bush's Iraq fiasco, over 10,000 people have died and probably ten times that many have been wounded. I don't care what their nationalities are or were.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Wed Feb 02, 2005  at  05:51 PM
>>>Barghest, it sounds like you're confusing Viet Nam with Korea.<<<

No, actually, believe it or not, there are still U.S. military personnel 'guarding' the border between North and South Vietnam. Saw a documentary about them. America has been rotating in fresh guards pretty much continually since the 70's. Yes, it's bizarre.

>>>So far in Bush's Iraq fiasco, over 10,000 people have died and probably ten times that many have been wounded.<<<

Hate to contribute to your funk, but the number of killed civilian Iraqis alone is, according to The Lancet (respected English medical journal), 100,000. Almost half of them women and children, I believe. And that number is on the conservative side, if anything. Yay freedom!
Posted by Barghest  on  Thu Feb 03, 2005  at  03:11 AM
"No, actually, believe it or not, there are still U.S. military personnel 'guarding' the border between North and South Vietnam. Saw a documentary about them. America has been rotating in fresh guards pretty much continually since the 70's. Yes, it's bizarre."

I still think you're confused. There isn't a border there anymore after north Viet Nam invaded the south. Maybe it's the border with another country? Cambodia or Laos? Do you have a link to the documentry?
Posted by JoeSixpack  on  Thu Feb 03, 2005  at  08:41 AM
It's not that I'm not concerned with casualties of other countries...But I was just trying to make a point. Also, if you multiply the #s by 3, you still get #s that are considerably less than what happened in Vietnam. (I say 3, b/c the stats I have are for the past 2 years. So if that many people were killed/hurt in almost the last 2 years...then we need only triple it for a 6 yr projected figure. And actually, a # for the next 6 years would probably be a lot less, b/c we have made more advances each time someone is killed..securing more areas, capturing more people that are no longer out leaving bombs everywhere.)

I don't really think about it a lot...War is sad and all...but I'm doing all I can to survive here...w/o a war!
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Thu Feb 03, 2005  at  11:52 AM
"...the number of killed civilian Iraqis alone is, according to The Lancet...100,000..."
I think it depends on how far back you count. If you start the body count with George I's 1991 invasion and include subsequent attacks and consequences of 12 years of economic embargo, the civilian death count is certainly over 250,000, and probably at least 500,000.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Thu Feb 03, 2005  at  01:19 PM
Aww shit. I must have been thinking of Korea after all. I just can't win lately....
Posted by Barghest  on  Thu Feb 03, 2005  at  09:52 PM
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