WaPo has this story about the eerie parallels between Viet Nam and Iraq. It's being overshadowed by the Death of Milosevic. The architects of the Viet Nam War have some interesting things to say about Iraq:
"You cannot win against an insurgency that springs from the population," said Jack Valenti, former special assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson. "There's never been an insurgency that doesn't prevail against a mighty power."
"It appears to me we haven't learned very much," said Alexander M. Haig Jr., Kissinger's assistant in the Nixon White House and secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan.
For all the debates about Vietnam, there was one thing that most every speaker agreed on. "The sorry odor of the same aromas that we found in Vietnam" can be detected in Iraq today, Valenti said. (emphasis mine)
I guess George W. Bush spent the 60's and 70's so stoned out of his head, that he couldn't remember what happened. Apparently, so did Dick Cheney. Now I would have expected this failure to learn the lessons of Viet Nam from a Generation X President, not a baby boomers like Bush and Cheney.
So how screwed are we?
Eventually, some of the panelists were asked: So what should the country do now about Iraq?
"I'm not smart enough to figure out how to get out of Iraq," Valenti said, "any more than I was smart enough to figure out how to get out of Vietnam."
Kissinger, the man whose administration eventually did withdraw U.S. troops, had no solutions either.
"I know the problem," he said, "better than the answer."
We know the problem, and apparently there is no solution. Apparently, getting us out of Iraq is going to be like finding the end of Pi.