Histury Lessens

Airlines mix up luggage all the time, especially when said luggage is a nondescript black duffle bag. I returned from my Laotian vacation the other day, all rested and tanned. On the long subway ride home from SFO, I got bored, so I opened my duffle bag in search of my i-Pod. I was surprised to find, instead, what’s apparently a manuscript for some sort of academic journal. This is of no use to me. A manuscript can’t play Gnarles Barkley’s “Crazy,” or Shuggie Otis’s “Sweet Thang” while I close my eyes and pretend that’s only water on the seat across from me. I want my i-Pod back. I couldn’t find an address or phone number anywhere in this duffle bag, so I’ll post an excerpt from the manuscript here. If you recognize yourself as the author of this treatise, please contact me and I’ll return the bag to you in exchange for my i-Pod shuffle.

Histury Lessens, an academick paper I have learned as a nation, many lessens from the war in Vietnam. Chief amonst them are that we succeed in wars, unless we quit. Also chief amongst them are that Vietnam was worth fighting because if we had cut and run there, well then the dominoe effect tells you the scourge of Communism would have swept across the globe, hurting folks’ economies. Free markets everywhere would fall under the knuckles of of those who hate freedom.The first casualties of a cut and run policy are business and initiative. And I told the Vietnaminians that at their Stock Exchange today. At a lunch with a bunch of foreign investors, I told every businessman there that if America had only stayed in Vietnam and kept our promise to help them fight for freedom, maybe they would know the sweet love of entrepreneurialship. At the airport when I was leaving to go to Indonesia, I saw folks handing each other business cards and talking on cell phones. I think they got my message.And it made me muse back to the 1970s, when I was a fighter pilot during the war protecting our homefront: How much faster would they have gotten my message if we hadn’t given up on that war? And how many freedom-loving Vietnaminian women and children would be alive and safe today if we were still there to this day, shooting into the jungles and rice pattees to keep Vietnam safe for freedom?And how many nations today would be free and libertied if we hadn’t cut and runned and Vietnam hadn’t become the homebase from where Communism spread across the world and snuffed out the flame of freedom, just as Rummy and Dick and other foresighted people said it would back in the ’70s? And that is why we must stay in Iraq indefinitely, so that what happened to Vietnam and Asia in the decades since we cut and runned, would never happen to Iraq and the Middle East. For me, it’s a lessen lurned.

I miss my Shuffle, so whoever you are, I hope you see this.In a totally unrelated subject, Keith Olberman gave another interesting “special comment” the other day:

└ Tags: , ,

Discussion (9)¬

  1. Chuck says:

    Darrin, I hope you get your I-pod back, too. Assuming you didn’t edit the “Academick paper”, the way it was written makes me want to barf. Assuming the “Author” was in college, I can only guess he (or she) is a jock. That is, unless he (or she) attends a specific College out west…. I’d prefer not to mention the college name, though. (Evil Grin)

    Whoever it is/was, It really bugs me. An argument that is well written, but false, is better than one that is poorly written, but true. At least, that’s the way I see it. To me, anyway, it looks as if the author may have the education of a third grader.

    Is anyone ready for a Clinton/Obama ticket? McCain/Powell? Aw…who knows. Too early to call it. But those who are calling for a Clinton/Clinton ticket are in for a rude shock, if you ask me!

  2. Chuck says:

    BTW: I am not saying that you changed that paper in any way. I DO know some people who would, however. I truly do not believe that you would be among that group of folk! Also, a fellow at work helped me out with my turkey today. He did want to know why I “Hate Democrats”. I don’t. It’s just the policies that they seem to support. It’s those I find hard to swallow!

    Rock on, Darrin. (I almost typed what could have been mistaken for a racist term. Fortunately, I caught myself!)

  3. Wilfred Fan says:

    LOL! That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. It reminds me of your cartoons, only I can’t imagine how many panels that one wold take.

    The sad thing is, it really sounds like him. It sounds so much like him that at first I thought it was all a quote. It’s sort of embarassing that someone who speaks like that is the face we put forward to the rest of the world. No wonder he can’t get most of the world to go along with our policies — they think he’s an idiot.

  4. The Pete says:

    Chuck, you do realize this is lampooning President Bush’s recent trip to Vietnam, right? Where Bush said the lesson he learned from Vietnam was that we shouldn’t have quit, we should’ve stayed there fighting, something that makes no sense since everything we were warned would happen if we lost Vietnam did not happen.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Of course it’s satire. Who takes a Laotian vacation?

  6. Paul says:

    anonymous: Laotian, maybe? :)

    Can’t figure out all the hoopla against conservatives and Fox News. Neolibs bave MSNBC and Olbermann – who makes me embarassed nearly every time I listen to him. He must have been really picked on as a kid – or else he was the bully, constantly taunting and namecalling. As a former sportscaster, I’ll vote for the bully/jock side.

    One may not agree with Dr. Kissinger’s policies in some areas, but “idiot?” Really. I’d love to see a one-hour policy discussion between these two – no namecalling allowed. Then again, maybe he could recall some of the things he learned from his upper-class education.

    Pres Bush’s remarks reminded me of Pres Carter’s debate performance when he first ran for president. He kept on the same topic no matter the question – then said he knew what the questions were but he also knew what he wanted to say. All politicians do it. I just looked at this Vietnam answer (rather clumsily handled, I’d say) as another “use any forum to get the message I want out.” I also thought many would interpret the remarks as saying if we’d stayed in Vietnam we’d win. I didn’t hear that. I did hear Americans are notoriously impatient and attendees of short-attention span theatre. I’ll agree to that.

    I know a lot of Olbermann admirers may want to jump in to defend him – usually with the argument of “yeah, well, look at what so-and-so does.” Please don’t. He’s a partisan with a forum. Good for him. I view him and the Coulters and Hannitys and Smalleys as members of the same group – those who tarnish the level of political discourse to make a buck.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Such anger from Keith Olberman! An ability to forget the facts allows one to argue with angry certainty.

    “All the lies” that led us into Iraq? How soon we forget Kerry, both Clintons, and intelligence agencies around world all agreeing Hussein had and was developing WMD.

    And lessons learned in Vietnam? Osama Bin Laden referred to Vietnam when he predicted that the US did not have the stomach for a prolonged fight, shortly after he declared war on us. We heard but didn’t heed that declaration. Bin Laden tried to sucker us into Afganistan when he bombed the Cole. He took his people to the caves and awaited our response, certain that he could defeat us as the USSR was defeated in Afganistan. But Clinton was busy and decided to turn the other cheek. So we got 9/11, and fortuantely had a president who was willing to retaliate.

    Bin Laden underestimated our abilities and was forced out of Afganistan. But he was right about our lack of resolve.

    Bush made many mistakes. One of them was not having enough troops to secure Iraq after we defeated Hussein. We should not have allowed the looting. We should have kept the Iraqi army intact, so their could be a level of control over so many young men. He should have anticipated the problems between Shiite and Suni factions. But his biggest mistake was in believing the American people had the sense to recognize the threat of Islamic radicals and the willingness to stay the course in an extended battle. He said going in that it would be a long and difficult struggle, but many did not listen. We will leave Iraq. We will not challenge Iran and Syria. We will retreat. Bin Laden will smile, knowing that he was right. He predicted the war would take decades, but that Islam would win because God is on his side.

    While we hide in our comfortable secular lifestyle, the Bin Ladens of the world will plot, develop their weapons, spread their message, and continue to infiltrate the Western countries.

    Our children and grandchildren will pay the price for our naivete.

  8. Darrin Bell says:

    “Such anger from Keith Olberman! An ability to forget the facts allows one to argue with angry certainty.

    “All the lies” that led us into Iraq? How soon we forget Kerry, both Clintons, and intelligence agencies around world all agreeing Hussein had and was developing WMD.”

    It’s almost as if this comment were written in 2004, and the poster just decided to hit “publish your comment” today without updating it.

    In the intervening years, we’ve been treated to the Downing St. Memos, the memos coming out of Australia, several books by White House insiders and reporters, all detailing how the White House misled the American people. You might want to read all of them if you still believe this White House did not lie us into war.

    I know I’m leaving a lot out, but by now this feels like arguing that the world is, indeed, round, so here’s a quick and dirty run-down:

    Lie#1: There is NO DOUBT Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction.
    The old canard about “even Clinton thought there were WMD” is meaningless. The lie wasn’t that the U.S. believed it, the lie was in telling us there was NO DOUBT about it. Americans strongly disapproved of war against Iraq in the months before Bush’s State of the Union speech.

    Lie #2: Iraq tried to buy uranium tubes from Niger, tubes that are good ONLY for building WMD.
    As Richard Wilson (the man whose work they cited) pointed out, this was not true and in any case such tubes have many industrial uses other than the construction of WMD.

    Lie #3: We have absolute proof Hussein was in league with Al Qaida.
    The President’s 9/11 Commission found no credible evidence that Al Qaida and Hussein’s Iraq were working together. Before the war, the administration presented a laundry list of supposed connections that either did not exist or were based wholly on unreliable single sources.

    Lie #4: Colin Powell tells the entire world we have photographic evidence of mobile WMD labs.
    There was no reason to believe blurry satellite photos of trucks constituted evidence of anything, and as it turned out, they were not mobile WMD labs.

    Lie #5: Saddam Hussein expelled the UN weapons inspectors.
    He did not. Bush recalled them shortly before he invaded Iraq.

    “And lessons learned in Vietnam? Osama Bin Laden referred to Vietnam when he predicted that the US did not have the stomach for a prolonged fight, shortly after he declared war on us. We heard but didn’t heed that declaration. Bin Laden tried to sucker us into Afganistan when he bombed the Cole. He took his people to the caves and awaited our response, certain that he could defeat us as the USSR was defeated in Afganistan. But Clinton was busy and decided to turn the other cheek. So we got 9/11, and fortuantely had a president who was willing to retaliate.”That reads like a recap of the historically-inaccurate “Path to 9/11″ propaganda piece ABC aired shortly before the November election.

    And if that characterization were true (which it isn’t), what exactly was Clinton “busy” with? As I recall, that would be the Republican impeachment, and the complete lack of Republican support for his attack against Bin Laden’s training facilities (they said he was “wagging the dog” to distract from the much more important Lewinsky scandal).

    Maybe I’m nuts, but I think the reason 9/11 happened might have a little bit to do with the Bush administration ignoring Al Qaida for NINE MONTHS, despite several warnings. The FBI under Bush and Ashcroft was far more interested in going after online pornographers than tracking down terrorists within our borders.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone were to blame Clinton next time Bush chokes on a pretzel.

    While we hide in our comfortable secular lifestyle, the Bin Ladens of the world will plot, develop their weapons, spread their message, and continue to infiltrate the Western countries.
    What’s the alternative to our secular lifestyle? Seems to me the alternative to a secular society is a society that encodes its scripture into its civil laws. Can you name a single such nation on this planet in which you wouldn’t mind living? Iran? Syria? Saudi Arabia? Pakistan?

    I, for one, wouldn’t want to emulate our enemies.

    Terror isn’t an entity that can be defeated, although people who share your sentiments seem to think it can be. It can’t be defeated any more than crime or murder can be defeated. It’s a tactic, not an enemy. The British recently foiled a major terrorist attack, not by invading anyone, but by treating it as a police matter (by doing exactly what people such as yourself, I assume, mocked Kerry for suggesting in ’04). Something that, had we done it here in 2001 instead of ignoring all the warnings, might have prevented 9/11.

    Instead of admitting they dropped the ball and should’ve been paying closer attention to the warnings, the Bush administration pretended that what happened on 9/11 was impossible for anyone to predict. They pretended we were facing a brand new threat (terrorism has been around for centuries), and that the existing system just wasn’t good enough to prevent the attacks. They essentially said “Don’t blame us, blame the system. …And Clinton. Blame the sytem and Clinton.”

    The entire “war on terror” is the biggest instance of covering one’s ass in recorded history.

  9. Darrin Bell says:

    “Uranium tubes” should read “aluminum tubes,” and toss in “yellow cake uranium.” All of which was bunk.

Comment¬