Debate and Discussion

Iraq Is Not Vietnam
Phantom Penguin at 6:53PM, Oct. 26, 2006
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I keep on hearing comparrisons between the two. The only real comparrison you CAN make is that its a conventional war. Thats about it.

If you look at the numbers that the vietcong mobilized to fight the US in some of those battles is just plain crazy. For example the battle of Ia Drang Valley the US army (7th air cav) fought close to a divison sized element of north veitnamese soldiers.

The largest battles we have gotten in Iraq (aside from the Thunder run into Baghdad in 2003) was the retaking of Al-Fallujah by 3rd ACR and 1st ID. I was in 1-4 Cav (a element of 1st ID) 3rd (tank) plt in during the retaking. While it was a large intense firefight. the Iraqi element we were fighting was no where near a division.

Even during the Strike into Baghdad by Spartan Brigade (3rd ID) they reported fighting maybe a regiment sized force.

And you can compare the KIA reports while in combat also. While a large precentage of US deaths in OIF (operation Iraqi Freedom) are caused by indirect fire (including IEDs,and VBIEDs) a very small precentage of deaths in vietnam were caused by such devices. Direct combat deaths were the top killer of troops in vietnam.

And the tactics are also much different. We technically control of all Iraqi and are in a ‘poilceing operationn’ while in Vietnam we were still fighting another country in open warfare (north vietnam) while at the same time fighting gurreilla forces in the south.

last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
ozoneocean at 7:08PM, Oct. 26, 2006
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They're obviously VERY different scenarios, but I think the main comparison lies in the fact that you have a large force of troops committed to somewhere where you're suffering steady losses (although relatively small), and have no prospect of being able to pull them out. There's also the massive political capital that has been invested, the harm it's done to US foreign relations, and the impact it's had on the world stage.
When thought of in those terms a comparison to the situation in Vietnam becomes more likely.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:24PM
Inkmonkey at 8:15PM, Oct. 26, 2006
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Essentially, it's the same basic thing to Joe Everyman here in the US of A, but a very different story to those actually in the shit.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
kyupol at 8:25PM, Oct. 26, 2006
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Iraq is worst than vietnam.

If US forces killed ho chi minh, thats it. Viet cong will raise the white flag. Like in any conventional war or guerilla war with one united central command, kill the leader, the rest will fall.

But in Iraq, zarqawi was killed, Saddam was caught… and american death rate is still high. The problem in iraq is the insurgents dont have one unified central command unlike the viet cong. They even fight each other. shiite vs sunni vs al quaeda vs criminal gangs. Sometimes its shiite on shiite or sunni or sunni and all these fucking shady alliances.

Insurgents can be anything from 10,000 member militia to simply two friends who decided one day to blow up some americans.

Its really a hellhole in there and I feel sorry for US troops.
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
Rich at 8:28PM, Oct. 26, 2006
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Yep. And we won't be leaving anytime soon. You can call me a cold-hearted bastard for thinking so, but I think we should just pull out and let the Iraqis kill each other. They want us out of the middle east, and we don't belong there anyways. Why should our people have to die for some little country that was too fucking afraid to overthrow their dictatorship?

I understand going into Afghanistan to try and get Bin Laden. But Iraq had little to no connections to Al Quaida. We don't belong in Iraq, and it pains me every time I hear one of our soldiers had to die for a cause that we shouldn't be involved in.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:06PM
ozoneocean at 9:08PM, Oct. 26, 2006
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Correction: they had NO connection to Al Queida. Someone like Sadam had as much to fear from Bin Laden as he did from the US, as do all the so called “supporters of terror”: Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran all have their own ongoing battles with extreme Muslim militant groups.

And in the terms Penguin mentioned he's 100% right. The casualty figures (on both sides), are nothing like Vietnam. He's also 100% on the type of action it is at this stage too: policing and occupation as opposed to Vietnam which was an ongoing multifaceted full scale war. There are little to no similarities on the ground, apart from the fact you're losing people at a steady (although much smaller) rate.

The US can't pull out anytime soon without losing a huge amount of face and suffering severe embarrassment, to say the least. There is just far too much invested over there in terms of money, political capital, and the mad hopes and dreams of a certain group in Washington who see it as part of some kind of clever strategic plan.

Iraq isn't so much of a “hellhole” as a puddle of quicksand that bogs you down and holds you fast, no matter how hard you struggle.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:24PM
Rich at 9:11PM, Oct. 26, 2006
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I'd rather my country be embarassed than be facist. I still say pull out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:06PM
Inkmonkey at 9:36PM, Oct. 26, 2006
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kyupol
If US forces killed ho chi minh, thats it. Viet cong will raise the white flag. Like in any conventional war or guerilla war with one united central command, kill the leader, the rest will fall.

Since when? This isn't Chess here; just because the King gets taken out doesn't mean the game is over. If they're organized well enough, then the second-in-command takes over, if not, then you've got a power struggle and chaos (like we see in Iraq). Once the captain is taken out that doesn't mean the rest of the team shakes hands and says, “good game.”


Anyway, I'm with Rich. I'd rather the name of the nation be changed to “Vaginaville” than to have one innocent person die. And I'm not kidding here; if it will save one junkie from being stabbed in the throat with a number 2 pencil, I'd change my own name to “Dickweed McSuckballs” (though more than that I'd be interested in seeing how a situation could possibly arise that would warrant such a thing).

It's easy to not worry about “steady losses”, especially when you have something worse to compare it to, like “The losses suffered by the military are considerably less than those suffered during the Vietnam conflic” is a lot easier to swallow than, “You will never see your son again.” “I'm sorry, but your husband was shot in the head by a fellow soldier who now has to forever live with the shame that his negligence led to the death of his fellow soldier.” “Your brothers, your sisters, your sons, your daughters, your husbands, your wives; your beloved, your friends, people you've never met, people you wish you'd met, are all dying right now. Innocent people who just wanted to get food for their families in the square are dying in excruciating pain when violence erupts around them. Children are wandering into minefields and will never see their family again.

People

Are

Dying.”

“The losses during the course of this conflict are unfortunate, but fortunately they have now levelled out.”

“Civilian casualties are to be expected.”

“Friendly fire…”
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
SheaSummers at 12:11AM, Oct. 27, 2006
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Shit, I don't know any specifics about the wars like how many are exactly dead and how much longer we have to stay in Iraq to make it officially as bad or whatever, but…

I watch some of the stuff brought back to America in the form of documentaries… there are a lot of dead, mauled, or dying children in that poor country. I know America isn't bombing the hell out of schools on purpose and the terrorist bastards there are doing these acts in cold blood, but that's still a lot of dead children. The future of any country lies in their offspring and what future will Iraq have in them? I don't think many of the children there now will grow up all that stable either… with images etched in the back of their heads of their friends and family dying, the sounds of bombs dropping, the nightly raids, etc.

Was the fatality rate of children this bad in Vietnam?

I just don't know enough to judge if it's worse, but the war there right now is really bad. People are dying left and right and that's never a good sign, be it us or the bad guys*.


*I said bad guys because one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter, and in times of war, it's all about sides, not good or evil.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
Rich at 7:16AM, Oct. 27, 2006
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SheaSummers
Was the fatality rate of children this bad in Vietnam?

Believe it or not, it was worse. In Nam, they had the children, sometimes as young as five years old, going into combat. This caused the soldiers to be very cautious and led to whole villages being slaughtered because the US soldiers could have very well gotten killed by the women and children as well. I refuse to hold that against our soldiers, since it was a legitimate safety precaution. Besides, you gotta see those guys who came back from Vietnam alive. To say it messed them up is an understatement.

I do however think that Vietnam was a pointless war we shouldn't have been fighting. Again, another example of a war we should have pulled out of to save a lot of lives.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:06PM
Phantom Penguin at 7:44AM, Oct. 27, 2006
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FYI Ho Chi Mihn did in fact die during the veitnam war. It didn't end until around 6 years later when the NVA caputred Saigon.


I don't care if we pull out or not, i can't stand that damn country. It is like Vietnam in some ways yes. But they are still very much different.

I know we are not going to win this war, not because we aren't strong enough, its that the Insurgents have more politcal sway on the ground then we do. They are even paying millions of dollars for Fediyeen from Syria. And they have huge backing,

which is one thing OUR soldiers need. Is backing by the US population. I know it hurt like hell when people started calling us criminals. It makes you wonder why your fighting in their name. And its a huge blow to moral.

And children?
they are given rifles and sent at us. They stand in the middle of the road trying to get our convoys to stop so fighters can blow up a IED or fire at us. Insurgent groups have people ranged from 5-75 in their ranks.

ALL Fatality rates where higher in Veitnam. An estimated 12% of the vietnamese population was killed. While 50,000 US soldiers were killed. a unknown number of NVA and VC were killed. Death rates all on sides and creeds were higher. WAY higher.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
Phantom Penguin at 7:48AM, Oct. 27, 2006
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*I said bad guys because one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter, and in times of war, it's all about sides, not good or evil.

Most of the innocent killed are killed by the insurgents. Most of the fighters are from other countrys and are not even Iraqi. They went to Iraq just to get a chance to fire on US troops.

The fighters in Iraq have tools just went to tourture, they behead school children and leave them in the street. In Fallujah the would strap kids full of bombs and make them run at our tanks.

They are fucking evil.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
kyupol at 8:05AM, Oct. 27, 2006
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Phantom Penguin
The fighters in Iraq have tools just went to tourture, they behead school children and leave them in the street. In Fallujah the would strap kids full of bombs and make them run at our tanks.

They are fucking evil.

That is desperation and part of military tactics. How do they expect to fight against vastly superior military power? Suicidal instinct is what kinda equalizes the battlefield.

If lets say… America was occupied by a foreign power… lets say Russia or China. Like… lets say a second civil war happens in the USA (there's been alot of talk about that lately… mostly among conspiracy theorists but that can be possible) and then China or Russia takes advantage of the chaos and rushes in to invade… they would stand a chance to conquer America.

Will you do the same thing to defend your country? Will America's children as young as 5 defend their country? Will you defend American values? Or will you be learning how to speak Russian or Chinese… and accept communism?

So you expect Iraqis to accept democracy and reject Islam?
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
Rich at 8:26AM, Oct. 27, 2006
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Phantom Penguin
which is one thing OUR soldiers need. Is backing by the US population. I know it hurt like hell when people started calling us criminals. It makes you wonder why your fighting in their name. And its a huge blow to moral.

If it's any comfort, we do care about the soldiers. They are over there kicking ass because of Bush's fucking crusade. They didn't choose it, so I can't hold it against them.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:06PM
Phantom Penguin at 9:41AM, Oct. 27, 2006
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kyupol
Phantom Penguin
The fighters in Iraq have tools just went to tourture, they behead school children and leave them in the street. In Fallujah the would strap kids full of bombs and make them run at our tanks.

They are fucking evil.

That is desperation and part of military tactics. How do they expect to fight against vastly superior military power? Suicidal instinct is what kinda equalizes the battlefield.

If lets say… America was occupied by a foreign power… lets say Russia or China. Like… lets say a second civil war happens in the USA (there's been alot of talk about that lately… mostly among conspiracy theorists but that can be possible) and then China or Russia takes advantage of the chaos and rushes in to invade… they would stand a chance to conquer America.

Will you do the same thing to defend your country? Will America's children as young as 5 defend their country? Will you defend American values? Or will you be learning how to speak Russian or Chinese… and accept communism?

So you expect Iraqis to accept democracy and reject Islam?

I don't care how you spin it. A suicide car bomb running into a school house is not a military tactic.

And if the US was invaded, i would never degrade myself by killing innocent people, or blowing up schools. Which makes no sense from a military standpoint. And FYI Russia isn't communist anymore.

And i really don't care if they accept democracy or not, and i don't know why they wold have to drop their religion for it. But killing innocent people is wrong. period. It isn't a military tactic to kill people on their way to work and who had no hand in the war at all.
In retrospect its a REALLY bad idea, it would make people hate the millita that was doing it.

I couldn't give a shit less if they started doing worse thing. I don't give a damn about Iraq or a the Iraqi people. I don't care if they accept democracy or fall back into a dictatorship. But no one deserve to die in the ways that i've seen. Insurgents cut off people's heads and hung them from a bridge….and they weren't politicans or soldiers, they were god damn school teachers.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
ozoneocean at 11:27AM, Oct. 27, 2006
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Inkmonkey
People

Are

Dying."
Well obviously, but that's not a good enough reason to pull out is it? In the end there are no reasons, you simply have to manage to convince the political leadership of the US, that's the only way. They feel they have a lot invested though, so it will be hard, not to mention the sacrifice of so many soldiers (not just from the US); how do you justify that if it just ends up in an embarrassing pull-out and failure?
It's complicated.

Penguin, you tend to simplify the situation in your own way too, although it is justified given your direct experience. Just remember that the one's really suffering are the whole of the Iraqi population, no one suffers more than them. And remember too that the occupying forces do not face a unified, homogenous opposition: there are many, many groups involved, and many of those are actually in opposition to each other. The most reliable recent intelligence suggests that foreign “insurgents” are a minority and that the majority of violent attacks in Iraq are caused by rival ethnic and religious factions. To me it sounds more and more like Lebanon in the 80's.

As for support for US troops within the US, there doesn't seem much problem there either, especially when compared to the treatment of returning US forces during Vietnam! It seems that there is a lot of growing opposition to the occupation in Iraq, but that's all directed at the Bush administration, while support for the troops remains strong.

And in the end, how better to support the troops than to ask for them to be pulled out, out of harms way, and sent back home alive and in one piece?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:24PM
Phantom Penguin at 12:14PM, Oct. 27, 2006
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Well thats not all the way true. I had a ice cream cone thrown at me when i came home, i did put the annoying little goth kid in place (i beat him with my rucksack).
Me and my friend Riley were at a bar in uniform in Kentuckey while on R&R and the people in the bar pretty much refused us entrance. Well two drunken soldiers can only fight so many people and we didn't get in.
I will admit i get a ton of people running up to me and saying thank you and young kids and old men saluting me. which is weird because im only a Private. The negitive statements are rare, but pretty intense when it happens.



But your right its more like Lebenon in the 80s more then anything. The rival factions are tearing that country apart.

And there are many other countries that are also loseing their soldiers. the UK and germany have lost the most besides the US.
The Iraqi troops are pretty much a joke. All they did was run away in Fallujah. They can't even protect themselves.

While i feel sorry for the Citizens of Iraq i also blame them for a lot of whats going on.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
ozoneocean at 6:21PM, Oct. 27, 2006
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Here are many brilliant but horrible photos of the Iraq conflict and occupation: http://www.mondodisotto.it/imageiraq.htm
*Warning: blood, wounds and death. Also not for dail-up.
When looking at them it's important to remember a photo can be interpreted many ways and you may not know the full story behind what you see.
*The censored “rape” photos near the bottom are commonly thought to be fakes from a porn site.

There are even a few photos of some men shooting at an aeroplane with a SAM and a few RPGs. The SAM is a Russian Ilga, not a Stinger, which is interesting.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:24PM
SheaSummers at 10:52PM, Oct. 27, 2006
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Wow, I didn't know that about Vietnam… five year old kids off to fight wars. I wonder how soldiers reacted to them. I mean, did they shoot them or stare in disbelief before getting shot themelves. Shit like that is a lose-lose situation and completely messed up. I saw some Lebanese kids saying they want to be suicide bombers and support their country during the Israeli attack on them. That kind of stuff always scares me because those kids don't know any better… a whole new generation of terrorists pulled into the cycle of hate.

Well, I understand that about how evil they are. I think any sort of attacks on mass civilians that are just trying to live evil, and that is what these insurgents are going about everyday. But I think it's the whole “stick by your Islamic brothers” mentality that's sending waves of these terrorists to Iraq to attack our men and women. They just don't want the American presence there and they are going far to make us leave. Think about it this way:

If Al Qaeda came and took over America (far fetched, yes) and Canada sent militias to scare them off or take them down, it's sort of like that. The HUGE difference between my example and what's going on in Iraq, however, is that these terrorists are killing plenty of innocent civilians along the way and that is just majorly messed up.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
Phantom Penguin at 8:07AM, Oct. 28, 2006
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Seeing as the US wouldn't be taken over by a terrorist orginaztion and if we ever were taken over civilians here have more guns then anoy other group of people on earth.

Even then i would hope american people would know better then to say “hmmm if we blow up that school full of kids maybe they will get scared and leave”

because that mentalilty is just fucking dumb.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
lothar at 11:10AM, Nov. 14, 2006
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those are some fkd up pics!! looking at that , it doesn't realy matter if Iraq is like Vietnam or not , it's still a WAR !
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
doomscorpion1992 at 11:16AM, Nov. 14, 2006
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Another difference: George W. Bush
1|= U (4|| R33|) 7|-|15, U ||33|) 70 G37 4 L1|=3
DANMIT! i changed again
Top Drawer Fence-Sitter.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
Phantom Penguin at 6:53PM, Nov. 14, 2006
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lothar
those are some fkd up pics!! looking at that , it doesn't realy matter if Iraq is like Vietnam or not , it's still a WAR !

Yeah, because…you know. I didn't know that at ALL.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
Leon Hyrulious at 7:48PM, Nov. 14, 2006
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Thank you penguin, and yes captian obivios it is a war, and a bad one at that, but not near as bad a vietnam.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM
Phantom Penguin at 8:41AM, Nov. 15, 2006
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Leon Hyrulious
Thank you penguin, and yes captian obivios it is a war, and a bad one at that, but not near as bad a vietnam.

not even close.
vietnam cost us 58,000 soldiers.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
Ronson at 9:01AM, Nov. 15, 2006
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Though a lot of that is by a huge technological and systematic improvement of medical care - not due to a reduction in violence.

Iraq isn't Viet Nam, of course. There are similarities:

1. The purpose for entering into both were unclear and at least some of the reasons were deceptions.
2. There was no exit plan.

I think, however, that the cost of this war - which can't be won any more than it already has - will be far more than the cost of losing Viet Nam.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Phantom Penguin at 12:58PM, Nov. 15, 2006
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Personally i think we should leave, I've lost to many buddies as it is.
But i can understand that we don't want to jump ship until the Iraqis can support themselves.

Which from what i saw, could take a long while.


In 'Nam the VC and NVA did many many more full scale attacks on citys, fully secureing them.
When we (1st ID) were there we did get pushed around alot because fighters were trying to take over towns, we fought them off most the time. In Fallujah the Marines pretty much gave it to them and we had to go kick them out, it was a bad fight, but it was no Hue.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
Leon Hyrulious at 6:21PM, Nov. 15, 2006
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I take it from your speaking you have served in both wars?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM
ozoneocean at 5:26AM, Nov. 16, 2006
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Leon Hyrulious
I take it from your speaking you have served in both wars?
He's only 19 now, he wasn't a child soldier. :)

Iraq is not Vietnam because it's thousands of kilometers away and the conflicts are separated by a gulf of years…
The wars are different but there are similarities: The US was bogged down in Vietnam which was an ideological war, and the same thing has happened in the aftermath of war in Iraq, during the occupation.

-Much like this debate, which is going nowhere.
Many of the contributions now are in single statements. I think this debate is over, so I'm going to lock it.

Any Admin that feels there's something more here and wants to continue the debate is of course free to unlock.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:24PM

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