Dubya, Blair, Obama, Iraq and history

Escaping Saigon

So many threads of the Iraq story have woven together at the end of August, with President Obama’s speech marking the the purported end of “combat” action for US forces in Iraq, Tony “Bliar” Blair’s memoir release, and the pundits’ chatter about the future and the past.

Everyone can look back and see it was a colossal error of judgment to invade Iraq. But many are willing to judge the exit as a final chapter now, leaving Iraq for better or worse. It would be better to remember that Saigon didn’t fall until well after the US pullout from Vietnam (leaving the supposedly well-trained and equipped locals in charge, remember Vietnamization?).

Not even the foreign policy experts can predict the future. Few could be relied upon for an unbiased prediction in any case. We can only hope that in thirty years or so we can think of Iraq as a lovely, historic and peaceful country to visit, as we do now with Vietnam.

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