If you've been watching the news lately, you know that Senator Ted Kennedy drew some parallels between the war in Iraq and the Vietnam War. To rebut those claims, Senator John McCain, a former POW, said the following:
"I happen to know something about Vietnam, and I know we don't face another Vietnam."
If that's the case, tell me which war I'm referring to with the statements I make below.
- Ostensibly, we're fighting to bring democracy to a nation thousands of miles away that has not known democracy. This nation is also strategically important to us.
- There's significant controversy over whether we've committed enough troops to achieve our mission. Soldiers are being asked to stay longer than they were originally committed. Congress is considering whether or not we need to send more troops to accomplish our mission.
- Soldiers are having a good deal of trouble in figuring out who the enemy is. The enemy is hiding among innocent civilians, using guerrilla tactics to strike at our troops. To determine who is friendly and who is an enemy, our soliders are searching for weapons from house to house.
- Our soldiers are under constant threat of ambushes and guerrilla attacks. Curiously, the native security forces, which are supposed to be fighting for democracy alongside us, are absent or present only in small numbers.
- Back home, the country is split over whether or not the war is justified.
- Our troops are fighting against forces that utilize weapons made by the Soviet Union.
- Our forces use air support to strike at concentrations of enemy troops (when and where they're able to identify those concentrations of troops) and then come in with infantry and tanks on the ground to take care of the close-quarters fighting.
- If we pull out, the most likely scenario is civil war.
- We've witnessed unexpected major offensives by the enemy on days that are considered holy.
- Nations that border the one we're fighting in have taken political advantage of the situation and have backed the forces we're currently fighting against.
- Our major fear is that, should we fail, the entire region will be destabilized. So we fight to make the region "safe for democracy."
- Some of our soldiers are being exposed to health risks by a substance they use in fighting the enemy. Long-term effects of this substance on our troops are not yet fully understood.
- Cities we thought we controlled at the time have been taken over by the enemy. We've underestimated the number of hostile forces threatening these cities.
- Civilians who support us are often afraid to speak out in support of our efforts because they fear retaliation from underground forces and people who live side-by-side with them every day.
So which war is it?