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A blog on terrorism, democracy and international politics

Sunday, May 30, 2004

The Vietnam Syndrome in Iraq 

Lately, we have heard a number of public figures declare that Coalition of the Willing is doomed to failure, that the reasons that America and Australia (and other countries) gave for invading were cloaks for ulterior motives, and that the people of Iraq will defend their national pride against our presence to the death. We are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, to become bogged down in a quagmire, to fight for an unworthy cause, and to be opposed by the people of Iraq until we retire in disgrace.

The war in Iraq, we are told, is just like the war in Vietnam.

For these reasons, I was very pleased to host a talk on Wednesday by Quynh Dao, a Vietnamese Australian who witnessed the war in Vietnam, saw communism in place, fled to Australia, and has watched how the media and intellectuals have distorted the truth about the Vietnam war and the communist dictatorship.

Quynh, a member of the Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Committee, gave a highly professional presentation, with technical assistance from the Vietnamese Professionals Society (Victoria). The result was a truly memorable experience.

The text of Quynh's talk, Two Sides to Every Story: Perspectives on the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, is now available.

Comments would be most welcome.
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