We Kicked The Vietnam Syndrome!

Good news for us…Sally went East and we got a little rain and some wind……the old news is that Florida is getting hammered……

Time for some history…..

That was the proclamation of Pres. George H.W. Bush at the end of the 1991 Gulf War.

I guess the best place to start is to explain the term “Vietnam Syndrome”…..

It is the belief, born of brutal experience during the Vietnam War, that never again will the United States gradually tiptoe into questionable wars without a clearcut objective, overwhelming military force, an endgame strategy and, most important, the support of Congress and the American people.

It’s Called the Vietnam Syndrome, and It’s Back

When you think of the word, ‘syndrome,’ you might think of a medical disease – something which is perhaps not overt but still affects an individual’s functions and decisions. The same was true for the political and societal phenomenon known as the Vietnam Syndrome, which refers to America’s wariness to engage in any foreign conflicts after the Vietnam War. In this lesson, we will explore the roots of Vietnam Syndrome and how it manifested itself in our society.

But what causes this “affliction”?

Vietnam Syndrome was caused, in part, by the haphazard way the United States intervened in the Vietnam conflict and the debacle it became. The United States fought a brief but large war in Vietnam, seemingly by accident. The United States first sent advisors to South Vietnam in the 1950s to train troops. The goal was to aid the failing democratic state and stop the spread of communism in Asia. Throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, more and more military personnel were sent to support that mission.

By 1968, there were more than half a million American troops in Vietnam providing the backbone of South Vietnam’s resistance to North Vietnam, which sought to unify the country under communist rule. Ill-equipped and ill-trained for a guerrilla war in the jungles of Vietnam, U.S. forces took heavy casualties. By the time the last American troops were withdrawn in 1973, more than 58,000 U.S. servicemen and women were either dead, missing, or presumed dead. To make matters worse, these deaths ultimately occurred in vain; South Vietnam fell to the communists once and for all two years later.

https://study.com/academy/lesson/vietnam-syndrome-definition-causes-impact.html

I bring this all up because we are approaching the 30 years anniversary of this conflict…..and the question should be….what did we learn from our war in the Gulf?

According to documents of the time…….

According to National Security Directive 54, dated Jan. 15, 1991, there were four major war aims: complete Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait, restore Kuwait’s government, protect American lives (in particular, free hostages), and “promote the security and the stability of the Persian Gulf.”

On the last aim we failed miserably.

So was the war a rip roaring success that we have been led to believe?

Was the Gulf War (1990 to 1991) a success for the United States? To many, the answer is unequivocally “yes.” After all, the United States rallied the international community to punish aggression and liberate a small country (Kuwait) that had been invaded by its larger, authoritarian neighbor (Iraq). The country marshaled its formidable instruments of diplomatic, informational, military, and economic power to garner international support and achieved its objectives quickly at a relatively limited cost; adeptly executed joint and multinational military operations; and displayed astonishing military capabilities heralded as the beginning of a “revolution in military affairs.” These elements of the U.S. campaign should be celebrated and, where possible, emulated in the future.

But the United States should be careful not to mythologize its performance in the Gulf War. For example, war termination was handled haphazardly in a manner that hurt policy goals for regional stability. Following the war, great-power and non-state competitors sought to identify and exploit U.S. vulnerabilities with asymmetric responses while excessive military deference from allies often placed a greater burden on the United States. Lastly, U.S. military prowess in the war led to hubris, and reinforced a neglect for diplomacy, irregular warfare, stability operations, and governance. The country should continue to study the record of the Gulf War to identify and attend to demonstrated deficiencies, and to analyze subsequent responses of adversaries and allies.

The Gulf War 30 Years Later: Successes, Failures, and Blind Spots

We did nothing to secure the Middle East….in the long rub we made matters worse.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Guns Of August–Part Two

A little history for this Sunday…..

The original Guns of August referred to the beginning of the Great Wat, World War One…..but this is a bit different……

30 years ago today Saddam turned his forces loose on Kuwait…and thus began the first Gulf War…..

The consequences are still reverberating three decades on, obviously in Iraq and the Middle East but also further afield, after Saddam Hussein became the first Arab leader to invade another Arab nation. On Thursday, August 2, 1990, at about 2am, 100,000 Iraqi troops and 700 tanks smashed through Kuwaiti border posts. Saddam then announced that the emir of Kuwait had been deposed and the emirate was now Iraq’s nineteenth province.

This was his second invasion of a neighbor. In September 1980 he invaded Iran believing that the rule of the ayatollahs, and their Shia branch of Islam, posed a clear and present danger to Iraq’s Sunni-dominated government.

Much of the Iranian army and air force was dependent on US spare parts and these had dried up after the fall of the Shah in 1979. Saddam believed it would be a piece of cake as much of Iran’s heavy weaponry and air power would be unusable. Initially his forces were successful, driving deep into Iran. But the Iranians fought back, launched human wave attacks against Iraqi artillery and trench warfare, reminiscent of WWI, ensued. Stalemate. The war finally ended in 1988 under a United Nations-brokered ceasefire with neither victorious, both exhausted. Kuwait had initially lent the Iraqi leader US$14 billion to help finance the conflict. Saddam believed that this debt should be written off. Kuwait refused and demanded prompt payment.

The Gulf War, 30 Years and Counting

For those that are not capable of learning with our visuals…..

Just because I can…..a look at this war from Iraq’s perspective…..it is about 20 minutes if your attention span will allow it……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Lies Make The War

Lies are a large part of the political sphere here in the good old U.S. of A. but no more so than when it comes to war.  Most Americans do not like a history lesson for it usually bites their dicks off and they have to come up with some lame excuse for why it was done….

I recently helped a professor friend over the Summer by teaching a lesson on the first Gulf War….I was amazed at how little is known about a war people think we won.  About the only incident they remember is first that Saddam invaded Kuwait and second that his army raided a hospital and stripped it bear even leaving a baby behind after they stole its incubator…..this story was told by a young woman as an eye witnessed the problem was she was a diplomats daughter who had been in Kuwait only for her first five years and has never been back.

The war had its moments when it possibly could have been avoided….I wrote an article for my fiends at Ace News Room on this subject…..

I have been writing about the Middle East for decades….I hit my stride back in 1990 with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.  Most of my saved writings were lost in Katrina…the winds took out a window in the room where I did my research and writing, my office, if you will……I had files upon files of saved material that was lost to wet damage….or so I thought…..I was doing some spring cleaning and found 5 plastic storage bins that I had no idea what is within…after a thorough search I located all my saved articles and stuff from the Desert Storm days…..a eureka moment!

Source: 1991: Operation Desert Storm: A Look Back

Just a bit of negotiation could have saved lives….but nope war was on the bill and it was going to happen no matter what….

Now about the “incubator baby” thing……

Many Americans whose memories reach back to the Dark Ages of Gulf War 1 remember the “incubator babies” story: according to a weepy testimony of a Kuwaiti “nurse,” Saddam Hussein’s soldiers threw newborn babies out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital and left them to die. The “discovery” so outraged the American public, it helped generate public support for turning “Desert Shield” (originally sold as protection of Saudi Arabia from a phantom Iraqi attack) into “Desert Storm.”

There was only one problem with the story: none of it was true.

Source: Gray Falcon: The Real Incubator Baby

Ah the power of propaganda……is it possible that they would be lying to the people now?

“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”  George Orwell

Twenty-Five Years Later: A Look Back at ‘The Other Good War’ « Antiwar.com Blog

Time for a short recent history lesson…..I do this because Americans have a terribly short memory when it comes to history…….we need reminding from time to time…..and the time is now……..

Twenty five years ago this month was the first Gulf War……another conflict for the good of the region……take a look back and you decide what is good and what is not……

Keep in mind…..the same reason for our current “Good War” is being fought was used in the first one…….it only ended after the fiasco of the “Highway of death”….don’t know….LOOK IT UP!

 

Twenty-Five Years Later: A Look Back at ‘The Other Good War’ « Antiwar.com Blog.