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But the fact is that we lost in Vietnam, and today, despite our vast power, we are only slogging along--if admirably--in Iraq against a hit-and-run insurgency that cannot stop us even as we seem unable to stop it. Yet no one--including, very likely, the insurgents themselves--believes that America lacks the raw power to defeat this insurgency if it wants to. So clearly it is America that determines the scale of this war. It is America, in fact, that fights so as to make a little room for an insurgency.
Think about it. Hmmm... In Vietnam the US killed at least 2 million civilians and 1 million combatants and still lost the war. So, yes, America determines the scale of the war, but short of outright genocide it is nigh-impossible for an occupying power to defeat an insurgency. Therefore, what America gets to determine is whether they are willing to get genocidal, no more and no less.

It is amazing, just amazing the contortions that these "analysts" will go through to convince themselves that the US cannot really lose (and hasn't really lost) a war.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 04:39:20 PM EST
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