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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Comparing Vietnam and Iraq

I went to an interesting forum tonight on the Vietnam War era of the Democratic Party. We had two speakers who addressed the parallels to today's conflict in Iraq (they expressly avoided the term "war") and the political issues it generated - namely, the internal conflict between anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy and Hubert Humphrey.

The event was notable for its conversation after the speakers addressed the group, including a number of these thoughts:
  • The draft: Would we be in Iraq if we didn't have the volunteer army, or so many mercenaries?
  • The opposition: is our familiarity with visual violence the difference between campus activism and apathy? I mean, how many Bruce Willis movies does it take to make me unimpressed by bloody videos from Iraq?
  • Peace: the opposition to Iraq is "anti-war." We changed the War Department to the Defense Department, but we still fight "wars." Are any of us for peace anymore?
  • Victory is defeat: it felt like the "war" could change when Democrats took charge of Congress in 2006. Why hasn't it? And why are we debating this horseshit instead?

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