Insight to the \"average\" high schooler
In Mr. Sunderdick's class, Vietnam seemed very distant history. Even the teacher was born after Saigon fell. Several students said they thought that the Iraq war was much more like World War II, a war with a clear rationale waged by a country intent on defending itself, reflecting the effectiveness of the Bush administration's case for going to war.
"We actually got attacked," a student, Jessica Cowman, said. "In Vietnam, it wasn't an attack on us. We got hit in World War II, at Pearl Harbor, and we got hit in New York and at the Pentagon. It wasn't like that with Vietnam."
Hrm... This really bugs me. Other than the standard party-line "Axis of Evil" bs, no one really seemed to talk about any credible links to Al Qaida in Iraq.
I'm sure Al Qaida dealt with Saddam; the enemy of my enemy is my friend after all, but I didn't see anything really current.
This was a war to topple an evil regime and get rid of WMD's. Not attack Al Qaida. That's what the attack on Iran is for.
As my many and numerous Liberal Arts classes scream at me; think critically! What did we really accomplish here?
It certainly wasn't gaining the positive control of WMD's, because that didn't happen. Hello! It's a huge desert and you only have ~250k people over there; without credible intelligence, a double armed-interval police call is going to take a long time.
It seems to me we've managed to destablize the region quite a bit, bring utter anarchy to the streets of Baghdad (not that this is worse or better for the Iraqi's. Just different.), and create another ambigous situation regarding the status of key targets.
The precise bombing campaign against key leadership really bugs me. Show me the body! I don't want DNA evidence, I want the Caesar-esqe bloody American hands and the bullet-ridden corpse.
I'm glad kids feel good about the military. Hopefully, this will inspire them to study some history and political theory and figure out exactly what is going on here.
Ultimately, the soldier is reduced to a political tool and if the people don't understand the true politics of the situation, another Vietnam is inevitable. Which, ironically, the soldier will be blamed for.