David Halberstam is dead. Killed in a car accident at the age of 73. Over at the Commentary magazine blog Contentions, Gabriel Schoenfeld has a post that dwells on Halberstam’s anguish over the thought of America pulling out of Vietnam.

Quoting Halberstam via Schoenfeld:

[T]hose Vietnamese who committed themselves fully to the United States will suffer the most under a Communist government, while we lucky few with blue passports retire unharmed; it means a drab, lifeless, and controlled society for a people who deserve better. Withdrawal also means that the United States’s prestige will be lowered throughout the world, and it means that the pressure of Communism on the rest of Southeast Asia will intensify. Lastly, withdrawal means that throughout the world the enemies of the West will be encouraged to try insurgencies like the one in Vietnam.

Schoenfeld does not draw the link explicitly, but can anyone read that excerpt and not think of Iraq?

Explore posts in the same categories: Iraq

One Comment on “Halberstam”

  1. Danny G Says:

    Far be it from me to be the contrarian in the room, but I can (read the above and not think of Iraq). Sure, the Iraqis who’ve helped the U.S. military will suffer the most. And yes, Americans can come home relatively unharmed — save all the actual injuries, both mental and physical. And yes, the prestige of the U.S. will be lowered, as it should be, after starting an elective war and then badly mismanaging it.

    BUT, I don’t think the “pressure” of radical islam, or islamo-fascism/terrorism, or Wahabbist Islam, or whatever you’d like to call it, will increase as a result. Those pressures already exist to varying degrees within each “nation” in the so-called Middle East. Might Iranian or Syrian influence on the rest of the region increase? Perhaps, maybe even probably. But I don’t think the same flawed domino theory applies to “our current situation with [those] camel fucker[s] over in Iraq.”

    What would spill over to other nations? Shiite militias’ influence from Iran? Or the Sunni equivilent? Baathist insurgency? Al-Qaeda in Iraq? I think this is one time where the authoritarian nature of the governments of Iraq’s neighbors will help quell such a thing from happening.

    Of course, I could be wrong.

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