Thursday, February 01, 2007

"This Particularly Failed Society"

Several Iraqis have been detained for questioning in the ongoing investigation of at least two senior Iraqi generals suspected of involvement in an insurgent attack that killed five American soldiers on Jan. 20, U.S. officials told FOX News on Thursday.

At least one of the Iraqi generals under suspicion for involvement or having advance word of the attack is said to be an intelligence officer, according to U.S. officials. If that's proven to be the case, the involvement of Iraqi generals in an attack on American forces raises questions about the loyalty and trustworthiness of Iraqi military officers at the highest levels.

Fox News 2/1/07

(Westmoreland) liked the Vietnamese and was genuinely committed to their cause, but there was never a real sense or feeling for their frailties, fallibilities, their corruption, their loss of innocence (had they ever been innocent?). He was, finally, too American, too successful in the American and Western sense, too much a sterling product of a success-oriented country to feel the rhythms and nuances of this particularly failed society; he was the finest product of an uncorrupted country where doing good was always rewarded, one worked hard, played by the rules, went by the book, and succeeded. Success. Theirs was a corrupted, cynical society where the bribe, the lie, the decadence had become a way of life, where Vietnamese officers lied frequently and readily to their American counterparts....The Americans, particularly the military, were so straight and Westy was the classic example; he was so American, like all Americans in Vietnam he wanted the Vietnamese to be Americans, he saw them in American terms, he could never seem to see them as themselves.

David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest, p.551


Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

I thought our biggest problem in Vietnam is that we repeated all the same mistakes the French made. Is that what Halberstam's quote confirm?

2/01/2007 8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As important as the lines from the Fox News story you quote were, the more important might have been the next line, which you didn't quote:

"Those concerns would be compounded if it's determined that Iran had a hand in the attack."

2/01/2007 11:24 PM  
Anonymous Awake! said...

Halbertam was probably not asserting the US made the same mistakes the French made in Indochina, it's more likely he was pointing out that that US compounded the French mistakes with our own, transforming strength into weakness and making defeat a virtual certainty rather than a mere likelyhood.

And speaking of compounding one can only add that an attack on Iran would compound our previous errors in Iraq, transforming strength into weakness and making defeat in the entire Middle East a virtual certainty rather mere likilhood.

As some have already commented, if Iran had paid top dollar for a result favorable to their regime they could hardly have done better than the result achieved by the Bush administration.

2/02/2007 12:20 AM  

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