“We learn from history that we learn no history,” said my eighth-grade history teacher. Here we are again, dealing with body counts from the Pentagon. This time it’s the war against ISIS, as my friend Nancy Youssef reports, and it’s bordering on the absurd. Again.
I hope you don’t have to be my age to remember “body counts” from the war in Vietnam. That was a
phase of the war when the Pentagon tried to show how well the US was doing there by telling us how many Vietcong US forces had killed. It was irrelevant, of course, and largely imaginary anyway.
Then, as now, it was a sign that the US was using overwhelming force in a war it had no business being involved in. Eventually the US “declared victory” and withdrew, Henry Kissinger had a Nobel Peace Prize to put on above his fireplace, and the “enemy,” North Vietnam, overran the south.
Barack Obama already has his Nobel Peace Prize, incredibly, so how about if we skip the useless war phase and just get this over with? There is a realignment in progress in the Mideast, where new borders are being drawn and new alliances are being forged. All this has precious little do do with the US or the West, except for the possibility that it could spawn terrorist activity.
You don’t need airstrikes and “advisers” to counter terrorist activity. You need intelligence, both kinds–the kind between your ears and the kind the military provides. My talks in Washington over the past month indicate to me that very few people there get it. Too bad they didn’t have the same eighth-grade history teacher I did.