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November 8, 2009

Surprising Lessons (How News Magazines Can Use Iconic Pictures to Keep the Neocon Dream Alive)

newsweek vietnam.jpg

With Obama still assessing options in Afghanistan, this is one loaded and thoughtless picture to throw on the national newsstand.

Remember when the neocons pushed back against the growing opposition to the Iraq war with phrases like: “these colors don’t run.” Well, Newsweek is doing something similar here, not just equating Afghanistan with Vietnam, but linking any American withdrawal at this point with failure and shame (based on the out-of-nowhere delusion, highly equivocated in the article, that “we could have won”).

(photo: Hubert van Es. Saigon. April 29, 1975)

  • jonst

    Bag wrote: “…..but linking any American withdrawal at this point with failure and shame…”. It’s all they have Bag. It’s all they have.

  • evil t win

    par all axis

  • pcalvin

    The problem with referencing Viet Nam is, win, lose or draw, should we have ever been there in the first place.

  • KingElvis

    When my brother was in the Air Force training school in Enid, OK, they were already at the point of teaching as ‘fact’ this notion that the US ‘could have won’ in Vietnam.
    It’s funny that warmongers see war as the only thing that’s really decisive – it’s the ultimate ‘hard’ power that’s supposed to settle things once and for all…
    unless they lose. Then it’s not settled at all.
    And come Veterans day (and increasingly Memorial Day is also Veterans day – as is Labor Day) we’re told how we owe our lives to our Army and should thank it every day.
    And yet we haven’t really ‘won’ a war since WWII. The Persian Gulf war turned out to be a mere prelude the Iraq war, which it appears we will ‘win’ by leaving. Our glorious Army didn’t win in Korea or Vietnam – so by that logic my freedoms should be gone.
    Can anyone really say with a straight face that our freedoms depend on choosing sides between warloards in Afghanistan?

  • jtfromBC

    Daniel Ellsberg: The counter-insurgency plan in Afganistan is similar to Viet Nam (Three short clips)
    Ellsberg remarks that 43 years ago he wrote General Stanley McChrystal speech.

  • doug

    Gosh, what would have happened if the US and France had recognized Ho Chi Minh as the rightful leader of Vietnam back in 1945? They certainly didn’t mind him fighting the Japanese during WWII.
    Boy, what might have been of we hadn’t paid the French to fight one of their disastrous colonial wars. Thirty years of death — averted?

  • Rafael

    Exactly. It wasn’t the U.S. war to fight let alone win. In fact Johnson strategy was simply to “hold the line, like in Korea” which considering that the Vietnamese had been fighting against the French and Japanese for over 30 years, was not going to work.
    A return to the old “stabbed in the back” myth.

  • Stella

    We could have won what exactly? I know that I won something because my brother came home from Vietnam and lives and thrives to this day. My gratitude and joy in that victory is overwhelming.

  • KingElvis

    Stella: I suppose when the Air Force or Army is talking smack, they’re talking about being spared the ignominy of retreat and surrender. As if they’re personal sense of accomplishment and ‘honor’ was worth the millions of Vietnamese lives lost.

  • Blue Shark

    Vietnam was lost long before this photo was taken.
    …Newsweek editors still like themselves some of that Neocon Kool-Ade.

  • Jonathan Versen

    “whatever you do, don’t learn lessons from history, or at least learn the wrong ones.”
    Words cannot express how much these Newsweek covers annoy me, with the one thing in bold and the contradiction in much smaller fine print. Remember the global warming one? I imagine thousands, maybe millions of people glanced at it in checkout lines, and if you ask them now, they’ll remember that they had a cover story refuting global warming.

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