John Burns, writing for the New York Times, has an interesting, if sadly predictable, perspective on Iraq. In an article titled “Iraq’s Ho Chi Minh Trail”, Burns attempts once again to connect the War in Iraq to the conflict in Vietnam. As usuall, the analogy only holds if one’s attention is very selective, and crucial differences are ignored.
Burns begins with a short comment about the search for Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, implying that the Americans have made his capture a top goal, and commenting that even if he is caught, this will not end the insurrection, and indeed suggests that the capture of Saddam Hussein was of little value in strategy or consequence. This is laughable, of course, since it assumes that Iraq would have acted the same over the past 18 months if Saddam had been running loose, as it has in fact. It seems to me that such things as the free elections, the impressive rise in private retail businesses in Iraq, the turnover of domestic security operations in Iraq to Iraqi officers, would not be nearly as likely to have happened, were the murderous former dictator still at large.
Burns shows his flaws early, even in the title of his column. It is a poor history student indeed, who does not understand the difference between the Ho Chi Minh trail in Southeast Asia, which was never seriously intercepted by U.S. forces, and the terrorist incursion routes, which are being fought by Coalition forces.
Mr, Burns writes as if U.S. morale is low, when in fact it is strong and rising, with the clear desperation of terrorists cpparent in their tactics and targets. Some of the accounts by the media bordered on the ludicrous. Burns reported a Washington Post account, of “rebels lying on their backs in a crawl space beneath the concrete floor of a house, blasting marines above them with bullets designed to penetrate tanks.” Leaving aside the notion that a foreigner who sneaks into Iraq for the purpose of killing Iraqi civilians as well as Coalition forces should be described as a “rebel” rather than the more accurate “terrorist”, anyone mildly familiar with Physics would question the notion that bullets have been made which “penetrate tanks”; The divorce between these MSM agents and the truth is plainly evident.
A crack was made some time ago in New York’s Media, which became a ditch and now a canyon. And people like Burns just keep digging.