Origins of US Wars in Iraq and Vietnam
Excerpted from a version originally written by IraqMoratorium.org.
"I'm often asked whether there aren't big differences between the Iraq War and Vietnam. And I'm always quick to say, of course, there are differences. In Iraq, it's a dry heat. And the language that none of our troops or diplomats speak is Arabic rather than Vietnamese." -Daniel Ellsberg
Before most Americans had ever heard of Iraq, US oil companies wanted a bigger piece of Iraq's huge reserves. Under Reagan the US backed Iraq and Iran against each other in a deadly war, during which Donald Rumsfeld arranged for weapons to be shipped to Hussein. The US ambassador assured Hussein that the US had no dog in a fight between Iraq and Kuwait. When Hussein invaded Kuwait, President Bush launched the Gulf War.
Before most Americans had ever heard of Vietnam, the government sided with France against Vietnamese (and Laotian and Cambodian) movements fighting for independence. When the French were roundly defeated, the US took over the South of Vietnam. President Eisenhower had elections canceled because Ho Chi Minh was going to win. This insured a renewed anti-colonial war-against the U.S.
|A Foundation of Lies:
A day after the attacks on September 11, 200 1, Donald Rumsfeld told aides to start preparing for an invasion of Iraq. The White House concocted a tissue of lies about Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction," which posed an "imminent threat" to the US, or might have, except they didn't exist. Congress quickly passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution in Resolution in October 2002, authorizing Bush to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq." In March 2003, Iraq was bombed for three weeks before the invasion began. The war was raging.
|A Foundation of Lies:
The big US military push into Vietnam came after what President Johnson denounced as two savage attacks by North Vietnamese torpedo boats on US destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin off North Vietnam in August, 1964. The first attack was provoked and the second never happened. Congress quickly passed the Southeast Asia Resolution, giving Johnson the power to take "all necessary steps, including the use of armed force." By March 1965, US bombers were hitting North Vietnam regularly and thousands of marines were landed at Danang. The war was raging.