The last Democratic Presidential candidate was (and is) in the habit of lecturing us mere mortals (average citizens) that the world cannot be viewed in simple terms of black and white. Each situation we face is made up of complexities too difficult for government leaders to explain to the American people. Therefore, when we view the world, we must do so wearing grey eye shades. Out of respect for our friends who adhere to such a view, here is a bit of nuance for their consideration.
Yesterday, President Bush addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City, MO. ( http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20385843/ ). The President stated emphatically that were the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq in the immediate future, the result within Iraq would resemble what happened in South Vietnam when the U.S. withdrew from that country. In his speech, Bush said "Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left...Whatever your position in that debate, one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America's withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like 'boat people,' 're-education camps' and 'killing fields' " The media-spin is that Bush is being hypocritical; he has continually refused to compare the war in Iraq with the Vietnam War yet warns of post-Vietnam War-like consequences in the event of an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) responded to Bush: "President Bush's attempt to compare the war in Iraq to past military conflicts in East Asia ignores the fundamental difference between the two..."
What is the appropriate response to the media-spin? Bush has never compared the causes for the war in Iraq or the means of waging it to Vietnam. It has been the liberals in Congress and the media who have done so. Vietnam is the template for liberals for every military conflict the U.S. undertakes; they invoked Vietnam in opposing the first Gulf War. To them, the U.S. was the aggressor in Vietnam as well as in Iraq. Just as we suffered inevitable defeat in Vietnam, they reason, the military cannot achieve victory in Iraq. Their past public statements to this effect highlights Reid's colossal hypocrisy in responding to the President's speech. Reid thinks it is legitimate for his fellow liberals to invoke the Vietnam analogy when it suits them, but illegitimate for Bush to do so. How should those who support the war respond? Here is where nuance comes into play. It is no hypocrisy on the part of Bush to refuse to compare the war itself to the Vietnam War while warning of consequences of withdrawal similar to those that occurred after the U.S. withdrew from South Vietnam. No two wars are the same, but withdrawing before military victory is achieved in any conflict exposes those within the field of battle who supported the withdrawing army to torture, starvation and mass execution. This is indeed what happened in Vietnam. This would be the case whether a war would take place in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Africa, or Europe. However we cannot end our analysis here. Any nation that abandons its allies in the field of battle will no longer be feared by aggressive powers. Thinking that the withdrawing nation has no stomach for battle, rouge nations will annex territory and entire sovereign countries. The nation that exposes it allies in the field by pre-mature withdrawal will never be trusted by other nations and thus will fail to form alliances to defend itself and its interests.
That was my foray into the world of nuance. If our liberal friends fail to grasp the nature of my argument, I will revert back to simplistic arguments utilizing "good versus evil" terminology.