Iraq not another Vietnam, it’s worse

The current war in Iraq is worse than the war in Vietnam because unlike Vietnam, there is no noble aim. The aim of that conflict was to help usher in democracy. Granted, the people in charge thought so little of the Vietnamese that they felt we had to step in and play teacher. We learned our lesson. No more noble causes for us.

Now we invade a country and say it’s for a noble cause, but it’s really about oil. Sure we’ll say it’s to free the people from a tyrant, but what about all the other tyrants? Like the ones in Saudi Arabia? Don’t they suppress the freedoms of their citizens? Don’t they support terrorism? Wait, Saddam Hussein has never been proven to support terrorism. But Saudi royals give Palestinian suicide bombers lavish funerals and endow their families with money to honor their sacrifice for Allah.

It’d also be nice if we could believe we wanted to end human suffering. But if that were true, why didn’t we declare the genocide in Sudan genocide sooner? Maybe they can’t give us oil, just thanks.

In “Iraq is not another Vietnam” (opinion, Sept. 7) Chris Hill talks of rebuilt infrastructure, but it isn’t really rebuilt. The highways are useless, the schools have no supplies, the hospitals are short on everything and there aren’t enough cops, firefighters, teachers, doctors, nurses, etc. If you don’t believe me, ask a soldier who just got back. It’ll take you a while to find one, though, since most are staying longer (way to screw soldiers Uncle Sam, at least in ‘Nam they got to come home after one tour).

As for Hill’s complaints relating to “Fahrenheit 9/11,” could you point out those implied falsehoods? Bush wanted to turn 9-11 into a justification for Iraq (fact). He sat reading a children’s book for several minutes after hearing the news (fact). He let the bin Ladens fly on Sept. 12, 2001 (fact). All of his failed businesses were backed largely by Saudi money (fact).

Lastly, Hill made the false statement that it is more dangerous to drive on the highways in the United States than it is to be a soldier in Iraq.

Assuming that 200 million of the 250 million Americans leave their homes and travel by road resulting in 42,643 deaths (2003 numbers), that’s a fatality rate of .0234 percent (or one in 4,273.5).

There are approximately 145,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, with 541 deaths since Dec. 13, 2003. That’s a fatality rate of .3731 percent, or approximately one in 268. This means troops in Iraq are 15.945 times more likely to die than someone on the street.

My guess is the author doesn’t know anyone who is serving overseas. Thankfully no one I know is overseas anymore. But I have friends with friends overseas, so the fact that 267 out of 268 soldiers in Iraq didn’t die doesn’t comfort me.

Craig Myers is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]