Vietnam War Syndrome

What Republican Presidents Have Wrought: The Vietnam War Syndrome And The Iraq War Syndrome!

The Republican Party loves to claim that they are the experts, when it comes to American foreign policy, that they are far better than Democrats in executing foreign policy.

But the facts of history tell us otherwise, as witness:

Before America entered World War II. who were some of the most powerful, most influential people advocating isolationism— Republicans such as Senators Robert Taft of Ohio, Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, Hiram Johnson of California, and Gerald Nye of North Dakota, with the latter two discussed in detail in the author’s book: TWILIGHT OF PROGRESSIVISM: THE WESTERN REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND THE NEW DEAL (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981).

When America entered the escalation stage of the Vietnam War under Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, it was Republicans who backed the President in much greater numbers than Democrats, but even Johnson finally realized the need for America to get out of the war, and decided not to run again in 1968.

Republican President Richard Nixon ran his campaign for the Presidency in 1968, pledging that he would end the Vietnam War expeditiously, and saying he had a “secret plan” to end the war, which soon became evident did not exist, and Nixon made up his plan to end the war as he went along, and it took four long years to end the war, with a heavier loss of soldiers killed and wounded, than had been so under Johnson! Nixon and Henry Kissinger, his National Security Adviser and Secretary of State, misled the American people and lied to them about the plans and strategies to end the war, and it created a feeling of unwillingness to engage in overseas crises as a result, what could be called the Vietnam War Syndrome.

And then under George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the Republican run national government in 2003 lied to us, manipulated us, propagandized us, to begin a war in Iraq, with no plan to get out, and the war dragged on through the second Bush term, and into the Barack Obama Administration. No “weapons of mass destruction” were ever found, and it created an Iraq War Syndrome, which now has made many Americans reluctant to engage in a military action against an outlaw nation, Syria, which has utilized chemical warfare, only the third world leader ever to do so, after Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein!

So the Republican Party and its cynical, corrupt leadership in the 1969-1973 and 2002-2009 periods poisoned the political atmosphere of America, making it more difficult to engage in the shaping of a sane, rational foreign policy that would be in American interests.

And now Rand Paul and his kind, libertarian “Know Nothings”, promote isolationism all over again, back to the image of the GOP in the late 1930s before American entrance into World War II.

The damage that Presidents Richard Nixon and George W. Bush have wrought is massive, and undermining America in 2013 from doing what it must do, react to the massive war crime of the Syrian government!

An Alliance Between Anti War Liberals And Libertarian Rand Paul? An Unholy Alliance!

Are we about to see anti war liberals and progressives form an alliance with Libertarian Rand Paul and his ilk, on the Syrian chemical warfare controversy?

If that happens, then the left will be morally and ethically bankrupt, as to become isolationists is NOT the answer to all international involvement, as Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky espouses!

Just because of the corrupt and manipulated action of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld Administration in Iraq is NOT a justification to sit back and do nothing about the use of chemical weapons by Syria against its own civilian population, and if nothing is done to punish that government, then the likelihood of further such chemical warfare attacks is likely, and not only by Syria, but by other rogue governments!

And Iran will feel they can get away with nuclear weapons development with impunity, and the world will become a much more dangerous place!

Yes, we have an Iraq Syndrome, as we earlier had a Vietnam Syndrome, but to allow those experiences to dictate our reaction to outlaw governments utilizing weapons banned by international agreements dating back a century, would be tragic beyond belief!

And the fact that Barack Obama is asking for support from Congress should soothe those who worry that the Imperial Presidency is alive and well, as the only way for one to relate to this crisis, is the need to make clear the case for American response, with the understanding that it shall be limited to punishment, not to direct intervention in the Syria Civil War with ground forces.

America must be a moral leader in a world that has too many cynics who wonder if any nation is dedicated to preserving human liberty and freedom!