Bud's Beat

Don't let Afghanistan become another Vietnam
By: Bud Pisarek, Loomis News Correspondent
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It seems like yesterday, and yet it was a long time ago. As I recall, it was a hot August night way back in 1964. I sat at my kitchen table seeking some cool breeze from the partially opened window. There wasn’t much. What came clear and shocking was the news coming loud and clear over the radio. The Republic of Vietnam attacked the U.S.S. Maddox, a U.S. destroyer in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. It was Aug. 2, 1964. Our president at the time was Lyndon Baines Johnson, better known as LBJ. Within hours of the incident, LBJ ordered the launching of retaliatory air strikes on the bases of the North Vietnamese boats. Thus began a historical military engagement of the United States that cost the lives of thousands of Americans and set the stage for the country to lose its first war. I mention all of this in the hopes that our elected officials will heed those actions and think twice about continuing their folly of insisting to continue military actions in Afghanistan. We later found out that the Gulf of Tonkin attack was fiction. That didn’t stop the war hawks from advising Johnson and the rest is history. We have to learn from that lesson or go down the same dismal path we followed in Vietnam and most recently in Iraq. Jim Hightower, writing in his monthly “Lowdown” newsletter said. “About Afghanistan. I mean why begin the most exciting most important administration in decades with yet another misguided military mission that promises to be a sinkhole for our troops, our treasury, our country’s god name, and the world’s hopes for this historic presidency?” Liberal filmmaker Robert Greenwald is releasing a series of documentaries on-line that urges Americans to rethink Afghanistan. Other left-of-center Democrats are calling Obama’s plan to send 17,000 additional troops there “disastrous.” And Newsweek’s recent front-cover story asked if Afghanistan would be Obama’s Vietnam. So the warning signs are all about us. What say you, citizen?