Final Article - LexisNexisTM Academic Copyright 2006 The...

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LexisNexis™ Academic Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company The New York Times November 26, 2006 Sunday Late Edition - Final SECTION: Section 6; Column 3; Magazine; THE WAY WE LIVE NOW: 11-26-06; Pg. 17 LENGTH: 1048 words HEADLINE: Long After We Withdraw BYLINE: By David Rieff. David Rieff is a contributing writer for the magazine. BODY: As the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate and as policy makers debate how to extricate the United States honorably from what increasingly appears a war without end, it is worth remembering that all wars do end eventually, and that postwar relationships between the bitterest of enemies can turn out surprisingly well. President Bush's recent trip to Vietnam, where he attended the annual meeting of APEC -- the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation organization -- illustrates this reality and even offers a measure of hope at a time when battlefront reports are almost unrelievedly bad and when America's foreign policy seems to lurch from crisis to crisis. It often seems as if the U.S. presence in Iraq has created so many new enemies in the Muslim world that the clash of civilizations described by Prof. Samuel Huntington has gone from being the hypothesis of a Harvard political scientist to a historical inevitability. Even many of those who resist the notion that Islam and the West are on a collision course still worry that the harm that has been done in Iraq to relations between the U.S. and the Islamic world will be almost impossible to undo.
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And yet the example of Vietnam suggests otherwise. If anything, the trauma of the Vietnam War on the American psyche was and for some still is far deeper than anything the Iraq war has yet produced. These days we speak --
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Final Article - LexisNexisTM Academic Copyright 2006 The...

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