Iraq v Vietnam Paper Final

Iraq v Vietnam Paper Final - Corey Cohen Goldgeier November...

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Corey Cohen Goldgeier November 23 rd 2008 Vietnam and Iraq: A Great Analogy The analogy between the United States’ foreign policy miscalculations in Iraq and Vietnam proves to be incredibly strong. For one, there was selective attention and manipulation of information within the Johnson and Bush administrations specifically, coupled with unreasonable expectations. Also, poor leadership selection by Kennedy and Bush lead to dissatisfied publics abroad, which in turn meant an even greater unraveling of the war effort than originally intended. These factors are most comparable as the United States delved into deep conflicts of choice. The personality of the Johnson administration is one that was inclined to distort the truth while shielding itself from critics of their policies within. Some aides even went as far to describe it as a king’s court. “In this strange atmosphere, the men surrounding the President tend to become sycophants.” (Barrett 174). This is a huge issue in war since the Cuban Missile Crisis proved that it is important to have varying opinions so that policy can be argued extensively, and that a diverse set of options can be put on the table. The breadth of Johnson’s advisory team became increasingly small as the war continued, which prevented various issues from being properly discussed (Gaddis 258). Overall this was performed on the terms that Johnson believed he would appear weak at home if he were to pull out of Vietnam (Goldgeier). This can be further understood by considering how Johnson attempted to manipulate what was being reported by the news. He attempted to “bend the media to his designs” in order to keep support for the war high, and utilized press conferences in order to inflate positive news and attack the credibility of negative publicity (Dallek 224). His desire to maintain this support would undercut the objectives of the initial mission. The Bush administration is strangely similar with respect to its stretching the truth
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Corey Cohen Goldgeier November 23 rd 2008 Vietnam and Iraq: A Great Analogy and surrounding itself with likeminded advisers. Distortion, hyperbole, and the “slanting of ambiguous facts in one direction” are some of the factors that characterized the months before going to war (Packer 62). Links were made that asserted Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and that he was harboring Al-Qaeda. This was a direct product of George W. Bush surrounding himself with advisers that were midlevel aides during the Cold War, and who were in power when The Gulf War unfolded in 1992. For instance, Donald Rumsfeld from the very beginning of Bush’s election was an advocate
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Iraq v Vietnam Paper Final - Corey Cohen Goldgeier November...

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