Lying about history
No war or its aftermath ever perfectly matches a preconceived plan. Whatever failings occur in a war zone are fair game for politicians who want to criticize whoever is in charge at a particular time. The Iraq portion of the War on Terror is no exception. Like with any war there have been enough things go wrong for an opportunistic politician to criticize without having to make stuff up. However, some politicians and their accomplices in the media are playing funny with facts to make things sound worse than they are. This weekend, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), who has never let the truth get in the way of making a nonsensical point, was being interviewed on FOX by Chris Wallace and made the following statement.
Our military has been in Iraq longer than in World War II, World War I, longer than the Vietnam War.Wallace never called Kennedy on his mendacity. We had troops in Germany and Japan for a half century after WW II. The Vietnam War lasted approximately 8 years. The war in Iraq lasted about a month and the occupation has lasted about four years. It is incredibly disingenuous for politicians to make such comparisons between the conflict in Iraq and past wars. We lost over fifty thousand troops in the Vietnam War. We lost over four hundred thousand servicemen in World War II. There is no valid comparison between this conflict and past wars. Having said that, there is a bigger point to be made. Even if there were very obvious comparisons to past wars either in length of time or number of casualties it would have no bearing on whether we should have ever prosecuted the war or whether we should stand by Iraq as it struggles to survive as a democracy.
Because there is no such thing as making too much fun of Ted Kennedy, read the following passage where Wallace is asking Kennedy about domestic issues:
WALLACE: But let me ask you about this, because some people would say that there need to be bigger changes than what you're talking about. Let me give you an example.Huh? 1995 is six years ago to him?
Back in 1995, you were one of only 12 senators to vote against welfare reform, which was subsequently signed by President Clinton. And you said the bill was — and let's put it up on the screen...
KENNEDY: This is...
KENNEDY: Six years ago, OK.
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