Cmc SAN FRANCISCO – The head of the Marine Corps said Tuesday night he

sees some similarities between the Iraq and Vietnam wars, including

dogged insurgencies and an erosion of domestic support as each

conflict ground on.

But Commandant Gen. James T. Conway said he saw as many differences,

most notably the absence of a draft today, and he criticized the news

media for reporting a drumbeat of bad news out of Iraq and

Afghanistan.

"There’s a level of negativism in our press today that our young

troops find a little bit disconcerting," Conway said Tuesday night

while addressing several hundred members of the Marines’ Memorial

Club. "I’ve talked to very few troops who have come back from theater

who haven’t had to go through about a two-week transition of saying,

‘That’s not what I saw taking place, but that’s what the country’s

being shown every day.’"

Moreover, Conway said, terrorists are using the Western news media as

a vehicle for advancing their causes.

"When they were cutting off the heads of those unfortunate individuals

in the orange jumpsuits, that poor individual was the immediate

target, you were the real target," he said. "It is truly a tool in the

kitbag of the terrorist to have this repetitive battle damage

assessment broadcast on a 24-hour basis."

Conway offered an optimistic portrait of the Iraq war at a time when

even key allies of President Bush are abandoning the White House’s

stay-the-course strategy. "Incremental" progress is being made on a

number of fronts, including the training of Iraqi security forces, he

said.

"The fact is, there is no civil war taking place," Conway said, while

allowing "there is certainly sectarian strife" inflamed by terrorists.

And he called for perspective on the U.S. death toll in the war, which

has surpassed 3,600. That is roughly the number of troops who were

dying in a 12-day period during World War II, he said.

"We as a nation need to take an objective look at where we are in this

struggle," Conway said. "We should not overestimate our progress made

or underestimate the momentum the enemy would gain if we were to

conduct an unabated withdrawal of forces."

Still, Conway, who commanded the Marine Expeditionary Force during two

tours in Iraq, said he would do a couple of things differently if he

had the war to do over.

He said he would have argued more forcefully against then-occupation

chief L. Paul Bremer’s decision to dissolve the Iraqi army; and he

would have tried to impress upon his superiors that they must take

Iraqis’ fierce pride into account as America waged war.

Conway was commissioned as an officer in 1970, during the Vietnam War.

Without invoking Vietnam, Conway used an argument that President

Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger used often as

they tried to maintain public support for the Vietnam War: "There is

something else, inextricably tied to our presence in Iraq, and that is

the credibility of the United States of America," Conway said.

Comments

  1. There’s nothing Grander than a battle hardened warrior. No one smarter either and courageous enough to speak the truth.

  2. Much of the MSM journos feel it is their duty to “educate American citizens to be against this war”. That is working directly and overtly to aid the enemy in defeating their own citizens during a time of war.
    No excuses. No exceptions. And if the law does not step up soon and address these traitors, enemy sympathizers and agitpropers, then once the rage fully breaks, there’ll be no mercy.

  3. I’ve been beating this same drum for the past few years. But the media unfortunately can reach alot more people than I can! Glad someone of such stature is putting it out there plain enough for all to understand. Probably won’t see or hear this in too many places though.

  4. Good stuff!More and more I see mil blogs poping up all over the net.Most are from vets who have been there.They have gotten fedup with the BS that’s being spewed out by the media traitors here at home..As usual the Major’s all over it! Semper Fi

  5. Finally, uniformed leadership points out where the real parallels between Iraq and Vietnam lay — mistaken assessments on the ground war by American reporters, anti-war figures pontificating in a way that undermines and endangers troops, and a ground war overtaken by U.S. domestic pressures unfettered by facts on the battlefield.
    I do wish he had brought up Gen. Giap’s memoirs (NVA General during Tet) in which he humbly and gratefully credited certain anti-war celebrities and the student protest movement for saving the North from total defeat. Roughly remembered, he said, “I knew my next move could only be surrender. My forces were decimated. Tet was our last-ditch effort, and it failed.” Then, the cavalry arrived! John Kerry, Jane Fonda! The hippies. Walter Cronkite.
    And again, history repeats.

  6. “I do wish he had brought up Gen. Giap’s memoirs (NVA General during Tet)…”
    Thank goodness he didn’t do that jordan…from everything I’ve read on that assertion, it’s “Urban Legend”. Giap, apparently, said no such thing and this appears to be a product of an overly-enthusiastic propagandist campaign.
    I’d be happy to be proven wrong on this point by a valid reference that nobody seems able to produce and you do yourself and your position a disservice (as would have Gen. Conway) by further dissemination of this unsupported “Giap quote”.

  7. In one of Greta Van Susteren’s shows, not long after 9/11, she was interviewing a Pakistani journalist that had gotten a face to face interview with Osama bin Laden after the attacks.
    The man quoted OBL as saying “I am counting on the people of America to rise up and defeat their government for me, like they did for the communists in Vietnam.”
    This was said right at the end of the segment as Greta was talking over him to set up for the break.
    OBL is counting on our domestic enemy to rise up and secure his victory for him. They represent the greatest possible force multiplier for his jihad.
    Treason has become so trendy, so ubiquitous that it isn’t even considered a breach of honor anymore, let alone a violation of the law.

  8. “Treason has become so trendy, so ubiquitous that it isn’t even considered a breach of honor anymore, let alone a violation of the law.”
    Grimmy, that’s a keeper and well-worth repeating.
    I hope you’re blogging somewhere…

  9. I will continue to believe the troops on the ground and the Military over the talking heads and self serving politicians. Thanks for posting Major.

  10. Bingo,
    Are you familar with Arnaud de Borchgrave? I did a google search on his name and “Giap,” and it doesn’t look like much of an urban legend. He has written quite an interesting article titled ISLAMIC DEJA VU at http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/20780
    which goes into the comparison with Vietnam and which makes me want to line up our Vietnam-era media in front of a firing squad!!

  11. TEXADIILL I AGREE WITH YOU .
    HEY MAJOR WHERE IS MY DON HO tunes?
    SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, THEY SUPPORT YOU.

  12. Hi,
    may I ask you all a question?
    You talk so often about “supporting the troops” – what are you actually doing? In which way do you show your support? I surely don’t want to offend anyone, I just heard so many people talking about supportinh bla bla and they’re doing NOTHING but talking bout it, this makes me sick!! So, what are you doing to show your support?
    greetz
    Kittie

  13. Hello Kittie (haha for those that know the cartoon!)
    I see from your blog you are sending letters, GOOD FOR YOU! I think it is safe to say that everyone that posts on the Major’s blog sends care packages and all sorts of other goodies. Many have members serving now and many of them have already served.
    Personally, I have a 13 year old that has been sending care packages, letters, and emails for several years. She has gone and visited the very wounded at the hospital, she has raised money not only for http://www.anysoldier.com but also for http://www.hopeforthewarriors.org She has gotten her classmates and her little brothers classmates to make home made cards to send to those that are wounded and in the many hospitals.
    She also stands in a flag line and holds the flag proud to show respect for our fallen troops and is a member of the Patriot Guard Riders.
    She not only helps those that are deployed and or wounded, she also reaches out to our many Veterans. She has no problem telling people much older then herself HOW to be a proud American and just what a proud American can do to help out our troops.
    She doesn’t listen to the news, but is faithful to people such as the Major, she takes in what he and others have to say and she learns. She then turns and helps educate others that just don’t seem to ‘get it’.
    Just a small sampling……

  14. Yes I’m sending letters, cards, care packages etc 😉 I’m ‘member’ of Soldiers’ Angels and currently writing/sending to a chaplain and a 20-years-old soldier until they’re back home.
    I just saw so many people running around telling they’re supporting the troops and when I asked what they do (I was just curious) I saw blank faces and heard a long “weeeeell….”.
    It’s a bit weird to tell as a german some americans how they can support their own soldiers.
    But your 13 year old does an excellent job!! That’s awesome!

  15. The liberal Democrats prefer that
    women have the choice to kill American babies over the Marines having the choice to kill Islamic
    Jihadists!Republicans Lugar & Voinovich are not supporting the troops in the field due to the changing political winds, but Voinovich was never a conservative, or a friend to the US Armed Forces. The mainstream media going back to the Civil War has always sought a negative slant
    in their coverage of men at war.
    But, I am really surprised at Senator Webb’s jumping into bed
    with the spine-less left. Must be something in the air in D.C. I visited the Marine Museum in May, it was quite an emotional morning.
    But, it reinforced my love for the Corps. and my devotion to all who have served before, with, and after me.
    USMC
    65 to 69

  16. I have been an active supporter of all of our troops that have been deployed. Myself and my daughter have sent numerous boxes of much needed supplies . Hoping in some small way that it shows from our behalf that we Greatly appreciate all the sacrifices that have been made for our FREEDOM. TO ALL OUR SOLDIERS THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.I PRAY YOU RETURN HOME SAFELY AND REUNITE WITH ALL YOUR LOVED ONES . MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL !

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