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American Ideal at risk

There has been much said concerning similarities between Iraq and the Vietnam conflict. As a Vietnam vet, I see none.

In Vietnam, an elected president circumvented the constitutional dictate that grants only Congress the power to declare war. He called the aggression a “police action.” Remember? Fifty-eight thousand dead later, we had accomplished nothing.

In Iraq, an unelected president declared war on a totally ambiguous enemy and, based on faulty intelligence, ordered an attack on an unaggressive but convenient target. Again, Congress shirks its responsibility through the War Powers Act.



In Vietnam we killed thousands of Communist farmers; in Iraq we kill Muslim merchants. In Vietnam we died for nothing. In Iraq we die for oil. What does sound familiar in both conflicts is the rhetoric of the warmongers, by whose reasoning we should all be speaking Vietnamese and all of Southeast Asia would be Communist.

No, I see no similarities between these two wars except death, destruction, greed and stupidity. The Constitution was designed to protect the American Ideal from these sorts of misadventures. The American Ideal is now at risk.




John Keane

Nevada City


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